Sitting up takes sooooooo much work. Especially when the alternative is stretching out with the latest news and a super soft bolster pillow to gently prop your head. The third project in our Teen Pretty Pack trio is this extra long, extra soft bolster/neckroll pillow. We used Minky Marshmallow for our center panel trimmed with the beautiful swooping birds of Michael Miller Fabric's Bonnes Amies. I'm sure our model has finished her homework and is just relaxing. At least... I'm pretty sure.
A BIG thanks to our brand new friends and supporters at Minky Delight! They provided the cushy soft, double-sided Minky Marshmallow fabric for all our Teen Pretty Pack projects. If you are looking for "soft, cuddly, melt-in-your-hand fabrics"... this is the place. Thanks, Dan and Lori!
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome DC2011)
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ¾ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for the center panel: we used Minky Marshmallow in Aqua from Minky Delight
- ¾ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for the side panels: we used Bonnes Amies in Marseille Colette by Michael Miller Fabrics
- ¼ yard of 44-45" wide fabric the end panels: we used Bonnes Amies in Marseille Gaston by Michael Miller Fabrics
- ¼ yard of 44-45" wide fabric the end panel flange detail: we used Bonnes Amies in Marseille Picnic by Michael Miller Fabrics
- One large bag of polyester fiber fill
- All purpose thread to match fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Hand sewing needle
- Tape measure
- Straight pins
- From the fabric you are using for the Center Panel (Aqua Minky Marshmallow in our sample), cut ONE 22" wide x 19½" high rectangle
- From the fabric you are using for the Side Panels (Marseille Colette in our sample), cut TWO 6½" wide x 19½" high rectangles.
NOTE: We carefully fussy cut our side panels to showcase a full bird within each side panel. You can adjust your center panel and side panel widths a bit as necessary if you are fussy-cutting to feature a particular design.
- From the fabric you are using for the End Panels (Marseille Gaston in our sample), cut TWO 8" x 8" squares.
NOTE: If you are using a directional print for the end panels (ours was omni-directional), be sure to cut these squares so the direction of the print is parallel either left/right or top/bottom.
- From the fabric you are using for the Flange details (Marseille Picnic in our sample), cut TWO 2" x 19½" strips.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Creating the end caps
- Fold and press one 8" x 8" square in half and then in half again, creating intersecting crease marks.
NOTE: You do not have to press the crease marks with an iron; you can simply fold by hand and finger press.
- Lay the folded square on your work surface so the center point is in the lower left corner of the square. Folded, it is now just 4" x 4".
- Place a see-through ruler or tape measure at the exact center of this lower left corner, and swing the ruler/ tape from the top to the bottom of the square, like a compass or pendulum, measuring and marking a dot at the 3¾" point in three to four spots. You are creating a semi-circle.
- Draw an arc to connect the marks. If you own a large compass, you could also use it to create your 3¾" arc.
- Cut along your drawn line.
- Repeat to fold and cut the remaining 8" x 8" square.
- Unfold both pieces; you'll have two 7½" circles.
- Press the circles flat to remove the creases.
- Using a long straight stitch (a machine basting stitch), sew ½" from the raw edge around one circle and then the other circle. Do not back tack at the beginning or end of your seams.This stitch will be used for gathering.
- Pull the bobbin thread to gather up each circle so it looks like a little bonnet. Be sure to gather evenly around the entire circle.
NOTE: If you are new to gathering, see our tutorial,
Sewing the pillow panels and flange
- With right sides together, pin one of the Side Panels to each 19½" side of the Center Panel,
- Sew together, using a ½" seam allowance. Press both seam allowances toward the Side Panels.
- You now have a Pillow Panel that is 33" wide x 19½" high.
- Fold this panel right sides together lengthwise to create a long tube. Pin together along the 33" edge.
- Sew together, using a ½" seam allowance, leaving a 6-8" opening in the middle of the seam. We'll need the opening later to turn the whole thing right side out. Remember to lock your stitch on both sides of this opening.
- Press the seam allowance open, including at the opening; it should be pressed back at ½" so it is flush with the sewn seam.
- Find the two Flange strips. Fold one strip in half, right sides together, lining up the 2" ends to make a circle. Pin in place.
- Sew the ends together, using a ½" seam allowance, and press this seam open.
- Repeat with the other Flange strip.
- Take one circular flange and fold it in half lengthwise WRONG sides together. Press. You now have a circular flange band that is 1" wide x 18½" around.
NOTE: Okay... I just gotta say that "circular flange band" reminds me of that song "Rubber Band Man." Ha! Now it's stuck in YOUR head too.
- Slip one of the circular flange bands around each end of the pillow tube, lining up the raw edge of the band with the raw edge of the tube, and matching the seam on the band with the seam of the tube. When you have everything aligned and laying flat, pin in place.
- Stitch the flange down with a ¼" seam
Adding the end caps and finishing
- Find your two gathered end cap circles.
- Place one end cap circle inside one end of the pillow tube. What will be the rounded end goes into the tube so the right sides of the end cap's gathered edge will sit against the right side of the pillow tube.
- Pin in place around the entire circle, pulling the thread as needed to gather the circle evenly. Don't be afraid to use plenty of pins.
- You are now going to 'stitch in the round'! This is similar to how set-in sleeves are sewn.
- Place the pinned end of the tube so the raw edge is flipped up a little under the sewing machine foot. This will make it easier to sew around the circle.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, sew around the circle through all the layers: the flange, the side panel, and the circular end panel.
- Repeat to attach the opposite end cap.
NOTE: If you used a directional print for your end panels, you need to be especially careful how you pin your end cap circle in place. Those creases you did way back when (when you cut out the circles) can act as compass points to make sure your print stays straight. We used this technique for our Whimsy Neckroll project.
- Turn the pillow right side out through the opening in the pillow tube.
- Stuff the pillow firmly with polyester fiber fill of the filler of your choice.
- Thread a hand sewing needle with matching thread, and slip stitch the opening closed.
Project Concept: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Gregory Dickson