Get Kids Sewing in a Pinch by Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl Designs

When I was little, I had a favorite blanket and my sister had a favorite pillow. Looking back, I think she had the right idea. While sometimes it was too hot for me to snuggle under my blankie, she was never without her pillow. She used her pillow everywhere, year-round – in the car, snuggling with mom, even a trip to the hospital when she had her tonsils out. Remembering how my sister loved her pillow, I designed the In A Pinch travel-sized pillow. Read on for details and a giveaway.

Here’s the cute travel pillow I made for my nephew. I used a soft brushed cotton novelty print, perfect for long car rides or flights.

Here’s the cute travel pillow I made for my nephew.
I used a soft brushed cotton novelty print, perfect for long car rides or flights.

Perfect First Project
This little pillow project is a great fit for young and new sewists. There’s nothing like accomplishing a quick project that looks awesome to help build confidence and skills. Use anything from novelty prints to elegant designs for the pillow cover, and make/buy a pillow form.

Pretty pillows In A Pinch, LGD133 Fabric is ‘Piper’ by Dear Stella.

Pretty pillows In A Pinch, LGD133 Fabric is ‘Piper’ by Dear Stella.

There’s a little ‘pinch’ detail at the side that gives the pillow shape and a little fun. Here’s a better look at that detail.

In A Pinch8

Buy or Make a Pillow
For this quick project, you can either buy a ready-made travel-sized pillow which is 12″ x 16″, or make one from the instructions included in the pattern.

A basic pillow of this simple construction offers room to build skills and sharpen techniques. This is two rectangle cuts of fabric, stacked, and stitched on all edges, leaving an opening to turn. That’s the easy part, right? A frustrating part can be turning in that open seam allowance so it’s nice and even with the rest of the seam. I have two tricks for you here.

Perfect Seam Closing
First, use a slightly larger seam allowance on the edge with the opening for better control. I used a 1/4″ seam on three sides, and a 1/2″ seam on the edge with the opening.

In A Pinch1

Second, use the Hot Hemmer (item #7806) from my Clover Press Perfect line to fold and press the seam allowance before turning the project right sides out. Fold the seam allowance over the Hemmer and match the edge to the 1/2″ mark, then press. Do this for both pieces of fabric at the opening. Once turned, the seam allowance will be easy to finish by machine or hand.

In A Pinch2

I like to make the pillow form and I don’t put too much stuffing in. I love a pillow with a little give.

Pillow Cover
The next place the Hot Hemmer saves me on this project is the hem on the pillow cover. Fold the fabric over the bottom edge of the Hemmer and match the edge to the size needed, then press. Rather than measuring and marking, here and there, you can tackle the whole hem in one step. The long firm edge of the Hemmer allows you to press a good portion of the project at once, rather than approaching it piecemeal. Press with the Hemmer in place – it can take the heat and steam without getting too hot to touch.

In A Pinch4

That Little Pinch
The pillow has a little pinch at the sides that draws the fabric in around the pillow form for a more elegant option. It’s a simple open ended dart or tuck, and it’s a great way learn about structure and design. This little detail is simple, yet takes the project to a whole new level. Use the Hot Hemmer to measure and mark the pinch, then stitch.

In A Pinch5

The In A Pinch is a great project to share with someone new to sewing. Learn about fabric selection, construction, working with different materials and tools. It’s a very forgiving project, so it will look great whether it’s perfect or not. But it will be loved plenty by the sewist or gifty recipient.

lazy girl   WEB_7806_Hot_Hemmer

Pattern and Hot Hemmer
The In A Pinch pattern is available at local quilt shops, online and at Craftsy. Ask for the Hot Hemmer wherever Clover products are sold or buy it here!

Three lucky winners will win a Hot Hemmer! Here’s how, we want you to tell us how you can use the Hot Hemmer, most helpful tips will win!!!

Hot Hemmer Giveaway

16 thoughts on “Get Kids Sewing in a Pinch by Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl Designs

  1. When I am making purse handles that are really skinny,the hot hemmer really works great and I don’t burn my fingers!

  2. Sometimes I have to press small hems. Since small hems can be tricky to handle, this tool would help me be more accurate for sure.

  3. the hot hemmer would be very useful in turning under all the edges–including the curves corners–for a patch pocket.

  4. Ooooh would be great for doll clothes too! I think it would be great help hemming Jammie’s & dress hems for Grangirlie as well. thanks for chance to win one! Way coooool tool! 🙂

  5. This looks fantastic – I always hate it when I pattern calls for me to turn under a certain amount but this looks like it would solve the problem! x

  6. The only reason my fingers aren’t burnt all the time are Joan’s great products! I love using the hot hemmer for hemming curtains, napkins, and any time I have to make straps – I would love to win another one to share one with my Mom!

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