How Have I Not Ever Noticed This Before?!

Welcome to the 668th Metamorphosis Monday!

Last night I finally got around to changing from my spring/summer bedding…


…to my tartan fall/winter bedding. I’m slow getting it done this year, normally try to make the switch in early October. I think I delayed this year because I was still really enjoying the summer bedding–but it was time.

One of the things that always drives me crazy about my winter bedding is the limp, floppy flange around the tartan shams. Every year I hope to find a solution to make it stand up better, but so far that has not happened.

Red & Green Tartan Bedding for a Fall Winter Bed


I took this photo early this morning with only the lamps turned on. The bed skirt is still a bit wrinkled, having just been unfolded last night. The wrinkles will finish falling out today. The flange on the tartan shams didn’t miraculously fix itself while in storage in the closet over the summer, but I think I may finally have a solution–and it’s been right under my nose all along!

Tartan Bedding, Changing from Summer to Autumn


Last night when I was just finishing making up the bed with the tartan linens, I noticed this opening across the top of the tartan sham case. What is this?! Then a light bulb went off! How have I not ever noticed this before?!?! Oh My Gosh–I think that’s an opening where you’re supposed to put something inside to help the flange stand up! That opening/pocket runs the entire length of the top of the flange. I wish I still had the original packaging–wonder if it mentioned anything about that top pocket across the top?

How to Fix Limp Flange on Pillow Sham


Last night I was thinking about what I could put inside that long pocket to make the flange stand up, but not look completely unnatural. I ended up ordering this foam stuff that’s 1/4 inch thick. It will arrive on Tuesday.


I know it looks a lot thicker in the photo, but it’s supposed to only be 1/4 inch thick. Once it arrives, I’ll cut a strip from the roll and try it in the pocket across the top to see how it looks. Last night, just for fun, I put a longish piece of cardboard in the pocket. It was too thin and the flange fell right over, but it does appear the pocket runs the full length across the top. Hopefully, the foam will work a lot better, especially since it will be a lot longer than the cardboard I experimented with last night. (Foam is available here: Foam Roll.)



Have you ever purchased shams with a pocket across the top? Does everyone know about that pocket except me? lol How have I not ever noticed it before?! I feel like such a dummy that in all my time trying to think of a fix, I never noticed that long pocket! I could have fixed the floppy flange issue a lot sooner!

I hope the foam will help, but I don’t want it standing at attention like a soldier. If the foam makes it too stiff, I’ll have to think of something else. I don’t want to use stuffing because I want a nice clean, straight edge, but again, don’t want it to be ridiculously stiff. I’ll let you know if the foam works–I’ll share a photo either way so you can see how it looks with a strip of foam inside the pocket.


Would love to hear your thoughts and if you’ve ever bought shams with a pocket like this across the top. If so, what did you place inside the pocket? (Tartan Bedding is available here: Tartan Bedding.)

Cozy Bed with Flannel Sheets, Tartan Bedding


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  1. Thanks again for hosting this lovely party every week! I know how much time and effort goes into doing so and I want you to know that it is greatly appreciated!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!

  2. Love your plaid flannel bedding, Susan. Thanks so much for hosting. Have a great week.

  3. Thanks for hosting every week!

  4. I have always loved your tartan bedding. What a clever find on the shams!
    The foam should give the look you want, although it may be hard to slide in. Another alternative may be quilting batting.
    Does your bedskirt attach with velcro?
    Thanks for the great “who knew” reveal.

  5. If the foam doesn’t work, I’m wondering if a strip of quilting batting would work? It comes in lots of different weights but would not be as stiff as foam.

    Good luck!

    • Thanks for that suggestion, I will look for that! I wonder if they sell it on Amazon…will have to check. Try to avoid Atlanta traffic as much as possible. lol Thanks, Cathy!

  6. Have you tried checking a fabric store or upholsterer, taking in your pillow sham and asking their idea? There is some kind of stiffer mesh liner type material I’ve seen but I don’t know what it is called. Seems like the issue will be that the seam between the body and flange might still cause it to flop no matter what is inside. Ideally something ironed onto the fabric inside the flange, might work best and be most natural looking. But I hope the foam works!!

