Lately, my girls have been fascinated by clocks so I thought I’d make each of them a cuddly clock pillow with moveable hands to introduce telling time.
- Fabric for the front background, the clock face, clock numbers, and clock hands, and back of the pillow. For the front back ground and back of the pillow (the floral and the polka-dot), you’ll need enough for an 18x18-inch square each. For the clock face (the white twill), you’ll need enough for a 10.5-inch circle. For the numbers and clock hands, you can use scraps.
- A round plate or something else you can use as a template to cut out a 10.5-inch circle.
- Sewing supplies such as a rotary cutter, self-healing cutting mat, scissors (especially small, sharp ones for cutting out your numbers), thread in a contrasting color, a button (I used a covered button), fabric pen or pencil.
- Fabric stiffener for the clock hands (you’ll see why I used this later) – read the directions before use.
- Fusible webbing that’s fusible on both sides, such as Steam-A-Seam and/or Heat-n-Bond. I used Steam-A-Seam for the numbers and Heat-n-Bond for fusing the clock face to the front background fabric. For both the Steam-A-Seam and Heat-n-Bond, make sure you read the directions before use.
- Stuffing for your pillow, such as Poly-Fil fiber filling.
- A template for your numbers, which I made in MS Word using Calibri font (170 pt.)…the resulting height of the numbers is about 1.5 inches and width of the widest numbers is about 1 inch.
- Not pictured: Sewing machine, iron, tear-away stabilizer.
1) Clock face: Trace your plate onto your twill and cut out. Then do the same onto the paper side of the Heat-n-Bond and cut out.
2) Numbers and clock hands: Cut out the numbers from your template
To make a template for the clock hands, in MS Word, go to Insert>>Shapes and find the Block Arrow. Then use your mouse to drag the arrow until it looks like it would be the right size for your clock. The final length for the long hand is 3.25 inches, and 2.5 inches for the short hand.
Trace the numbers in reverse onto one side of your Steam-A-Seam (there are two pieces of paper on Steam-A-Seam. One side will be loosely-stuck to the webbing, and one side will be more stuck to the webbing. Trace on the side that is more stuck. Do the same for the arrows. Note: For the number 1, I did away with the horizontal line across the bottom.
Peel off the un-traced paper and press it onto the wrong side of your fabric with your hands. Then cut out the numbers, cutting through all your layers of paper, webbing and fabric. You’ll wind up with numbers facing the correct way with the fabric up and the webbing in the middle and the traced paper side down.
3) Peel off the paper and press the numbers down onto the twill circle you cut out for the clock face. The numbers should be about 3/4 inch away from the edge. Space them out as evenly as possible, lining up the numbers directly across from each other as a guide.
Fuse the numbers onto the clock face with an iron. You can also top-stitch the numbers, but with Steam-A-Seam, supposedly the seal is permanent so you don’t have to stitch.
Now, fuse the Heat-n-Bond circle to the back of the clock face.
Note: I used Heat-n-Bond for the clock face simply because the Steam-A-Seam came in small sheets while Heat-n-Bond came in bolts and the clock face was too large to use with the Steam-A-Seam. And Heat-n-Bond is more economical. The other difference between the two is that Steam-A-Seam is more permanent, while the Heat-n-Bond I used (Lite) requires stitching it down after fusing.
5) Attach the clock face to the background fabric: Cut an 18x18-inch square of the background fabric (the floral fabric in this case, as mentioned in the materials section above).
Center the clock face onto the background fabric. There should be 3.5 inches from the sides of the square to the circle on all sides. Fuse the clock face to the background fabric with an iron.
Stitch the clock face to the background fabric using a satin stitch on your sewing machine and contrasting thread, plus tear-away stabilizer underneath.
Have your lovely assistant help you tear away the stabilizer.
Ta-Daaaa…we’re getting there!
6) Make the clock hands: You’re going to cut two pieces of fabric per clock hand, fused together by the Steam-A-Seam you traced out already. So fold your fabric and press the Steam-A-Seam with your hands and cut out the arrows. Peel off the paper and using your iron, fuse the two pieces together.
Top-stitch them together with a contrasting thread.
The clock hands will be attached to the pillow by a button, and the hands will rotate around the button’s loop via button holes. So make a button hole at the base of each arrow, a teeny bit shorter than the size of the button. I’m using a 20mm covered button, so I made the button hole about 18mm. This is so the arrows won’t slip off the button, but the length of the button hole will provide some wiggle room for the arrows.
Slit open the button holes with a seam ripper.
The clock hands were a little bit floppy, so I sprayed some fabric stiffener on them and that did the trick. A light layer on top was fine. Follow the directions on the bottle and allow to dry (a few hours was good).
When completely dry, layer the short hand over the long hand, lining up the button holes. Insert the button’s loop into the button holes from the top i.e. you would not push the button itself through the holes.
Using a needle and thread, sew the button on in the middle of the clock face. Sew it very tight, as your kiddos will be twirling the clock hands around and around…you may want to use embroidery floss for more strength.
Almost done!!! Hang in there!
7) Finish it up: While the clock hands were drying, I decided to add my girls’ names to the back of each pillow (I made two pillows at the same time). First, I cut out 18x18-inch squares of the polka-dot fabric. Using the same exact technique as with the numbers, I fused the letters onto the fabric, so their names will be on the center back of the pillow.
After you’ve sewn on the clock hands, pin the front and back together, making sure the clock and the names are both the same direction. Leave about a 6-inch opening at the bottom for turning and stuffing. Sew them together with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.
Turn the pillow right-side out and press the seams. Then stuff the pillow to your desired level of squishiness.
Finally we’re at the end…sew the opening closed, top-stitching along the entire bottom with a 3/8-inch seam allowance.
Maybe now they’ll get what I mean when we’re at the park and I say “Five more minutes and we’re leaving!”
This was originally a guest post on My Four Monkeys.