Embroidery Reading Pillow

Article Posted 07 January 2018

Marilyn Parker - Lindylou Kidsworld

Hi there, this is Marilyn Parker from Lindylou Kidsworld.

For this blog, we are going to make a “Story book Reading Pillow”.

This is my interpretation of a Reading Pillow and not at all affiliated with any professional pattern or sewing people or companies.

I am here to show you what I do, and maybe along the way inspire you to make something similar. I set down the basic “recipe” as per me, giving you guidelines. Different measurements or techniques may suit you better, which is more than fine. (This is my prototype).

So, let's begin:

Pick your favourite designs from Children's Library Sentiments. I used three different ones for this project.

I used 5 “fat quarters” to make this cushion cover. I found a piece of Storybook print and used 4 other coordinating prints. I also used a decorative edged zip (a plain one would be fine too) – (Figure 1)

1. Fabric Choices

Cut the large front background piece – 16 ½ x 20 ½ inches.

Cut 2 pieces 16 ½ x 11 inches for the back of the cushion. I used different colours for each piece, but you can use just one even colour if you want.

Cut one piece printed fabric, and one piece lining fabric 7 ¾ x 5 ½ inches for the small front pocket.

Cut one piece printed fabric 10 x 20 inches for the large pocket.

To make the small pocket:

Take the two pieces 7 ¾ x 5 ½ inches and stitch then together through one narrow end, and back stitch through the lining to hold the seam flat. Pin the two pieces together, press so that the seam is flat across the top, and overlock (serge) the three raw sides. Put aside, and move on.

To make the larger pocket:

Take the piece 10 x 20 inches, pin the two short ends together and sew 1 inch in, on both sides. Leaving room to fit the 8 inch zip. Place the zip over the opening and sew in your favourite way. I double stitched the seams to make it is was hardy enough for secret things to be placed in and out of this pocket. Then with right sides together, and embroidery faces the right way so you can read it measure 3 ½ inches up from the zipper line (use this as the top of your pocket) and pin the side seams, stitch and turn the whole thing the right way out, through the zipper opening, and press.

Then place your two pockets on the front piece 16 ½ x 20 ½ inches as per the pictures, pin them on, check that they look ok. (Figures 2, 3, 4) Then double stitch them down on the three sides only, leaving the tops free. Reinforce the top corners, so that they don’t rip with use. Then I sewed wide ric rac around the 3 sides of the small pocket to cover the overlocked seams. (Pic 5)

2. Measurements small pocket
3. Measurements large pocket
4. Pocket measurements finished size
5. Pockets sewn on ric rac attached

The large pocket becomes TWO pockets in one now!

I also made a little pocket for the back – pockets are always handy to put special things in…..the fabric for this measured 13 x 5 ½ inches folded in half lengthways and stitched to the seam line at the bottom of the pillow. (Figure 6)

6. Position pocket on the back

Pillow construction:

Overlock the two inside edges for the back, where the zip is going to be placed. Sew the zip in your favourite way. With right sides facing, place the front over the back and pin together, making sure the centre line where the zip is placed is nicely in the centre of the work. Sew a ½ inch seam all around the pillow and overlock all around the raw edges. Turn it the right way around, and press.

I used a bought cushion insert. It measured 20 inches square. I squished it a bit to fit.

I also made a little soft toy to put in one of the pockets when it isn’t being hugged. The toy is doublesided, using a design from the “Childs Library Sentiments”. It measures 6 x 3 1/2 inches finished. (Figure 7)

7. Doll sewn together

Then, voila, you have your own Storybook Reading Pillow! (Figures 8-14)

8. Doll fits
9. Front side with doll in pocket
10. Front with doll
11. Two pockets on front
12. Doll
13. Back with pocket
14. Doll in zipper

Now, we would LOVE to see what you do with this project. Once you have made one or two (and they are addictive), you can play with the size of the pockets too. The larger you can make it, the larger the story books you can put in the pockets.

PLEASE do share what you make here at Bunnycup Embroidery or at either the new Bunnycup Embroidery Facebook Group or at Lindylou Kidsworld Facebook Page. Looking forward to seeing your version of this theme xx.

Sets used in this article

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Ashlea, I want to say that the aprons I did with both the cupcake applique were great. The girls at the party loved them (9 in all), plus I did one for my grandson (nearly 4) who loves pink and loves making cupcakes. All the designs stitched out beautifully and were very much admired by the parents. In fact one parent went home and bought a set for herself! Thank you for your great designs.
Margaret - , Australia