What the mom brought was a new flat sheet she had in the house. High thread count. Kind of sateen finish. Hmm, can we work with this? Fortunately I had an extra week to prepare for this session. I was planning on making pillowcases, and wanted to be sure that my student could work with such a fabric without a) getting really frustrated and b) having the whole thing unravel the first time it was washed (or even whilst being sewn!).
I used the basic pillowcase pattern from AllPeopleQuilt's page for the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge. I've made this pattern before, so was familiar with the technique and knew in general my student could do it. However, the fine sheet fabric might make things more difficult. My solution was to stitch the seams as directed, then zigzag stitch every edge. (I don't own a serger, so zigzag on my basic sewing machine was the next best thing.) Threw my sample in the wash and closely inspected what came out of the dryer. Success! I had a plan, and was ready for my student.
Funny enough, she asked me if we would be zigzagging (she had a few sessions of sewing in her middle school home ec class, just enough to know she wanted to learn more). Hey, this girl's brain is working, yay!! :) So much easier to have a thinking student. Anyway, mom decided to join us for this session, too.
These are the pillowcases made by me (blue) and the mom (purple-ish):