Hi! It’s Mandi here! Moving our kiddo into a “big girl bed” is for sure going to be an emotional, and possibly stressful, moment, but I figured I’d really enjoy it a lot more if I could make a few fun pillows to decorate her new bed. We’ll be waiting a few more months to actually make the big move, but I wanted to get a jump start on making pillows, because you know how it goes! Before you know it, the day is here, and ain’t nobody got time to make pillows.
I love the fun and preppy look of pennants, but since our daughter Lucy doesn’t have a favorite team yet, I decided to adorn this pennant pillow with her own name. Classic kiddo decor, I suppose! I was inspired by the California pennant pillow I saw here, and after more digging, discovered that the image was from the home of Christine Schmidt, who also happens to be the designer of my inspiration pillow. It was a collaboration between Christine and Schoolhouse Electric, but all of the pillows are sold out now except the NYC one.
I loved the piping on Christine’s pillow, but since I didn’t want to embroider the entire name, I decided to use a fusible webbing instead. Check out how I stitched it all together in my instructions below!
-1/4 yard dark colored fabric
-1/2 yard coordinating lighter colored fabric (I used a medium-weight twill for both)
-Fusible webbing with a paper back (I used Wonder Under brand)
-Piping (I used one pack of premade piping, but you can make your own too)
-Thread to match the lighter fabric (Ignore the darker colored thread in the photo)
-Polyfill or other batting material
-Scissors (paper and fabric scissors)
-Large piece of paper (I used a piece of wrapping paper)
-Ruler (A long one, like a yardstick or T-square works well)Step One: Cut out the pennant pattern. To do this, you will need a rectangular piece of paper that is 20″ x 12″. Draw a line down the middle of the rectangle to create the point of the pennant. Then connect the end of that line to the two opposite corners to form a triangle (as shown above right). Then cut out the triangular shape.
Step Three: Cut out the fusible webbing. This one roll of fusible webbing has lasted me through a few projects so far, and I still have a lot left! Unroll a section of the webbing, trace around one of your fabric pennant shapes, and cut out the fusible webbing.
Step Four: Draw the name onto the rough side of the fusible webbing. First, use a pencil to draw a margin around the pennant shape (2″ margin on the left and 1″ margin elsewhere). Fill in that space with the name drawn in cursive. After you’re satisfied with how the name is drawn, trace around it with a permanent marker. The finished width of the letters should be no thinner than a 1/4″ wide at any point.
Step Five: Iron the fusible webbing onto a scrap piece of lighter colored fabric, not the pennant that you cut in step two. Make sure the rough side (the side you drew on) is facing the nice side of the fabric, then press with a dry iron set to the wool setting and hold it for about 10 seconds on each spot. Then cut out the letters from the fabric.
Step Six: Take the cut-out letters, peel off the paper backing from the fusible webbing, and position the letters onto the darker fabric. Use a lightly damp press cloth over the positioned letters and press with an iron set to the wool setting for about 10-15 seconds, depending on the thickness of the fabric. Allow the fabric to cool and dry completely before handling.
At this point you may want to embroider or stitch around the edges to prevent the letters from peeling off over time.
Step Seven: Sew the piping to the dark pennant piece that you worked with in step six. When pinning the piping into place, make sure rolled edge is facing in, and that the selvage edge is facing out. Cut little slits into the selvage edge of the corners so the piping can bend nicely. Begin and end the piping at the lower side of the left edge, overlapping them as shown above. Use a zipper foot or a sewing machine foot without a left edge and sew as close as possible to the pipping. Use thread that matches the color of your piping.
Step Eight: Connect the two pennant triangles together. Pin the two pieces together around the edges, making sure the good sides are facing each other. Use the same zipper foot to slowly stitch around the edges, making sure you don’t stitch over top of the piping. Try to follow the lighter colored thread from step seven to get as close to the piping as possible.
Make sure you leave the left edge open enough to fit your hand inside for the next step.
Step Nine: Flip the pillow right-side-out and stuff with batting. You may need to use a pointy object, like scissors, to push the fabric out at the corners. Then push the batting into the corners first and continue to evenly stuff the entire pillow with batting. Close the opening with a blind stitch.
You can see in the image below that the edges of the woven fabric I used will fray a bit over time. I actually love the look of this, but you may not. If you don’t want your fabric to fray, then you can use felt instead of a woven fabric. Embroidering around the edges can also be helpful to keep the fabric from pulling away over time. If you decide to embroider around the edges, you’ll want to do that at the end of step six or seven.
I love how the pennant pillow turned out, and I can’t wait to put it on Lucy’s big girl bed! Actually, I can wait. Let’s wait a little longer. If you don’t have a kid’s bed to decorate, that’s okay too! This pennant pillow would look great sitting on your sofa or chair. Just use your family name or favorite team’s colors instead of Lucy Jo in pink and burgundy. Or you can make your pillow say Lucy Jo in pink and burgundy. It’s totally up to you!
Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson