I came up with this ‘sleeping buddy’ cushion idea when my niece was struggling to get to bed in the evenings. I thought that a cushion with a cute personalised pocket for her favourite toy & book would be a welcome incentive to her parents. As far as I’ve been told, it worked; tucking her dolls into their miniature ‘bed’ that she could then cuddle up with, was (apparently) something she looked forward to doing as part of her bedtime routine.
Anyway, I’m no sleep expert – the advice & tips on that stop here. Advice on how to make a sleeping buddy cushion, of course, is available and is as follows…
You will need:
- 60cm of fabric (I used a Laura Ashley one, because, A. they are gorgeous, b. they are a great weight to work with – these are usually 150 cm wide)
- some craft felt (I used one 22×22 cm piece) – how much you need depends on how big the personalised name will be, but 2 or 3 pieces should be plenty
- fabric scissors
- sewing machine
- 40 x 40 cm cushion pad
Approximate time needed: 3 hours
1. Start by cutting out the letters needed for your personalised name. In this tutorial I just did 3 ‘Z’s to represent snoring/sleeping. You can use a computer to print out letters, numbers, etc, to use as a template. I drew my ‘z’s to give a bit of a softer/cartoonish look to the lettering. Pin into place on the felt and cut out with fabric scissors.
2. Putting the lettering aside for the moment, cut your 60cm x 150cm of fabric into 3 pieces so that you have a piece 46 cm wide x 83 cm long (this will be the front), a piece 46 x 46 cm (back) and a piece 46 cm wide x 18 cm long (this will be the strip for the envelope opening).
3. Make the pocketed front: lay out the front piece, right side facing up. About 60cm down from top, fold the fabric back onto itself (right side to right side) with the remaining 24 cm meeting the bottom of the fold. This is the self contained pocket. Pin in place and your front piece should now measure approximately the same as the back piece (46 x46 cm)
4. Hold the pocket in place by popping a pin either side of the top of the pocket fold so that you can then lay the fabric flat enabling you to pin the lettering onto the front of the pocket. Pin letters on through both layers of the pocket and then stitch into place, removing the pins as you sew the letters.
5. For the envelope opening: lay out the front piece (right side facing), then place the strip measuring 46 x 18 cm on top (right side down). Pin and sew with a 1.5 cm seam, then iron the seam flat. Finish the raw edge of the envelope strip by folding down and stitching a 5 cm double hem.
6. Hem the top of the back piece with a 14 cm double hem.
7. Now for the slightly tricky part – you have to get all the layers laid out in the right order before sewing up the sides and bottom, so that when you turn it the right way round you have a perfect envelope cushion. First; lay out back piece, right side facing, then place front piece, right side down on top, with the envelope strip sandwiched in between the back and front pieces. The bottom of the front and bottom pieces should meet, then pin along the sides and bottom before sewing a 1.5 cm seam down one side, along the bottom, and up the other side.
8. Iron the seam open and then turn the cushion the right way round and you should have a rather neat envelope cushion, ready for your child to stash books and toys in!