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