Monday, November 2, 2015

Emoji Pillow Tutorial with FREE pattern: sewing is optional

Every Wednesday, I get together with the youth/girls from my church and we do activities. This week, they want to make emoji pillows. Fun, right?

They each have a different emoji in mind, which meant I made a few different patterns, one for each girl. We will make an alien, a koala, heart eyes, kissy winky face, and stressed (?) face to name a few. Then tomorrow we will get together, sew them up and stuff them. And the girls will go home with their own plushie emoji pillow. 

Since pillows are easy to make, and fun for all ages, I decided to post the pattern for a simple winky-face emoji pillow here, with a quick tutorial on how to put it together. This would make a fun project for a beginning sewer, or anyone really. 

I might have made a poop emoji pillow that I slipped to my sister's husband to place underneath her pillow sister and I send each other that emoji ALL THE TIME. We might be a little on the immature side. Poop. Giggle giggle. It's a happy pile of poop. Snicker....

The pattern I am posting here for free is the winky-face emoji. It will make a 14-inch diameter soft pillow: the perfect size to sit atop a bed or to accessorize a chair. 
This pattern will print on 6 pages of 8.5 x 11-inch paper

You will need:
  • 1/2 yard yellow fleece
  • yellow all-purpose sewing thread, thread to match felt
  • brown, black, or dark gray felt (I use wool-blend felt) for eyes, eyebrows, and mouth **if you don't want to use felt, you can applique cotton fabric onto the fleece instead using applique adhesive paper and then use zig-zag stitch in matching thread around the border of each appliqued piece. 
  • typical sewing notions: pins, scissors **if you don't own a sewing machine, you can also glue the pillow...that will work too. I'll explain that in the tutorial. 

Download the pattern HERE. 

It will print in 6 pages. Each page has cross-marks in the corners for you to line up and tape together. 

If you prefer the pdf file not be broken up, leave a comment below and I will email you the unbroken pdf file. If you open it in Adobe Acrobat, print it under the option "poster" and it will print it for you on separate pages. 

The pattern has 1/2 inch seam allowance. 

Let's Get Started!

1. Pin your pattern pieces (or trace around them) onto your fabrics as outlined in the pattern. You will cut 2 yellow fleece circles, a left oval eye out of felt, a right "winky" eye, the eyebrows, and the mouth all out of felt as well. 

I used all dark brown felt for my pillow

The nice thing about felt is that since it's a pressed fabric, it won't fray, especially if you use really sharp scissors (I use small embroidery scissors). So you don't need to worry about the "unfinished" edges of the felt. They can stay that way. 

2. Place your facial features onto one of the yellow circles (on the "right" side of the fabric). Align them using the pattern as a guide. You can pin in place, or do like me and use some washable glue stick (shhhh...don't tell your mother) to hold the felt pieces in place once you have them where you like. 

Then with matching thread, edge stitch around each felt piece. Go slow around some of those curves if you need to. The eyebrows can be a bit tricky. 

**NO-SEW Method: Alternatively, get yourself some E6000 glue and with small amounts, glue the felt pieces down on the fleece. You may want to use a toothpick to spread the glue evenly over the felt pieces. 

3. Take your second circle of fleece and place it on top of your first piece (now with the face on it), with right sides of the fabrics together. Pin the fabrics in place. Since fleece can slip easily when sewing, I err on the side of using more pins than less.

Now starting at the top of the head, begin sewing (with 1/2 inch seam allowance) around the curve of the circle, sewing the two fleece fabrics together. When you get back up to the top, make sure you stop and leave about a 3-4 inch gap in which to turn the pillow. 

Before you turn the pillow right-side out through the gap you left, make sure you clip the seam allowance so that the pillow lays nicely. You can do this using pinking shears, or with sharp scissors, by cutting lines perpendicular to your sewn line close to (but not through) the stitches. 
using pinking shears to trim seam allowance

if you don't have pinking shears, you can trim the seam with scissors and then make small slits as shown

**NO-SEW Method: place the fleece circles right sides together as mentioned above, but instead of sewing along the edge, glue the pieces together along the very edge (toothpicks will come in handy here again), leaving 3-4 inches unglued to turn and stuff after the glue has dried. Allow glue to dry. 

4. Turn, iron, and stuff! Through the gap you left un-sewn (or un-glued), turn your pillow right-side out and press it with an iron. Since you are ironing polyester and acrylic material, you DO NOT want the iron to be too hot, or you will melt your materials. Have your iron on the lowest setting, and without steam. Pressing the area where the gap is (with the fabric folded as if it had been sewn) will help you in sewing up the pillow by hand to close it.
I don't trim the seam where the gap is so that I have more fabric there to work with when I hand-sew pillow shut

pressing the fabric after pillow has been turned right-side-out

Using poly-fil stuffing, stuff small wads into the pillow through the hole/gap until you get your desired firmness. Pin the top closed and hand-sew--through the fold you pressed earlier-- (using a ladder stitch looks best, but a whipstich will also get the job done) your opening closed. You are done!! See?! Easy peasy!
Pin the opening closed after stuffing, and hand sew it shut

For those using glue, you would just glue your opening shut. That's right; I said glue it shut!

Using this pattern as a guide, you can make pattern pieces for other emoji's now, too. Surround yourself with emoji pillows. Make your own feelings chart using emoji's. Put a poop emoji in your sister's bed. The sky's the limit!

Have fun making pillows! I think they'd make a fun light-hearted Christmas gift. 

**UPDATE: Here are the other pillows we made: