Foot of the Month: Story Time Pillow with Pocket

Make story time special with this bright and cheerful pillow customized with lettering. We used the Foot of the Month, the clear open toe foot,
along with a 2mm twin needle to sew jumbo rick rack trim to the pillow front. On the back there’s a handy pocket, just right for storing a small book. This pillow features a fun font style along with fabric and trim to appeal to little ones, but you could easily change up the look and make it as a gift for an adult who loves to read.

Materials and Supplies

Note: Hoop size will vary depending on custom pillow size and lettering of your choice.
  • Brother
    polyester embroidery threads and bobbin thread for embroidery.
  • SA147
    Brother clear open toe foot.
  • SA5810 Brother medium weight tear-away stabilizer.
    Brother Lettering Software or lettering from built-in fonts.
  • 2mm twin needle for stitching trim. Note: This needle is included with many Brother machines.
  • Embroidery needle for embroidering.
  • Basic sewing notions, including two spools of good quality thread for sewing, erasable marker, and a ruler for marking lines on pillow front.
  • Fabric for pillow front, pillow back, and pillow pocket. Use one solid color, or a mix of solid fabric with a coordinating print. See formula for cutting appropriately sized pieces for custom sized pillow in step one.
  • Fusible craft fleece for backing pillow front.
  • Jumbo rick rack trim.
  • Pillow form to match pillow size, or fiberfill for stuffing pillow.
  • Small Book for back pocket on pillow.

Instructions for Creating Pillow

  1. To determine finished size, begin by measuring your book and then plan to make pillow so it’s approximately six inches larger than height and width of book. This makes it easy to insert book in pillow pocket. Cut pillow front and back equal in size, adding 1-inch for seam allowance. Cut width of pillow pocket to match pillow front-piece and cut length twice the height of finished pillow minus 4-inches. See example in Figure #1 for a pillow finishing at 15-inches square, and then cut your own custom sized pillow pieces using this example as a guide.
  1. Fuse fleece to wrong side of pillow front. Set up machine for embroidery. Hoop pillow front with tear-away stabilizer layered against the wrong side and embroider built-in lettering or lettering from software in center of pillow front. This example features large sized lettering from BES 4 Dream Edition Software with Power Pack Add-on. Font style is "Granny O." See Figure #2a and Figure #2b.
[caption id="attachment_18418" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #2a[/caption] [caption id="attachment_18421" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #2b[/caption]
  1. Remove excess stabilizer and press pillow front. Use ruler and erasable marker to mark evenly spaced lines for trim around lettering. See enhanced photo in Figure #3.
[caption id="attachment_18422" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #3[/caption]
  1. Follow instructions in your manual to set up machine for sewing with the twin needle. Attach the clear open-toe foot. Select a center needle straight stitch or a serpentine stitch for sewing trim. See example of stitch setting below:
Tip: If your machine has an icon for twin needle sewing be sure to select it prior to choosing your stitch, otherwise you’ll need to be sure the width is properly set to avoid having the needle hit the throat plate. Start with the needle in the up position and then slowly turn the handwheel to make sure the needle clears the throat plate on both the right and left side before stitching.
  1. Gather trim and pillow pieces to finish pillow. See Figure #4.
[caption id="attachment_18423" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #4[/caption]
  1. Sew down the center of rick rack using placement lines as a guide, framing embroidery with the trim. See Figure #5.
[caption id="attachment_18420" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #5[/caption]
  1. Finish pillow by layering it as follows: Place pillow front right side up. Next, place the pocket piece on top, with folded edge facing top of pillow, and remaining raw edges even with bottom and side edges. Finish by layering back piece on top with right sides matching. See layered pieces in Figure #6.
[caption id="attachment_18424" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #6[/caption] Sew sides and top edge of pillow using a ½-inch seam allowance. Trim corners, turn right side out, and stuff pillow with fiberfill or pillow form. Close bottom opening with small hand stitches. You are finished! Enjoy!

Options and Ideas:

  • Customize the pillow front by adding a name.
  • If you prefer a smaller pillow, be sure to shop for a small book and create a pillow sized accordingly.
  • Create pocket for pillow front, adding desired embroidery and personalization. Add a zipper or overlap closure to the pillow back. Use a removeable pillow form in place of stuffing.