    • No, but I had thought about taking it to someone in the past. Now that I know there’s a pocket along the top, hopefully, I won’t need to do that, can try tucking something inside the pocket. Several folks have suggested Quilting Batting, so I think I’ll look for that online today.
      Thanks, Toni!

  7. Claire S Hallman says

    That is not why the pocket is there however it might solve your problem. The ideal solution would be to take out the stitching forming the flange, line the front of the sham with quilt batting or upholstery batting [can’t remember the correct term] then re-sew the stitching that forms the flange. You need a seamstress to help you out, sorry I am too far away to help.

  8. I have always loved my Tartan bedding, but now that you have mentioned it, the shams do seem floppy! I’ll put it on our bed this week! Your bed skirt is gorgeous and one was not available when I purchased the same tartan bedding. Did they ever offer this item?

    • Thanks, Gina! No, they never offered a bedskirt, not sure why. I always have to have one made since they are usually too short for my bed, so I had this one made back when I purchased the bedding. It’s made from 6-7 of their tartan tablecloths. The tablecloths are made from the exact same fabric as the bedding so those worked great for the bedskirt.

  9. Sandra D in Joliet says

    I’m not sure what the pocket is for but I did a bit of searching on my favorite site YouTube and found a man that shows you how to fix the flab of flabby flanges. No stuffing required. I’m leery about opening links but will share it with you. Or look up “How to get your floppy pillow sham flanges to set up straight” by VeroLinens. How to get your floppy pillow sham flanges to set up straight. If I find anything else I post another comment

    • Yup, I think I know the video you’re talking about, but unfortunately, it won’t help with this flange because the pillow is already super full/overstuff and the sham still flops. The pillow inside is pushed as high as it will go, so shaking it further down as he does in the video, doesn’t work. I think that probably works for regular shams but this linen/cotton fabric is super heavy/thick, so it won’t help this flange. But thanks for finding that Sandra. I wish it would work. It’s funny, I don’t have this issue with my summer bedding shams, probably because the flange is ruffled so it stands up nicely.

  10. Oh my gosh…THANK YOU ! I am forever fussing with my shams and thinking how can I make them stand up??? You solved it !

  11. I’m glad you found a solution to the shams that have been interrupting your enjoyment of your holiday bedding! Thanks Susan~

  12. I always thought a bedspread or blanket went inside them.

  13. This reminds me of the little pocket for stays on a men’s dress shirt. Interesting! I hope it works.

  14. Oh, the floppy sham flange! I’ve had this same problem with shams I’ve purchased, as well as some I’ve sewn myself.

    Interfacing works best–it is either sewn in or ironed onto the fabric (“fusible interfacing”) during construction of, and is designed to stiffen/add body to fabrics. For example, it is sometimes used in collars or lapels. It comes in various weights/stiffnesses.

    I’ve also resorted to ironing the flange with a heavy spray starch–somewhat effective, depending on the fabric–works best on lighter weight.

    Unfortunately, interfacing is not a practical technique for a finished sham. Hope your clever solution does the trick!

  15. Susan, your attention to detail is seriously impressive. I wish had 1/16th of what you have. It’s your superpower.


  16. Snowflake281 says

    I’ve always loved your fall/winter tartan bedding ensamble. Would flexible plastic be too stiff, like what is used for wide pocket curtains? I have an old package made by Weslin brand called Convert-A-Rod & it came in a roll. It measures 2-1/2” wide by 10’ long. It seems easy enough to even cut to your desired width. Or maybe you could wrap the batting around it to facilitate sliding it into the slot. Good luck with whatever you end up with!

  17. The quilt batting sounds like a viable option, but I have inserted fusible interfacing in several shams, ironed the flange, & voila!, no more floppy flange.

  18. Have you thought about stuffing them with tissue paper? I remember in the 80’s when window valances were popular and we would stuff them with tissue paper to poof them out.

  19. When I make custom pillow shams, I line the front with batting to help the flange stay up. The pocket is just a result of the construction, not meant to be stuffed.

