Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial Hi Friends! Today I am sharing a project that I created for The Sewing Rabbit a few months ago - The pocket pals pillow! We just started collecting Lego mini-figs in my house and have so many that we are running out of places to store them. This is a fun way to store your favorites and have them on display anywhere in your home. It can also be used as a place to tuck them in at night (use common sense when sleeping in an area with small toys). Follow along and my friend and I will show you how to make a pocket pals pillow of your own!

Materials needed:

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

  • 1 Fat Quarter of main fabric for front (Building blocks print via Spoonflower)
  • 1 Fat Quarter of White fabric for front (Kona in solid white)
  • 1 – 3″ x 18″ piece of fabric for pockets (Blue building block print via Spoonflower)
  • 1 – 17″ x 17″ piece of fabric for backing
  • 1 – 16 oz package of poly-fil
  • 1 – 17″ x 17″ piece of Heat N Bond Fusible Fleece
  • Sewing Machine and notions (coordinating thread, straight pins, rotary cutter or scissors, acrylic ruler, fabric pen/pencil)
  • Seam allowances should be 1/4 unless otherwise noted

Additional Cutting Instructions -

White fabric: 1 – 2.5″ x 18″ strip, 2 – 1.5″ x 18″ strips, 3 – 1.5″ x 12″ strips

Building Blocks print: 2 – 4″ x 7.5″ pieces, 2 – 5.5″ x 18″ pieces

 

Step 1: 

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

  • Take your pocket fabric measuring 3″ x 18″ to your iron. Fold over along the long side 1/2″ – iron, fold over another 1/2″ – iron. You will now have a piece measuring 2″ x 18″. At your machine, stitch along the folded part to secure.

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

  • Using your ruler and a marker or fabric pencil draw a line on your fabric every two inches.

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

  • Lay your pocket fabric now measuring 2″ x 18″ on top of a white strip of fabric measuring 2.5″ x 18″, making sure that the extra 1/2″ of white is showing at the top like shown. Pin in place and carefully sew along side each marked line. The goal is to have a space in between the stitches measure about 1/4″. I made a red dotted line showing you where your marked line is and also where you will be cutting in the next step. Make sure to stitch along the ends as well – there will be a total of 9 made, the extra is in case there are any mistakes.

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

  • With your rotary cutter and ruler or scissors cut along your drawn line in between each sewn space. There was enough to create 9 pockets – you will only be using 8 for this pillow.

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

  • Now that your 8 pockets are ready you are going to group them into 2 groups of 4. Take a strip of white fabric measuring 1.5″ x 18″ wide and sew in between the pockets and on the ends. I used a longer strip so I could give myself a little extra room at the top when sewing – trim down once you are finished with your row.  Repeat for the next 4 pockets.

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

  • Your two rows should now look like this, 1.5″ white fabric on the ends and in between the pockets. Take to your iron and iron flat.

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

  • Take a strip of white fabric measuring 1.5″ x 12″ and sew under a row of pockets – take another strip and sew above the pockets for the middle.

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

  • Pin your second row of pockets above that middle white strip making sure to line up your pockets. Add your third and final white strip of fabric to the very top. Trim off the extra fabric from your rectangle. This should now measure roughly 7.5″ x 11″.

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

  • Time to finish up the front of your pillow. Add your main fabric sections measuring 7.5″ x 4″ to the sides of your pocket section – iron seams.

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

  • Now add your final two main fabric sections measuring 5.5″ x 18″ to the top and bottom – iron seams. Square up your pillow front to measure 17″ x 17″ finished.

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

  • When I stuff pillows with poly-fil they tend to look a bit lumpy after a bit. To keep the front of the pillow looking smooth I like to add a layer of fusible fleece. Following directions iron to the back of your pillow front.

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

  • I did a little stitch around the white border, this is optional – you can also quilt the area surrounding the pockets if you like!

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

  • Lay your pillow front facing your backing fabric measuring 17″ x 17 and stitch around the perimeter. Make sure to leave an opening large enough to turn your pillow right side out. Trim your corners before doing so. I also like to give my pillow a nice ironing once I have it turned right side out.

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

  • Stuff with poly-fill, I ended up using almost an entire 16 oz bag.

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

  • Stitch the opening closed – thanks Lego man!

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

Now you have a fun little place for all of your pals to rest, don’t they look cozy?

Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial Modern Handcraft - Pocket Pals Pillow: A Tutorial

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you make one please share it with us here by linking up your projects in the comments, Modern Handcraft's group Flickr page or on Instagram by tagging @modernhandcraft and using #pocketpalspillow.

-Nicole