Pillow Mattress – My first big sewing project

| Crafts & DIY, For the Home, My Life

Cozy flannel pillow bed

Cozy flannel pillow bed

About a year ago or so I created a bucket list of things I’d like to try my hand at.  Nothing crazy or wild, just things I’d like to attempt to learn.  I’d actually forgotten about the list until I had some computer problems and saw it in my files when my computer was upgraded.  I was amazed that when I looked at the list now, I actually had checked off quite a few things in a year including knitting, crocheting and playing tennis.  One thing that was still on the list was sewing.

For Christmas this year I was generously gifted the money to buy a sewing machine which I ordered on boxing day and it came a week later.  When it arrived I took it out of the box and put it in the corner of my office where it sat until just a couple of weeks ago.  I have to be honest – sewing scared me half to death – I know, are you serious!  I’m not really sure why I was so intimidated but I was.  So one day after a serious spring cleaning in my office I noticed that poor, sad little machine in the corner and decided to dust it off and see if I could get it working.

My first attempt at sewing was a heat/rice bag for my daughter; guess what – it turned out pretty well and wasn’t that scary after all. Then I made two more, which were each quite an improvement on my daughter’s heat bag. Once I started feeling a little more confident I did some hemming and made a skirt and matching head band for Noelle.

So here’s a really cool project I made yesterday – a pillow bed (or mattress, whichever you prefer).  I took Noelle to the store and she got to chose her own fabric.  We picked flannel material so that the bed would be extra cozy.  Noelle helped with everything including the washing, measuring, cutting, pinning and testing of course.  I didn’t use a pattern but followed the instructions from this great posting: http://mplainsmall.hubpages.com/hub/Pillow-Pallets

Overall, I’m thrilled with the results and the only thing I have left to do (which wasn’t in the instructions but I think would like nicer) is to add Velcro to each pillow opening just to tidy it up.  I had a little extra material left over so I concluded the project by making a little stuffed owl toy that was cute but ended up taking longer to make then that pillow bed did – oh well, you live you learn!


10 Comments on Pillow Mattress – My first big sewing project

  1. Jen P
    March 31, 2013 at 8:02 PM (8 years ago)

    You did a fabulous job! Love the pattern! I also pinned this quite a while ago and forgot about it until I came across yours! You’ve totally inspired me to make this… although I too am scared to sew as well! Perhaps I should also start with a cool rice bag… do you have a tutorial on those? Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Jamey
      March 31, 2013 at 8:53 PM (8 years ago)

      Oh thanks so much. I think the best thing about being scared, is that when you actually make an attempt, and succeed (with varying degrees of success) the result seems a little more sweeter and fulfilling. Just give it a try and it will work out one way or another. Thanks for the idea to do a rice bag tutorial – that’s probably something I can do pretty easily. Stay tuned!
      ~ Jamey

  2. Char
    November 29, 2014 at 8:04 AM (6 years ago)

    The hub page link wasn’t available. Is there anywhere
    else that I can find the pattern? Thanks.

    • Jamey
      November 29, 2014 at 8:13 AM (6 years ago)

      Sorry, I’ll be reposting this post soon with all the proper instructions and new photos. Here are the instructions:

      ∞∞Basic Machine-Sewing Tool Kit
      ∞∞2¼ yards (2 m) of pattern 1 flannel
      ∞∞2¼ yards (2 m) of pattern 2flannel
      ∞∞4 standard-sized pillows
      Finished Dimensions: 33 x 73 inches (83.8 x 185.4 cm)
      Seam Allowance: ½ inch (1.3 cm)

      1 Using a rotary cutter, quilter’s ruler, and a cutting mat, cut the yardage of both flannels to measure 34½ x 33 inches (87.6 x 83.8 cm).
      2 Pin the flannel pieces with right sides together. Machine-stitch one short side, one long side, and the other short side, removing pins as you go. Trim the stitched corners with scissors and turn right side out.
      3 Make a ½-inch (1.3 cm) double-fold hem along theentire open raw edge.
      4 Use a water-soluble marker to mark a line 18 inches (45.7 cm) down from the top seam (one of the short sides). Make two more lines below it, 18 inches (45.7 cm) apart. Stitch along each line to make four pillow pockets.
      5 Insert pillows, fluff and enjoy!

      • Mary
        November 29, 2015 at 10:50 AM (5 years ago)

        Did u study sewing at all before trying anything out? Ive been wanting to sew for the longest time but never did so…

        • Jamey
          January 25, 2016 at 11:13 AM (5 years ago)

          Hi Mary. No, I had absolutely no experience before I started sewing. Instead, I watched a number of YouTube tutorials and took a basic sewing class from Craftsy. Don’t be afraid, it’s not as hard as it looks.
          ~ Jamey

  3. Mary Simpson
    September 10, 2015 at 7:02 AM (6 years ago)

    This looks like it would be a great bed pillow, I use two or three and have to chase them down during the night, so I am going to give it a try.

  4. Kim
    June 19, 2016 at 1:07 PM (5 years ago)

    I love your post and tried the link that you gave but it says it doesn’t exist. Do you by any chance still have the instructions? I was looking for measurements for the fabric.

    I have a niece that has asked for one and was looking for a little better sight line than my winging it for her.

    Thanks for your time.

    I love the flannels too. Much better idea than plain cotton fabric.

  5. Lee Ann
    April 3, 2017 at 8:59 AM (4 years ago)

    I made one of these for my granddaughter. I used flannel on one side and regular material on the other side. She really liked it.
    I am now making 2 more for my other granddaughters. They are great for sleep overs and to lay on the floor to watch tv.
    Thank you

  6. Pat
    January 9, 2020 at 3:05 PM (1 year ago)

    I wonder if you could do this using 4 pillowcases sewn together. Would go a lot faster and maybe cheaper to make.


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