  20. Use very stiff interfacing. It is sold in fabric stores. Will work like a charm. If ten used it when making costumes for our Thanksgiving Parade here in Michigan. It is sold by the yard. Get the heaviest weight. Should slip into the sham channel easily. Much cheaper than foam. Foam won’t look right.

  21. It is quite the blustery day here, so that last photo made me want to just jump in and hide under the covers! Curious to find out what exactly that pocket is for, if not what you are thinking.

  22. Would horsehair braid work? It’s thin and stiff and maybe easy to insert. I have some that I may pull out and test it.

  23. Yanno, floppy flanges never made it onto my list of problems. *L*

  24. I can’t wait to see if this works! I have many different shams from Pottery Barn that I was disappointed with because of the floppy-ness (is that a word)?
    I even opted to not use three Euro-shams on my master bed because they drove me crazy every time I looked at them! I checked several of my shams and they have that “pocket” that you showed in your pictures too. Sure hope the foams works!

    • I’ll let you know, Johnelle. It would be awesome if it did work. Otherwise, I may need to find really stiff interfacing based on some of the suggestions in the comments.

  25. franki Parde says

    Hmmmm….I didn’t order shams when I got my tartan. There are times, though, when I stuff batting, etc. in the corners of pillows to give them extra “umph.” Good luck!! franki

  26. Just thinking, if the foam is too hard to insert all the way, you might lay a wooden yardstick (or stiff wire) on the foam, overlap the end a little and secure with tape, then carefully push the foam in with the yardstick, then remove it. Good luck!

  27. If the foam doesn’t give you the look you want try something else . Peltex might give a crisp look. That room is beautiful dressed for any season. Quite lovely.

  28. Well now Susan, you have my interest peaked! I never knew of this channel either and I’m anxious to check out my shams. I doubt mine have it because they are cheap, but I’m going to look anyway. lol I’m glad you found this pocket and I hope the foam works well! It is blustery and cold last night and today here in PA and your bedding would so snuggly right about now. lol Hugs, Brenda

  29. Debrah England says

    The first thing that popped into my mind was “POOL NOODLES”! the skinny ones would work if you cut a strip the size you need and they would be stiff enough to just slide thru. easy and cheap too. Good luck

  30. I’ve used white sheet tissue paper crumpled up to add volume to balloon curtain valances. I would think you could do the same with your pillow shams since they’re most likely decorative . Good Luck and will check out my shams now for hidden pockets.. lol

    Thanks for all your shopping suggestions. I value your recommendations and often buy!

    Happy Fall!
    Diane Ropp

  31. I always love seeing your Tartan bedding! It looks so beautiful on your bed.
    Floppy flange on pillow shams has always been a pet peeve of mine. I have some shams from Pottery Barn that are cotton and they have never stood up properly. When I read your post, I had to run to check my shams and they have the same opening that yours do! However, not all shams are equal since I checked some others from other places, some pretty high end and sadly they don’t have a way to insert anything.

  32. Hey, did some research and found a youtube posting that addresses the “floppy flange.” Think you want a more substantial solution, but here’s what my research revealed at site below:

    This gentleman thinks he solved the problem for customers, check it out and let us know. Good luck with this, we all want to know what works best.

  33. Hi Susan, Go to Fabric and Fringe on Canton Rd in Marietta. They will have the staves fabric – plus lots of other ideas to fix your shams.

  34. Judith McCoy says

    I’m wondering if florist’s wire might be a fix for your floppy shams. It’s both flexible and stiff. Just a thought!

  35. Joyce Jenkins says

    I sew and have made curtains and drapes. You can buy a small piece of what we use to make flat valances hold their shape. It is called Buckram and JoAnn’s carries it. I think it would be perfect for the pocket in your sham.

    • Joyce, I’ll check for that next time I’m near JoAnn’s. I couldn’t use the foam I purchased, it was too flimsy and the way it felt, I knew it would never slide into the opening.

      • Joyce Jenkins says

        I hope it works it isn’t expensive. And it should slide in easily. If it doesn’t (gets caught on inside of fabric) you can put a plastic bag over it and then pull the bag out after it is in place. I do that when making slip covers for foam cushions.

  36. Cyndi Raines says

    Some great suggestions have come in for this floppy problem. It will be interesting to see what finallyy works.

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