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  • Writer's pictureLonda

Polar Fleece Pillow Bed – Saga and Solutions

One of those ‘hour long Quickie Projects’, right?  Yep – or so I thought.  Conclusion – perhaps out of a cotton, or a sheet – something that ‘slides’ on itself and is accurate to work with, but NOT with Polar Fleece.  That was more like a 3 hour challenge I am sorry to admit.  Oh well – hopefully sharing my saga in this Blog will save YOU time.

Alas,  dear #1 Grandson (11 years old), loves Pokemon, and the only Pokemon fabric left at JoAnn’s when I went was exactly this 2.5 yard piece of Polar Fleece.  OK – great I think, as he really loves the ‘snuggly warm’ texture of polar fleece, having to have it next to his skin to sleep under instead of conventional sleeping between 2 sheets.  What do I know about proper bedding?  Anyway – so, OK.   It seems long enough for the 5 pillow variety that I wanted to make.  Of course, I had searched Pinterest for instructions, but didn’t find any with the lapped pillow-sham type closure.  I just didn’t like the idea of Velcro or ties on the side to insert the pillows – just didn’t thank that would be secure enough to keep them in, and Velcro is $$$$, so I didn’t like that idea much either.  I make gifts to SAVE $$$.

So – starting off, I folded the fabric, (hate to admit it, but I did it right side out) so that it ‘fit’ the pillow width.  (The $$$ of this project was the pillows – but bought them at Ollie’s here at $2.50 each, so that wasn’t bad.)


After folding it all even – THEN I realized that, durn it, I should have folded it RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER so that I could stitch across both ends for a finished nice look there.   I initially decided on hemming the edge that would end up on top on the back side back 5″, but once it was ALL zig zag stitched and RE-Folded again to stitch the ends, and I inserted a pillow to test it, I realized that then I didn’t have enough OVERLAP of the edges to keep the pillows in well.  At least I can still sit on the floor for 15′ or so  with the Sewer’s Friend (seam ripper) to rip that zig zag stitching the entire 2.5″ length worth OUT to re-do it.  Uggghhhhh.   That done, I finally decided that a 2″ hem on this edge would be better.  WHY didn’t I do this on the selvage side?  Dunno – next time…

Sew….Re-folding now so that the right sides are together (kind of a challenge on polar fleece, determining right and wrong sides), I stitched across the ends. I will admit that by this time I was so befuddled and angry at myself that I ALMOST even marked and stitched the sections for the pillows, but luckily caught myself from THAT ‘Dumb-Dumb’ mistake!  Takes sewing to keep one humble…

So – laying it all out nice and even, THIS is how one of the ends appeared!!!!!  Poochy, ugly, YUCK!  Obviously, I hadn’t had things laying perfectly when I pinned and stitched across that end.  No problem – I’m good at ripping, so I ripped, Petted the entire thing so that it laid (os it layed?  I never learned that well) perfectly, and turned the ends in and topstitched.  More than 1 way to ‘skin the cat’ in sewing – exactly why I LOVE to sew!  Another realization, since I had purchased barely enough (all there was left) fabric to accommodate the length of the 5 pillows’ width, I was eeking it out anyway, so I (in my haste to finish this ‘quick’ project) neglected to straighten the ends.  I know – I don’t quilt!  Precision is NOT my forte!.


Next, it was time to ‘do the math’ to stitch 4 lines across to give me the 5 sections for the pillows.  No marker really showed up on this fabric, so I marked it with pins place vertically.  Smarty pants here then rolled it up so it was EZ to handle at the machine for this stitching, and once all situated and ready to stitch, realized I had put it in opposite of the way I wanted.  It would be hard to use the pins in this direction as markings and pull them out as I went, so I just flipped them to horizontal, with the insertion point being the ‘mark’ to aim for.  Are you laughing yet?  At this point, I finally was as well!


I will add that I secured the stitching with a couple of 1/2″ reinforcement back-stitching at BOTH ends, AND at the point where the fabric laps at the center of the back side, as there will be stress on these points as pillows are inserted and removed for storage.  Finally – DONE!  And without much patting myself on the back for smarts as I did this project, I must admit.

Anyway, I scrounged up all the extra pillows on beds around here to stuff it out to see how it looked and to show it off to my Ggrls’ sewing class students, and this gal volunteered to be the model.  She’s about Cole’s size, a bit taller, so I know he’ll love it – they all sure did!

And…let it be known that Cole is also getting a Sheet SET in Pokemon (purchased at Walmart) for sleeping properly BETWEEN on his real bed.  I’ll add a pic of him on this gift that I’ll take when they are here for the first time at our new TN home at Christmas – please pray their car makes it here and back!  I was a smart Nana and took the pillows with us when we went to their house at Thanksgiving to hide in the attic until they get home with this Pillow Bed, as I knew 5 pillows would NOT fit in their car with everything else these kids think they have to travel with these days.

Sew…..have fun, and learn from my SILLY mistakes, should you decide to ‘whip up’ a polar fleece Pillow Bed!

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