Milestones of Youth – A Tooth Pillow

There are certain privileges that come with various milestones in one’s life in every household.  In our house, getting your own tooth pillow when you begin to lose your first tooth is one of them.

Different kids are … well, different.  🙂  George began to lose teeth at a younger age than Jack, and at a faster rate.  He has had a tooth pillow for quite a while.  When Jack’s first two teeth were loose, it was at a time when getting out the sewing machine and fabrics was either logistically a nightmare or just too much chaos for what I could handle.  He had to use his brother’s tooth pillow.  Recently, though, he finally got another loose tooth.  His own tooth pillow took priority.  I knew it needed to be done before the tooth fell out and time was ticking.

I gathered up various fleece material.  (Not the thick kind, but ones you would use while making a quilt.)  Also collected were trims, a cutting board, rotary cutter, threads of various colors, and pins.

Tooth Pillow Materials

After careful selection, Jack decided on the material with the hummers.  If it was up to him, the pillow would have been nearly 10″ by 10″ in order to get all the trucks on there.  I was afraid the tooth fairy would never find the tooth in such a large pillow, so I restricted it to the same size as George’s. (The pillow on the left belong’s to George.)

Unlike his older brother, Jack decided he did not want various colors of thread sewn around the pillow, nor trim added.  To each his own.

The front and back fabrics were measured out to 6″ and cut.  Well, they were cut once I overcame Hurdle #1 in this adventure – my rotary cutter fell to pieces.  Seems the screw and nut that holds the blade on was missing.  Thankfully Jack has a bucket full of various nuts, bolts and washers.  It is not fancy, but it worked great.

Tooth Pillow Sewing Troubles

The pocket on this particular pillow had a picture Jack wanted to be shown as much as possible.  This determined the height of the pocket.  I cut it to 6″ wide and added extra fabric at the top an bottom.

Once all pieces were cut, they were ironed.  This was especially necessary for the pocket, as I was able to iron the edges over at the point where I wanted them sewn.

Going to the machine, I used a zigzag stick to edge the pocket on top and bottom in the pre-chosen favorite color of thread.  However, here was where I created a problem that later became Hurdle #2 – I forgot to edge the bottom of the pocket while also sewing it to the front fabric.  I was so into the project (i.e. the kids were starting to get restless and I needed to finish) that I did not notice till later.

After edging the pocket, I ironed it again to help the fabric and thread lay flat.

The front fabric piece was laid flat on the ironing board, the pocket face was aligned on it where I wanted it to be, and the back piece was placed (wrong side up) on top of them.  All three layers were pinned together.

At the machine, I used black thread to sew a straight line around 3.5 edges.  The remaining half edge was left open to turn the pillow right side out, as well as add stuffing later.  Once turning it right side out (think of how you turn your socks right side out after washing them) I realized my mistake.

Tooth Pillow OOPS

Yup, not really good as a tooth pillow.  Hurdle #2 – how do I fix this without undoing all the sewing I just did?  Answer – use a quilting needle to make small stitches with black thread along the red zigzag stitch I had previously sewn.  My hope was that would blend into the fabric colors and not show up.  I used a quilting needle as it is much smaller than a regular needle, meaning I could make smaller stitches.  I placed my hand inside the pillow to make sure I did not sew the pocket to the back fabric by accident.  I did not need to create more problems for myself at this point. (center picture below)

Once the bottom hem of the pocket was fixed, I filled the pillow with batting and sewed the remaining edge closed. (left and center pictures below)  Instead of using a whip stitch, I did something else, though I am not sure what it is called.  I have had trouble with whip stitches leaving bumps, something I wanted to avoid.

Tooth Pillow finishing touches

In all I was happy with how it turned out.  Jack was thrilled to have his own pillow.  And the timing?  Perfect.  A few days later this pillow got to make its maiden debut.  Seems the tooth fairy found it just fine.

Sorry for the lack of pictures as to all the steps in this process.  I was determined to get this done before Jack’s tooth fell out, yet the kids decided that since mom was preoccupied they could amp up the chaos of the house.  This meant I was focused more on getting done than I was on taking pictures.

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