Sewing for Summer Sleepovers

Sewing for Summer Sleepovers
Sewers can add to the excitement of a sleepover event by stitching a reading pocket pillow, a quick to make pillow mattress or two and a fun colorful sleep mask.

Reading pocket pillow - make an envelope pillow cover with a pocket by using three fabric pieces for covering a 14-inch square pillow form. One of the three fabric pieces will be a folded in half to make an outside pocket to hold a story book and perhaps a tiny mini LED key chain flashlight for fun reading when lights are supposedly out.

Envelope-style pillow covers have an opening on the back side that makes it easy to insert a pillow form and easy to take the cover off for laundering. A total of 1/2-yards of fabric will cover a small pillow form with a scrap of coordinating fabric needed for the pillow pocket.

Cut two fabric pieces 14 inches square, one for the front and one for the pocket (cutting the fabric the same size as the pillow allows the fabric to be nicely taut once pillow is inserted). Cut the back of the pillow cover into two pieces 10-inches by 14-inches. Fold under the 10-inch cut edge of each back piece by one inch, press then fold under one inch again. Both back pieces will end up as 8-inches by 14-inches. Stitch the fold so a neat hemmed edge is formed on each back piece. Layer the back pieces so the hemmed edges will overlap each other at the center back, pin together aligning the pieces so the outside dimensions form 14-inches square.

To make the pocket fold one 14-inch square fabric piece in half so right sides face out. To assemble - pin all pieces together sandwich style– back pieces facing up, folded pocket piece on top, finally top piece facing down. Stich around all four sides, trim seams and corners, turn right-sides out through the hemmed center back, press. Insert book and other treasures into the pocket. Great for sleepovers, camping and gift-giving.

Segmented pillow mattress - great for lounging, sleep overs and covering old bed pillows that may have lost some loft. Use four pillows to encase in colorful flannel or cotton prints. Amount of fabric to cover all will depend on size of bed pillows used when placed in a row, long sides to long sides of pillows and width of fabric. Fabric can be salvaged (thrifty!) from old bed sheets (a twin-size flat sheet will do) as well.

Lay fabric right sides down, placing pillows in a row next to each other, fold over fabric to encase all, cut as needed to make a large pocket with enough space for all four pillows plus 2-inches for seam allowances. Remove pillows, turn fabric right sides facing, fold lengthwise then stitch short top and bottom edges and one long side edge. Hem the long opening edge. Turn right-sides facing out, press. Insert one pillow starting at one short end to determine where to mark parallel stitching lines for each additional pillow segment. Remove pillow and stitch each parallel line so the fabric will end up with four pillow compartments. Insert pillows into each pillow pocket.

To make the pillow mattress easy for laundering, add ribbon ties to the centered open end of each pillow pocket, or add an inch or two of adhesive-backed hook and loop pieces to centers of each pillow pocket for closure.

Fun sleep mask - To make the sleep mask, use a length of colorful 5/8-inch fold-over elastic used for headbands and hair ties, a colorful scrap of fabric large enough to cut out front and back for sleep mask (glow-in-the-dark or neon prints are hilarious), and a piece of fusible fleece (or regular fleece or quilt batting) to give mask softness and body. If using fusible fleece, cut off seam allowance of the fusible fleece before applying to wrong side of one sleep mask piece and iron in place; if using a piece of fleece or batting to sew onto the wrong side of one sleep mask fabric piece, stitch to attach fleece all around one sleep mask piece, then trim close to stitching.

Pin length of fold-over elastic to the right side of one of the sleep mask pieces and stitch to both side edges to secure. Lay this piece right side up with elastic showing and cover with the remaining sleep mask piece placing right side down. Stitch all around leaving an opening for turning, Trim seam close to stitching using pinking shears if available, turn, press, and hand stitch opening closed.

Summertime sleepovers are a great childhood experience, allowing kids to socialize in a controlled setting, experience a sense of autonomy away from familiar places, even confidence building – although some hosting adults may find these events best endured with a glass of wine!

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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This content was written by Cheryl Ellex. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.