When the weather outside is frightful, minky is sooo delightful. Our neck pillows have been a year 'round favorite project since we first posted the pattern two years ago. We've made them in quilting cottons, and flannel, but never in minky. Combining the comfort of the neck pillow with the buttery, silky softness of minky has to be the ultimate gift for the neck.
A big thanks to Minky Delight Fabrics for providing the luxurious minky we used to make our pillows. They have a fantastic selection of minky and great customer service, which really does make the experience a delight. As we looked around their website for options at the time of this posting, we found they had some amazing deals on minky fabric and a coupon code as well. It's a good time to stock up. People who make this pillow usually end up making several more for family and friends who won't let go once they try it out.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Jem Gold 3)
- Walking foot (optional but helpful on minky)
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ½ yard of minky fleece. Since minky usually comes in a 60" width, you can make several pillows with a half yard. We used Minky Animal Fabric – Cheetah , Minky Dynasty Fabric – Aqua/Expresso , and Minky Monkeys Fabric – Pink; all courtesy of Minky Delight Fabrics.
- 2 feet of ¾" to 1" ribbon per pillow; this is a good use for ribbon scraps
NOTE: We tried a black twisted cord for the Monkey Pillow; it turned out fine, but was a bit more difficult to work with.
- One medium bag of polyester fiber fill to stuff pillow
- All-purpose thread
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Hand sewing needle
- Straight pins
- Download and print FOUR copies of our neck pillow pattern.
IMPORTANT: You must print this ONE 8½" x 11" PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid lines.
- Butt the four pattern pieces together to make one bowtie-shaped pattern piece. Do NOT overlap. Tape in place.
- Using your assembled pattern, cut three pieces. Pay attention if your fabric has nap (like minky) or any directional print so everything is oriented correctly.
- You'll see an * on either end of your pattern piece. Once you have your 3 pieces cut, and while they are all still pinned together, cut a small V-shaped clip, about ⅛" in depth and width. This marks the spot where you stop stitching and attach the center of your ribbon handles. While you can use a marking pencil, I found this V-clip easier to spot while sewing.
At Your Sewing Machine
This pillow is essentially a chubby triangle, which is helpful to keep in mind as you are assembling – remember you need three sides to create the correct dimension.
- Pin two of your three pieces of cut fabric right sides together along one side from one V-clip to the opposite V-clip. Using a ⅜"seam allowance, stitch from the precise center point of the V on one side to precisely that point on the opposite side. The other side remains open. Because of the narrow seam allowance and the curves, sew slowly to assure your stitching line is smooth and accurate. Use extra pins when sewing with minky.
- Loop your ribbon to form a handle and pin on center of each V-clip with the loop facing inside.
- Place your third piece into position, matching the curves. Stitch your second seam, again from V-clip to opposite V-clip, to include half of the ribbon as shown below. Backstitch over the ribbon to give it strength.
- Pin your remaining open seam as shown:
- Stitch from one V-clip to about the center of the pillow (again, as you sew over the ribbon be sure to backstitch for strength). Leave open a 3" gap in the seam. This is where you will stuff your pillow with Poly-fil. Then, finish stitching to the opposite V-clip. Be sure to backstitch (back-tack) at both sides of the opening to keep the seam from coming open during the turning and stuffing process.
- Turn your pillow right side out, and stuff the shape until pleasingly plump but not so rock hard that it's uncomfortable.
- Tuck in the seam allowance at the opening and slip stitch closed. When finished, a comfortably stuffed pillow looks about like this:
Other machines suitable for this project include the Elna Sew Fun and the Singer 2259 Tradition.