Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fun and Easy Sewing Idea for Kids - Toy Pillows!

I love to let my kids sew with me, since I really wish I'd learned to sew when I was younger (not that stumbling through YouTube tutorials isn't effective and all, but....). But it's hard to find projects that are easy enough that they can truly do a large part of it themselves.

Last week we decided to make little pillows for the kids' dolls and stuffed animals. I brought down my box of scraps, and my kids sorted through to find what they wanted. My son chose two random flannel prints that totally clashed, but who cares? (That's me not being a control freak. I'm practicing.)

First, make a template out of cardboard. Mine was about 5 inches by 7 inches. Then your child can trace the template on the wrong side of your fabric(s). You'll need two of these. Cut out, or have your kids cut it out, and pin the two sides together if desired, right sides together.

Start on one of the long sides, and sew down the edge until you get about a quarter inch from the bottom. Make sure your needle is stabbed into the fabric (expert sewing terminology, thanks YouTube), and rotate the fabric 90 degrees. Sew down the short side. Repeat the pivot, and sew down the last long side. I let my kids sit on my lap and press the pedal, with my food under theirs for safety. They go when I say go and stop when I say stop. For my younger two (ages 4 & 2), I handle the fabric. My oldest (age 6) is learning to manipulate the fabric herself, with my supervision.

At this point, flip the pillow so it's right side out.

Let your child stuff it with some polyfill.

Then shove the polyfill down a little, tuck your ends in, and sew that last seam nice and close to the edge.

Because this was a project for dolls and stuffed animals, I didn't worry that the whole last seam was visible when none of the others were. Oddly enough, Poley the Polar Bear didn't complain either. But if that kind of thing matters to you, just stitch half the fourth side when you do the other three and then hand stitch it shut, I guess.

Loved this project so much. It literally takes about 5 minutes, and takes such a minimal amount of fabric. My kids loved seeing fabrics that had originally been used to make clothes for them, and using those same fabrics to make matching pillows for their toys. We made some with the cousins too, and this worked for both boys and girls, from ages 2-9. We will definitely be making more of these at our house! My daughter has plans for a matching patchwork quilt, so I guess at some point I'll have to break it to her that I don't know how to sew a doll quilt. But then again, there's always YouTube....

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