Simpatico Pillow Tutorial & Baby Pressies

my baby sister is about to have her first baby any day now and for her baby shower pressie i decided to make the baby a duvet cover along with a matching pillow using one of my fave lines of the year "simpatico".  i also made her a boobie pillow.  yes, i call it a boobie pillow...that's what it is so lovingly referred to in our home...lmao.  anyone else call it that?? if not - you should :p  I'm determined to start a new trend.

on point and straws in colorway minty from simpatico by cloud 9 fabrics
i was over the moon when i spotted that the new line "simpatico" from cloud 9 fabrics was being released a few months ago and my sister and i had been anxiously awaiting it's arrival ever since so i could make the baby's bedding.  we knew the colors and print would be perfect for her nursery.  after making the pressies for her i'm now dying to do my own bedding with simpatico.  such a fabulous line of fabrics and oh so soft. cloud 9 fabrics are all organic and i swear this baby is going to be sleeping and eating in style :)  i'm a tad bit envious of it  we used the  prints "straw" and "on point" bedding in colorway minty for the bedding.

pearl bracelet in turquoise from outfoxed by lizzy house
for the duvet cover i simply did a zip closure on one end so she could pull it on and off for easy washing.  i made the booby pillow out of one of my fave prints - pearl bracelet in turquoise from the line "outfoxed" by lizzy house.  i can never have enough pearl bracelet in my house.  love it!  i used the pattern from lotta jansdotter's book "simple sewing for babies" to make the actual booby pillow.  this book is one of my all time faves and i use it constantly for baby gifts. i highly recommend it.

since my sister leans toward very simple and minimal designs for her fabrics the duvet cover was "on point " for the front and "straws" for the backing.  when she said i could surprise her with the pillow i have to admit it was hard for me.  i wanted to go nuts with this fabric and have some fun with it but i had to reign myself in and try to stay true to my taste but also hers as well.  i think i pulled off a happy balance.  it has a pop of fun on the front but it's still clean and simple.  i love it and thought you might all love it too.

i know a lot of you are just learning how to piece things and to customize things for your home and your clothing.  this is a fun little tutorial showing you how to piece your pillow front together based on the size of your pillow.  easy for customization and fun on style.  it's a quick sew and finishes really nicely with a few little touches.


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- (1) piece of fabric (I used quilting cotton but you could use any type of light-med-home dec weight you would like) for the back of pillowcase the size of your pillow form + 1/2" for your seam allowance for your height and width.  My pillow form was 16" x 16" so I cut my back 16 1/2" x 16 1/2".
- (2) pieces of fabric for the outer columns of your front pillow case.  My pillow form was 16" x 16" so I cut my pieces to  6 1/4"W x 16 1/2"H to accommodate for seam allowances.
- (1) piece of fabric for the center column of your front pillow case cut to 5"W x 16 1/2"H
When you front piece is assembled your center strip will measure 4 1/2"W and your two outer strips will measure 6"W.
 - Scissors or rotary cutter/mat
- Co-ordinating thread
- Hand sewing needle
- Pillow form
- *Optional: light to medium weight interfacing if desired.

*How to calculate your measurements for a different sized pillow form:

The formula for calculating your measurements for a different sized pillow case would be to start by  taking your pillow form size which would be "A" and add you seam allowances to it which would be "B" and "C".  So:

A + B + C = D  so for my pillow my calculation was 16" + 1/4" + 1/4" = 16 1/2"  So my D (my overall width) is 16 1/2".

Next decide how wide you would like your finished columns to be keeping in my mind that they  have to equal your calculation for D when sewn.  My columns were to be 2 @ 6"W and 1 @ 4 1/2"W.

Now you have add your seam allowances again for the assembly of your front.  Your wider columns will be called "E", and your seam allowance "F".  To calculate how wide to cut your wider columns.  We would use the following calculation:

E + F= G so mine was 6" + 1/4"= 6 1/4"  This is how wide our outer columns will be.

To calculate our middle column you would simply take your desired finished width and add your seam allowance.  So "H" is your column and "I" & "J" are your seam allowances.

H + I + J = K so mine was 4 1/2" + 1/4" + 1/4" = 5".  I would cut my center column to be 5" wide.

Now let's check our math....

6 1/4" x 6 1/4" + 5" = 17 1/2"

which means once we sew those strips together with 1/4" seam allowances your total width would equal 16 1/2"! Yay! We did it!  You can  now apply this to any pillow form and also play around with it and have some fun.  You could easily add another column or change your widths around.



Cut and prep your fabric pieces.  If you would like a sturdier feel to your pillow & you are using quilting cotton feel free to use a light-medium weight interfacing on your fabrics for the pillow.  If you are using a medium/home dec weight you should be fine.  I used a quilting cotton and did not interface it as it was for bedding and I wanted a very soft drape for mine instead of your normal throw pillow.

Place your center strip right sides facing each other onto one of your side strips with the long edges matched up.  Stitch along your long edge with a 1/4" seam allowance.  *See diagram above.  If you aren't using a serger finish your seam off by either zig zag stitching your seam or trimming with pinking shears.  Press your seam allowance towards the darker color.  Now place the other long edge of your center strip right sides facing each other onto your other side strip lining up your long edges. Stitch along your long edge with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Finish this seam off as well.  Press your seam allowance towards the darker color.

With your pillow front right side facing up edgestitch down the outer long edge of your center strip as close to your seam as possible.  Press for a nice clean finish. *See diagram above.

Now place your front and back pillow pieces together, right sides facing each other.  *See diagram above. Pin around your entire pillow making sure to also mark where to leave yourself a 6"+ opening to put your pillow form in.  Sew along all 4 sides (but not closing your marked opening) with a 1/4" seam allowance.  *See diagram below. Finish off your seam allowances and trim your corners. 

Turn your pillowcase right side out.  Put your pillow form inside your pillow case and hand stitch your opening closed with an invisible stitch.  You're done! Great job!!!

There are lots of options for closures here as well.  You could easily add in a zipper closure if you wanted as well.  I originally intended to have a zipper closure but didn't have the right size left in my stash :(  Luckily my sister's pillow form is easily washable and she can throw the whole pillow in the wash.

HAPPY SEWING! Be sure to add your Simpatico Pillows to our Flickr Group here! I'd love to see what you make!!!  Feel free to email me at if you have any questions.

what's your favorite baby pressie to make?  have any of you made any projects with simpatico?  Aare you a lizzy house addict as well? let's chat ladies! it's monday and i've got sewing on the