Tutorial: Reversible Pennie Pillow

One of Sarah Watts' fabrics from her Spring 2016 collection From Porto With Love was a super cute canvas cat panel print called Pennie. Sarah purposely designed the cats for people to be able to cut them out and sew together to make pillows and plushies. The cats are mirror images of each other so that you can use them for the fronts and backs of the pillows, making them reversible!

All you need is some Pennie fabric and a needle and thread! If you have a sewing machine, of course you can use that instead, but this tutorial doesn't require one.


*yardage varies depending on how the print is falling in relation to the cut edge. If you're buying the fabric in person, you can just buy enough to get one repeat of the larger cats, plus a few inches. If you are buying online, buying 1 yard is enough to ensure that you'll get at least one repeat of large cats.


Cut around two large cats about 1/2" outside the dark outlines. Make sure that you cut out mirrored cats (they should be facing different directions).

Place the two Pennies right sides (printed sides) together.

The goal now is to line up the outlines on both pieces. It can be helpful to tape one Pennie to a window...

...then put the other one on top. You'll be able to see through the fabric to align both outlines.

Pin layers together.

Cut a generous arm length of thread and tie a knot at the end. Starting on the bottom edge close to one side, start stitching the two Pennies together right down the middle of the outline.

To make things go a little faster, you can stitch a couple stitches before pulling the needle all the way through. (Of course you can also use a sewing machine for this step.)

Sew all the way around. When you get the bottom, stop about 3-4 inches from where you started and tie off the thread. (An easy way to do this is to stitch an extra stitch, but before pulling it all the way through, pass the needle twice through the thread loop. Then pull tight.)

Now we need to trim some of the seam allowances so that the edges look ok when you turn it right side out. Wherever there is an outer curve (the curve is poking out), cut notches in the outer edge of the fabric. Wherever there is an inner curve (poking in towards the center), snip the seam allowance. For both notching and snipping you want to get close to the stitching, but not super close.

Snip down into the inner corner of each ear.

Trim off the corners around the ears and bottom corners.

Now turn the whole thing right side out through the hole in the bottom.

Fill with stuffing until desired level of plumpness is reached.

Fold the raw edges of the opening to the inside (they should be folding in on their own) and bring the edges together. Using a needle and thread, stitch across the opening close to the folded edges. Sew the whole opening shut and tie off thread.

Admire your finished pillow! This tutorial will work with the smaller cats in the print as well.

(To see the rest of the fabrics in the From Porto With Love collection, click here.)