This site is for mothers of kids in the U.S. Navy and for Moms who have questions about Navy life for their kids.



Choose your Username.  For the privacy and safety of you and/or your sailor, NO LAST NAMES ARE ALLOWED, even if your last name differs from that of your sailor (please make sure your URL address does not include your last name either).  Also, please do not include your email address in your user name. Go to "Settings" above to set your Username.  While there, complete your Profile so you can post and share photos and videos of your Sailor and share stories with other moms!

Make sure to read our Community Guidelines and this Navy Operations Security (OPSEC) checklist - loose lips sink ships!

Join groups!  Browse for groups for your PIR date, your sailor's occupational specialty, "A" school, assigned ship, homeport city, your own city or state, and a myriad of other interests. Jump in and introduce yourself!  Start making friends that can last a lifetime.

Link to Navy Speak - Navy Terms & Acronyms: Navy Speak

All Hands Magazine's full length documentary "Making a Sailor": This video follows four recruits through Boot Camp in the spring of 2018 who were assigned to DIV 229, an integrated division, which had PIR on 05/25/2018. 

Boot Camp: Making a Sailor (Full Length Documentary - 2018)

Boot Camp: Behind the Scenes at RTC

...and visit - America's Navy and also Navy Live - The Official Blog of the Navy to learn more.

OPSEC - Navy Operations Security

Always keep Navy Operations Security in mind.  In the Navy, it's essential to remember that "loose lips sink ships."  OPSEC is everyone's responsibility. 

DON'T post critical information including future destinations or ports of call; future operations, exercises or missions; deployment or homecoming dates.  

DO be smart, use your head, always think OPSEC when using texts, email, phone, and social media, and watch this video: "Importance of Navy OPSEC."

Follow this link for OPSEC Guidelines:



**UPDATE 4/26/2022** Effective with the May 6, 2022 PIR 4 guests will be allowed.  Still must be fully vaccinated to attend.

**UPDATE as of 11/10/2022 PIR vaccination is no longer required.

**UPDATE 7/29/2021** You now must be fully vaccinated in order to attend PIR:

In light of observed changes and impact of the Coronavirus Delta Variant and out of an abundance of caution for our recruits, Sailors, staff, and guests, Recruit Training Command is restricting Pass-in-Review (recruit graduation) to ONLY fully immunized guests (14-days post final COVID vaccination dose).  


RTC Graduation

**UPDATE 8/25/2022 - MASK MANDATE IS LIFTED.  Vaccinations still required.

**UPDATE 11/10/22 PIR - Vaccinations no longer required.


Please note! Changes to this guide happened in October 2017. Tickets are now issued for all guests, and all guests must have a ticket to enter base. A separate parking pass is no longer needed to drive on to base for parking.

Please see changes to attending PIR in the PAGES column. The PAGES are located under the member icons on the right side.

Format Downloads:

Navy Speak

Click here to learn common Navy terms and acronyms!  (Hint:  When you can speak an entire sentence using only acronyms and one verb, you're truly a Navy mom.)

N4M Merchandise

Shirts, caps, mugs and more can be found at CafePress.

Please note: Profits generated in the production of this merchandise are not being awarded to the Navy or any of its suppliers. Any profit made is retained by CafePress. Para Familias

Visite esta página para explorar en su idioma las oportunidades de educación y carreras para sus hijos en el Navy.


