FREE Pattern – Hidden Pocket Pillow

Dorm Pillow Originally this project was titled “Dorm Pillow” – and I think you know why when you look at the picture.  A pillow large enough to lounge against while reading, or throw on the floor for watching TV and made with collge prints?  It must be for a college student – right?

But, it gets even better.  This pillow has two ‘hidden’ pockets that blend right into the design – just the right size for an MP3 player, a cell phone, a few pens or the chocolate bar you’re hiding from your roommate.  (However, I do suggest that you not forget the chocolate bar – it would be messy to clean up if it melted.)  They may be difficult to see in the picture on the right – so check out the closeup pictures below.   If you are planning on making this pillow, I suggest downloading the pattern and having it printed out for notes while you read the rest of the blog – go ahead, I’ll wait while you print it.  Hidden Pocket Dorm Pillow

As you can see, the pockets are discrete when you view the 30″ pillow – but large enough to be functional up close.  Once I finished this, I could easily see how other people might enjoy this pillow.   A small toy could be tucked inside for someone taking care of a new baby, and grads aren’t the only ones who sometimes need to lounge against a pillow but still have a pen or pencil close at hand – what about your favorite crossword enthusiast?  I thought about using the pockets for sewing tools as well – for someone who likes to do needlework, but I’m afraid that most of the tools would get lost in the pocket and just cause frustration (no one really wants to have to hunt for a missing needle).  If you put your mind to it – I’m sure that there are lots of other people who could use a pillow like this, and the pattern is easily adaptable to a variety of fabrics and prints.

Making the pillow is pretty straight-forward, so I’m not going to repeat all the steps in from the pattern here – just download the pattern from the link at the top of the blog.  The only unusual part of the pattern is the pocket, so I’ve provided a closeup picture of how the pocket is formed.  As you can see from the picture above, the pocket is formed by folding the fabric used for the side borders.  This means you don’t have a seam creating the bottom of the pocket (more strength), and you have two layers of fabric forming the front of the pocket (again, for strength).  This is just so that normal use – taking things in and out of the pocket – won’t tear it.

Once you’ve created the folds just sew the border fabric in place as you normally would, and voila! – you have a hidden pocket.   One caution, be careful in folding the fabric of your borders, you want both pockets to be on the same side of the pillow so you can use them both when the pillow is sitting up on that side.
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing
Sheila

Bridal Shower Gift/Activity

April Showers…. generally that means rain to get the ground ready for Spring.  But around my house, it recently meant baby showers.  My daughter was hosting a shower for a friend who was having twins – these were her first children, so of course there were not any ‘leftovers’ in the essentials department (namely onesies and burp cloths).  The expectant mother had asked for those types of items as part of the gifts being brought to greet her little darlings.

So, being inventive, that’s what my daughter and the girls decided to do for the baby shower.  They purchased a bunch of plain onesies, and cloth  diapers to use as burp cloths.  Then (with permission) they raided my stash of small fabric pieces.  Each particpant at the shower was given a blank canvas (onesie or diaper) to work with – and they created appliques to go on their ‘canvas’.  The applique was made using fusible webbing (Wonder Under in this case).

Everyone had lots of fun exploring their creativity, even though many of them had never touched a sewing machine.  Here are some pictures of what they came up with (click the picture to see the larger image).

After the shower, I got to do my part – doing the actual applique stitching on the projects.  So as you can see, this is a shower idea that even a group of non-sewers can do!  (Just make sure you have at least one person willing and able to do the final stitching!)

Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing
Sheila

FREE Pattern – Easter Placemat #2

Well it’s March, spring is coming (or so we are told, but I know that’s hard to believe in some parts of the country), and Easter is just around the corner. You all seemed to enjoy my Easter placemats with the fabric yo-yos so much, that I thought you might like a different idea to use this Easter.

Easter often means family, and plenty of young children. And what do young children mean? Messes!
Here are some placemats that the kids will love to use, and that will help you contain the mess. The silverware pocket will be a fun added element for the small ones, who can help to set their own place at the table. You may even continue to use these throughout the spring!

Easter Placemats

Materials (will yield set of four placemats):

  • 2/3 yds – center fabric (bunny print)
  • 1 fat quarter – accent fabric one (green polka dot)
  • 1 fat quarter – accent fabric two (yellow stripe)
  • 1/8 yd – muslin (to make bunny faces)
  • 1/8 yd – green fabric (carrot stems)
  • ¼ yd – orange fabric (carrots)
  • 1 yd – fusible web
  • 1 yd – fabric backing
  • 1 yd – batting
  • Optional: Scrap pink fabric (inside ears), Scrap black fabric (eyes and nose)

As usual with any project where you are uncertain of the fabric contents, wash and dry all of your fabrics before you get started – this will help prevent shrinkage later on.

Construction:

For each of the four placemats you will need, 11”x 13” piece of center fabric (bunny print), 4½” x 13” piece of each of the two accent fabrics (green polka dot and yellow stripe).
These three pieces are sewn together using a ¼” seam allowance, the accent fabrics are on either side of the center fabric.  Note: If you want, you could use a single accent fabric – and sew it on either side of the center fabric.

You will also need to cut two bunny faces, one carrot top, and two carrots for each placemat. Please see the attached pattern for the bunny faces and carrots.  Pattern Link & Placemat Line Drawing

Draw the carrot top and bunny faces onto the paper backing of your fusible webbing, then attach to the appropriate fabric (muslin for bunnies and green for carrot top), before cutting the fabric to size.

For carrots, draw the shape directly onto your orange fabric, and stack two pieces of fabric with right sides together. You will sew the two carrot pieces together all the way around the shape, then cut a slit in the center of one carrot, trim the excess fabric away (leaving 1/8” all the way around), and turn the piece right side out. This will finish the edges of the carrot and make it very slightly 3-D in appearance.

Fuse bunny faces and carrot tops to the placemats, using the instructions for your fusible webbing. Then stitch around each element with black embroidery thread in a decorative blanket stitch. Stitch the carrots onto the placemat backing in the same manner – except for the TOP of the carrot. Leave the top of the carrot open to make this into a pocket for silverware. Note: to complete the look of this, I blanket-stitched that area too, but did not sew through to the back of the placemat – just through the carrot.
You might be tempted to skip the blanket stitch and just sew down the appliqué pieces with your sewing machine – but looking at this picture, you can see how much the blanket stitch really finishes this project off.


Complete the accents for the bunnies with fabric (pink for inside ears and a small bit of black fabric for eyes and nose) or you can embroider these elements on. I used a small bit of fabric paint to add blush to the bunnies’ cheeks. You could use buttons for the eyes and nose if you wanted (and don’t mind a slightly lumpy placemat). Another fun idea would be to add a bow-tie to one bunny, and a bow on the ear of the other (Mr. & Mrs. Bunny). After finishing this project, it occurred to me that a green napkin would make a great carrot top! What other personal touches come to your mind?

spacespace

After you have finished all your appliqué and embellishments, it’s time to finish off the project – with batting, backing and binding. I used the same fabric as the center of my placemat as the binding, but if you wanted to use a coordinating purchased binding that would be fine as well.

How Fun!

How Fun!

Have fun with this, and if you make one, send me a picture – I love showing different ideas for the same project!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing
Sheila