The story of the unicorn pillows

When the free Unicorn Pillow pattern by Rebecca Page first came out, I showed it to my five-year-old daughter. As expected, she was so excited and immediately asked me to make one for her. But I didn’t get the chance to make one until a few weeks ago.

I used fabric scraps – light purple cotton for the body, yellow polka dot cotton for the mane and fringe, purple polyester for the eyelashes and inner ear, and dark purple satin for the horn. I couldn’t decide what to do with the eyelashes and nose at first – this was the step I was most wary about. In the end, I interfaced the polyester to prevent fraying, then used Heat n Bond iron-on adhesive. The eyelashes still frayed a little, and I forgot to wipe off the fabric marker, at the eye area, but Lia loved it and hugged it to sleep that night.

Makes it all worth it

The thing is… she loved it so much she wanted to give all of her classmates a pillow during her birthday celebration at school. And she wanted everyone to stuff their own pillows as well as part of their arts and crafts session.

I had to quickly source the materials for the 16 pillows in one week and coordinate with her teacher. I really liked a pillow someone posted on Facebook so I reached out to her and asked for tips. I copied what she used for the body (white flannel to make it very cuddly) and pastel ombre fabric from Timeless Treasures for the mane.

The inspiration

For the boys I found ombre blue fabric for the mane and removed the horn – so it became a horse.

I used sparkly vinyl for the eyelashes and nose, and used fabric glue to attach.

Slowly coming together

My struggle was that I hate batch sewing. It becomes tedious after the second or third time sewing the exact same thing.

Getting there

Also, since I needed to complete everything quickly, I had to work on it factory-style: one night would be spent just cutting all the pieces, another night would be spent gathering the mane, and so on. The fun in sewing for me is the process from start to finish – when you first cut the fabric, then everything comes together slowly and you end with a finished item. Since I did each step separately, the sense of fulfillment was much delayed. It was not the most fun time I had sewing, so I really needed to remember that this was for my daughter.

Lia wanted to help out and did the basting stitch to gather the manes.

My sewing assistant

Afterwards, I packed all the unicorn and horse pillows with each kid’s name on a safety pin, and went to school with her unicorn cupcakes and 3 bags of stuffing.

No eyelashes for the horses at Lia’s request

Lia had a lot of fun teaching her classmates how to stuff the pillows properly. And the kids had a lot of fun and kept asking me if they could bring home the pillows after. One boy had a bit too much fun with the stuffing and grabbed a handful and threw it to the air, pretending it was snow. He wasn’t too happy when the teacher made him pick it up after.

I rushed home after and sewed the bottom shut. There was no time to hand-sew it to hide the stitch but I don’t think the kids minded. They were just happy to get their pillows back.

Yay for Ikea bags

And here is the birthday girl all smiles after school.

Photo from their school app

The best part was that every single one of the kids hugged their pillow when their teacher took the photo before they went home, and a lot of them walked over to Sidney and me to say thank you. Makes it all worth it.

The pattern itself is not difficult to follow although I struggled a bit with the horn on the first one I made. It’s a great scrap buster and would make for quick birthday gifts. I will probably make more someday – just not now.

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