Pillowcase Instructions
Selecting Fabric:
There are so many wonderful choices out there for fabrics but care does need to be
used when selecting it. Remember these pillowcases are intended to be slept upon.
This means that they need to be soft. Also they will be washed many times, so they
need to be durable. In addition, you will probably be piecing some to make your
fabrics go farther; this means that you will want to have similar weights of fabrics.
A good rule of thumb is the Symphony Broadcloth offered by JoAnns. It is probably
the minimum weight and the appropriate softness for any pillowcase. It comes in
solids and is a full 44‐inch width so a collection of colors of this fabric is nice to have
on hand. It is also quite reasonable. It can be purchased for as little as $1.79/yard.
Use this fabric as a guideline when evaluating other fabrics.
Pay attention to the width of fabrics when you purchase it. You will want to get
either 44‐inch fabric or 60‐inch fabric in width. Sometimes fabrics are advertised as
44‐inch wide but in actuality they are less. Some have wide selvages and this can
cause difficulties. Sue incorporates wide selvages into the pillowcase, making an
extra stripe. She does not mind having JoAnn’s on it, especially since they have been
so generous to all of the Heads at Ease crew. If you are not going to incorporate the
selvage, remember you will lose anything you cut off.
Some fabrics have a wonderful pattern but the dyes are heavy. If this is the case,
you will probably put a softer fabric on the back for sleeping, e.g., the Symphony
Patriotic fabrics, e.g., stars, flags, etc., are wonderful but regional and seasonal
fabrics are nice as well. Remember anything that will remind the person of home
will be appreciated. Look for colors that will mix and match. This will allow you to
create more different pillowcases.
Cotton is always a great fabric but a blend will work well too. You probably do not
want all polyester or some other similar types of fabric. They tend to be stiffer or
more scratchy.
One thing to pay attention to is how the fabric was cut before and the pattern of the
fabric. Recently I purchased fabric and noticed that it had not been cut straight.
This means that you can lose several inches of usable fabric. If you notice this, make
sure the cutting person, straightens the fabric before cutting. Even doing this, I
frequently buy an additional inch or two to allow for shrinkage and adjustment in
cutting. Sometimes the pattern is not printed on the straight of the fabric. If this is
going to bother you, you better pass on the fabric. Otherwise you have to just ignore
Deciding upon the amount to purchase depends upon your sewing style. If you are
going to make pillowcases out of one piece of fabric, then you will not want to
purchase more than 31 inches of fabric that is 44 inches in width (allows for
shrinkage and loss for not being straight). Otherwise, if you are willing to piece,
purchase several yards of a fabric, e.g., three to four yards.
Pre‐treatment of Fabric prior to Sewing:
Before you cut, wash your fabric in cool to warm water with some vinegar. This will
accomplish several things. First if the dyes have a tendency to bleed, they should
“set” with the vinegar and cool water. Second, if there is going to be shrinkage, it
should happen during this washing. Third, it should remove the sizing, making the
fabric softer and showing up problems with fabric being straight.
Please do not use heavy fabric softeners. Many people have problems with those scents.
Once the fabric has been washed and ironed, you can check the actual measurement
of the fabric in terms of width and length. You can also check to see if the fabric is
straight when you match selvage edges. If you put the selvages together and run
your hand towards the fold, the fabric should be smooth. If it is not, then probably
you have a problem with the fabric being straight. In this case, you will want to pull
the fabric from opposite corners. If you have several yards, you will need to get
someone to help you. Even a yard is difficult to manage alone. When I was taught
to do it, I pulled a thread and matched the threads together. Then I pulled to make
them match. I don’t do this with my pillowcases but I do check for obvious
After you have washed, ironed and straightened the fabric, cut one end to make a
straight, even edge from which to work. Now you are ready to begin cutting.
Cutting the Pillowcases:
If you are going to create a pillowcase from a single piece of fabric, you will want to
cut a piece that is 44” x 30”. When you fold it in half, you will have a piece that is 22”
x 30”.
If you are going to put a band on your pillowcase, the width of the band plus the
width of your seams will determine the length of the body. Remember, you will
want to end up with a piece that is 22” x 30 inches or 44” x 30” to complete the
When you attach a band, press the seam toward the open end (top) and top stitch
for a finished look.
So let’s assume that you are going to have a ¼” seam and you are using a six‐inch
band, left over from a yard of fabric that was used to make a pillowcase. You will
lose ¼ inches of the band and ¼ inches of the body, so you will need a piece that is
24‐1/2 inches long (allows ¼ inches for the body and ¼ inches for the band).
Constructing the Pillowcase,
There are several ways that you can make a pillowcase. The simplest is to have a
1/4” seam that has a zig‐zag seam to protect from raveling. If you have cut a piece of
fabric that is 44” x 30” inches, then you will fold it in half so that the selvage edges
are together. Sew along the bottom and side, turning the corner at a 90‐degree
angle. The bottom will need to have a zig‐zag to protect from raveling but the
selvage edge will protect the side. The top (open end) will be turned down ¼” and
then one inch for finishing. If you wish to turn down more for the hem at the top,
you will need to allow for this when cutting. You do not want to leave the top
unfinished or not hemmed. Your finished pillowcase will be 21‐1/2 x 28‐1/2”. This
is the “ideal.”
If you have a serger or overcast machine, you will have a seam that is a little larger
than ¼”. Another option is to use French seams, in which case you will probably
have seams that are ½”. All are acceptable but they will affect the dimensions of
some of your cuts.
If you are doing a lot of piecing, be sure to only piece one side of the pillowcase. It
looks great on a rack but will it be comfortable for sleeping. With pillowcases that
have piecing, place a piece on the back that is plain, i.e., only piece one side. A band
may go around but do not make it more than 8 inches wide. And it is best to not
make the band several thicknesses of fabric. When packing the boxes, it really does
make a difference.
When finished, you want a pillowcase that will fit most standard pillows. You do not
want one that is huge nor do you want want that is just too small. A good rule of
thumb is 20 inches minimum for width and 32 inches for maximum length

Views: 2669

Replies to This Discussion

Where does one mail  these and is fleece ok?

Fleece is very bulky to mail.  I have a couple right now that were donated, so I'll include 1, but it really takes up alot of space.

Someone made a beautiful "furry" neon green fleece pc a couple of years ago.  It filled the whole box!  yikes.  So I ended up selling it at a craft fair and put the $ into more fabric.


We do groups.  We will always a "thread" aka discussion posted (I call them threads) about the group we are currently doing.  We have a mom coordinator and we sign up in that thread for mailing.  Then when it is time, I will email you the address.  Please pm me your personal email address.


do you  have some made?

bringing to the top.

to the top so new people can find this.

I have been purchasing and washing fabric for six months now. I have finally set aside some time to make them and I just printed the directions and am going to attempt my first pillowcase which I will send to my sailor. I look forward to participating in Heads at Ease. I might even try to organize some crafters and get a bunch of us working on them!!! Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to this project. It is a huge commitment and you are such a blessing to our men and women in uniform!

HI AutumnSunset,

so glad to hear that you have the time to do some sewing.  This is a pretty simple method and the 1 that I use.

If you have other questions, send me a personal message with your email address.   Thank you for your kind words.  It is a blessing to do.

thank, Sue.  I went to find it and found where you moved it to the top.

this one has more details 

to the top!  happy sewing!

bringing this up to the top!

bringing this up to the top again!


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