If you follow me on instagram, you saw that this project was not only one of my very first, but was also one of my favorite gifts I’ve ever given anyone. There is something so special about putting your heart and soul into a project, and for someone who loves giving gifts, being able to create something so nice with my own two hands was simply magical.

There are a so many different ways to go about this project. I took to Pinterest and found a fairly basic pattern that I liked as a starting point, then added a little extra flavor to make it my own. You can go with a basic approach and come out with a beautiful pillow. However, if you want to put a little extra TLC into the design, you can add piping and a custom embroidery design, like I did, to take your project to the next level.

Fabric and Cutting Instructions:

Main Fabric (A): 1 yd
20″ x 20″ (main front)
20″ x 12.5″ (back envelope, top)
20″ x 10 (back envelope, bottom)

Front Pocket Fabric (B):
20″ x 12″

Accent/Trim Fabric(s) (C): 1 yd
20″ x 13″ (font pocket, inside)
20″ x 16.5″ (back envelope, top)
20″ x 14″ (back envelope, bottom)
4″ x 13″ (handle)

Sew Your MAIN Pocket

  1. Take B – 20″ x 12″ and C – 20″ x 13″, with the wrong sides together, line up the two fabrics at the bottom leaving the 1″ C overhang at the top. Sew a basting stitch with 1/8″ seam allowance around 3 edges of the Fabric B piece, avoiding the top and the 1″ Fabric C overhang.
  2. Fold the C – 1″ overhang in half and press with iron. Then fold again overlapping B by 0.5″ and creating a faux binding. Stitch 1/8″ from the bottom edge of the binding to secure.
  3. Optional: If you are planning to add and embroidery design to your front pocket, now is the time. For a step by step tutorial on Appliqué, see my King of the Grill Apron post.
  4. Finally, place your front pocket piece on top of the main 20″ x 20″ A square. Pin as needed. Sew a continuous, 1/4″ basting stitch, starting from the binding on one side, across the bottom and ending at the binding on the other side.

the handle

  1. Take your 4″ x 13″ fabric piece and fold the fabric in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together. Press to set crease. Unfold revealing the set crease down the middle then fold each side inward 1″.
    • Optional: You can press strips of ShapeFlex inside each fold of your handle to give it a little more “umph.”
  2. Fold the two halves together creating a 1″ x 13″ piece. Press well, then stitch a 1/8″ seam on either side from edge to edge. Backstitch for reinforcement.
  3. Pin handle to the front of the main pocket piece 6″ from each edge of the 20″ square.
    • It may seem odd to attach the handle to the what will soon be the front of your pillow, but don’t worry! It will eventually be inside your seam allowance putting it inside the pillow.
  4. Sew each edge of the handle with 1/4″ seam allowance & backstitch.

Sew your back, envelope pieces

Your envelope pieces will be made in the same way you made the front pocket.

  1. Take your two top pieces (Fabric A and Fabric C), align the bottom edges and sew a 1/4″ seam around the sides and bottom. Leaving the top where the accent color overhangs untouched.
  2. Create a faux binging the same way you did on the front pocket. Fold your overhanging piece in half — press — then in half again and stitch a 1/8″ seam.
  3. Repeat with the bottom envelope pieces. Your overhang will be larger on this piece.
  4. Finally, lay the top piece overlapping the bottom (shown below) and pin where they meet to secure. You should have a 20″ x 20″ square.

Put it all together

  1. Lay the Front of your pillow case face up.
  2. Place your back pieces (pinned) on top of your front piece, right sides together.
  3. Pin generously around all four sides.
  4. Sew a 1/2″ seam allowance around the entire border.
  5. Trim the 4 corners at a 45 degree angle, being carful not to cut too close to your stitches.
  6. Flip your pillow case right-side-out and poke your corners out the best you can.
  7. Fill it with a pillow and YOU’RE DONE! 😀

Who will your reading pillow project be for? 🙂 Let me know in the comments below and post your pillows to instagram, tagging @theparsonspack_diy so I can see what you come up with.
As always, make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss our next project.

Happy sewing!

Inspiration source.

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