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I always say that ANYONE can sew, and that goes for kids, too. This is why I love Sew a Softie, the wonderful recurring event created by Trixi from Coloured Buttons. My children and I participated in Sew a Softie last summer with a pattern and tutorial for a stuffed bone for plush puppies. And this month we’re participating with a hand sewn plush heart pillow with a pocket for love notes!
Let me tell you a bit about why this February version of Sew a Softie is so special. Trixi has teamed up with the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York for a month-long Global Kids Sewing Party. The theme of the event, “kindness and caring,” is perfect for the month with Valentine’s Day, and participants are asked to have local sewing parties to sew a soft hand-sewn item to give to a loved one or member of the community to show kindness and caring. Isn’t that just the nicest theme possible?!
And that’s why my hand sewn plush heart pillow pattern and tutorial is a perfect project for this round of Sew a Softie! The design is easy enough for children to sew by hand (or you can sew it by machine, as I did with the sequin pillow above), the heart shape is great for Valentine’s Day, and the incorporated pocket holds thoughtful messages to express how much you care about the person you are giving it to!
Wouldn’t receiving a love note like this one just make your day?!
Are you ready to make your own hand sewn plush heart pillow with a pocket? Let’s get started!
- Fabric. I recommend that children or beginners who are hand sewing use fleece or felt, which don’t fray and are easy to cut and sew. I used a stretchy velour and faux-sequin fabric in my machine-sewed version.
- Pocket Heart Pillow pattern. (My free patterns are available to all Cucicucicoo Newsletter subscribers. The Newsletter is sent out every two weeks and you can unsubscribe whenever you want. Sign up for the Newsletter here for access to dozens of free downloads, templates and patterns! If you are already subscribed, just look at the bottom of the last Newsletter you received for the link and password.)
- Fabric shears. I loooove these Fiskars tabletop scissors* because they make it easy to cut around patterns.
- Pins. We used these Dritz ballpoint pins* that protect stretchy fabric.
- Embroidery floss. My daughter used 3 strands of DMC 666 embroidery floss*, but use whatever color matches your fabric best.
- Hand needle. We used a Pebbles embroidery needle*.
- Stuffing. This was the first project I stuffed with memory foam stuffing*, which makes for a super squishy pillow.
If you are making your pillow with a sewing machine, you will need matching thread and a machine sewing needle, as well as a hand needle.
Preparing the pattern and fabric:
1. Print out the four pages of the Pocket Heart Pillow pattern file at 100% scale, trim the margins and join them as shown above. (Read this post on how to print and assemble home-printed sewing patterns if you are new to it.)
2. Cut out the pattern pieces, then use them to cut out the fabric. You need one pocket piece and two pillow pieces for each pillow.
As I mentioned before, this project can be sewn by hand or by machine. Let me start with the easier version for beginners.
Hand sewn plush heart pillow:
3. Thread the needle with 3 strands of embroidery floss (or more, if you prefer the more chunky look).
4. Fold the flat edge of the pocket piece 1 cm (3/8″) towards the wrong side and sew across it with a running stitch.
5. Position the two pillow pieces on top of each other, wrong sides facing. Then position the pocket piece, right side up, over those and pin in place. Stick a pin in the center of the sewn edge from step 4 just to help keep the pocket in place. (Shown on left.)
6. Sew around the edges of the heart with a whipstitch (or any other stitch you like), leaving a gap at the top part of the heart. (Shown on right.)
Make sure that you sew through all three layers of fabric when working through the bottom part of the pillow with the pocket.
I suggest leaving a decently large opening to make stuffing the pillow easier.
7. Remove any remaining pins and stuff the pillow firmly through the opening. (Shown on top.)
8. Sew the opening closed in the same way as you sewed before. (Shown on bottom.)
And you’re done! The only thing left to do is to decide who to give your hand sewn plush heart pillow to and write him or her a little note expressing how much you care!
I love the message that Sofia wrote in hers!
I decided to use some fancier fabrics left over from my Sea Snuggler Mermaid Tail Blankets, however they fray, so I couldn’t leave the edges exposed. So I decided to use my sewing machine and keep all edges inside the pillow. Here’s how.
Machine sewn plush heart pillow:
Prepare the pieces as with the hand-sewn version and sew the top of the pocket by machine.
Before you assemble the three layers, position the pocket on top of one pillow piece, both pieces right side up, and baste or zig zag around the outside edges of the pocket piece, close to the edge. (Shown between the two arrows in the top left.)
Position this joined piece on top of the other pillow piece, right sides facing, and pin around the edges. Mark a section of one straight edge with two sets of two pins each. (Shown by the arrows in the top right.)
Sew around the edge of the heart with a 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance, leaving an opening between the two sets of two pins. (Shown by the arrows in the bottom left.) Then trim the edges and notch the curves and corners. (Learn all about clipping and notching in my turn and topstich sewing lesson.)
Turn the pillow right side out and stuff it through the opening. Then hand sew the opening closed with an invisible ladder stitch. (Learn how easy it is to hand sew the ladder stitch here!)
See? Wasn’t that easy? This method leaves very finished edges and is only slightly more complicated than the hand-sewn version.
But either the hand sewn plush heart pillow or the machine sewn one is perfect for giving to someone you care about! Especially when you put a heartfelt message inside!
If you want to share the love of sewing with a child while celebrating kindness, head on over to the Sew a Softie Facebook page for more information, or join the Global Kids Sewing Party Facebook event to share your projects! Tag any photos you share on social media with the hashtags #sewasoftie and #CMACIVICKIDS as all photos will be featured in the Museum’s online exhibition and on the Sew a Softie Instagram page.
If you love creating with children, make sure you check out all the posts in my “Crafts with Kids” section! There are lots of wonderful ideas for bring out the best of your child’s imagination in many creative ways!
Don’t forget to sign up for the Cucicucicoo Newsletter here for access to tons of free creative supplies, including this hand sewn plush heart pillow pattern! The Newsletter is sent out every other week with lots of great ideas and links to a different free sewing pattern every week!
And, of course, make sure you click here to save this fun kid-friendly sewing tutorial on Pinterest!
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4 thoughts on “Hand sewn plush heart pillow with pocket”
Love the little pocket! Makes it so special.
Thanks, Allison! It is really sweet with the pocket and a fun way to hide cute little notes to each other!
These would be great for kids to sew, Lisa. And the pocket is a wonderful way to leave ‘surprise’ notes, whether Valentines Day, or at any time of the year. I’ve showcased your fab tutorial.
My daughter really had fun sewing it! Thanks so much for the feature, Pam!