A friend of mine recently had a baby and she proudly displayed her topponcino on Facebook. Which of course sent a pregnant me scouring the web
trying to figure out what the heck it was!
A Topponcino is basically a security pillow/mattress for newborn babies. It lets you hold them and lay them down or pass them to a family member securely and they stay warm and cozy.
Because we are really trying to keep Finn in his own bed this time around,
I wanted to try it out.
Plus the girls have already asked to hold him and this will keep his head and neck supported too.
Of course, there are no DIY directions to be found online, maybe because they are mainly for montessori schools and the teachers have to order a kit to know how to make them (or no one besides me and my friend are using them LOL)
I did not want to spend $35 on buying on on Etsy if I could DIY it- so I did.
These are the basic instructions I was given.
From this I had to piece together a pattern and how much material I needed.
Materials: cotton batting (1 queen quilt bat will make 4 topponcini)
2 yards of cotton muslin (or other heavy cotton material)
1 yard of 45” muslin, or other soft cotton material, to make the lining (the permanent cover)
1 yard of cotton material for each sham
Pattern, pencil, pins, needle, coordinating thread, sewing machine, rotary cutter & mat.
There are three parts to a Topponcino (the finished size is about 15” x 25”):
The Layered Batting:
Place 5 layers of cotton batting on top of each other. Lay the pattern on top of the batting, pin in place, and cut. Place 4 layers of the muslin on top of each other. Lay the pattern on top of the cotton material, pin in place, and cut. Layer the cotton batting with alternating layers of the muslin (batting, muslin, batting, muslin, etc.), pin together, and whipstitch the edges
The Lining (permanent cover):
Place the pattern on two thicknesses of lining material. Trace (or hand-baste) around edge of pattern through both pieces of material (but not the pattern). Cut the material around the basting or tracing, adding a seam allowance (3/8 to 1/2 inch, or 1/4” if sewing by hand). Sew the two pieces together on the basted stitches, leaving an opening about 5
inches wide at one end. Remove any basting, and turn right side out. Gently roll layered batting lengthwise, slip it into the opening in the end, and adjust to fit snugly and evenly into the lining. Blanket stitch the opening securely. Tack through the entire topponcino in 5 places, by machine or hand (small bows may be used).
For front of sham, place pattern on one thickness of material. Trace stitching line and cutting line from pattern onto fabric (cutting line is 5/8” from stitching line). Cut on cutting line and set aside. For back of sham, place pattern on two thickness of material. Trace stitching and cutting lines around 3/4 the length of the pattern, leaving off one end of the oval. Cut out fabric on cutting line. Separate the 2 pieces. Fold straight edge of each piece under 1/4”, press, and fold under another 2 1/2”, press and stitch across. To put the 3 pieces of the sham together, lay the front piece right side up on a table. With right sides together, lay one piece of the back on top of the front, matching the top curve. On top of this, lay the second piece of the back (also right sides together with the front), this time matching the bottom curve. The two back pieces will overlap about 6”. Pin edges of all 3 layers together. Stitch 5/8”seam. Trim seam and clip curves. Turn right side out. Insert the topponcino. The sham should fit snugly.
Here is how I made it, following the above instructions.
I bought 3 yards 45″ muslin, 2 yards batting (the roll stuff, not the super thick poly that comes in a bag) 1 yard fabric for the sham, which I made today!
I made a rectangle pattern out of newsprint that was 25″ x15″.
Then I matched all 4 corners and rounded them to make the entire thing oblong.
Lay it over 5 layers of batting
(I did a 2 and a 3 layer cut because my scissors would not go through all 5 layers without pulling the material.)
Cut it TO SIZE- don’t add a seam allowance.
Cut 4 layers of muslin also to size.
Then alternate the layers (PATTERN POWER as my 4 year old said)
It seems really thick, until you start to whipstich around the entire thing. Plop down infront of your favorite HGTV show and go to town. If you need to know what a whip stitch is, you can look it up. Basically it is a loop where your needle goes under the loop of thread again.
I tried to take a good picture of it.
PERMANENT COVER/LINING/CASE THING
Using the inside of the topponcino as a new pattern, cut 2 layers of muslin. This time, you WANT a 1/2″ seam allowance. Sew around it (I don’t know if muslin has a right and wrong side, but you are going to turn it inside out, so leave a 8″ gap in the fabric to turn and stuff.
You will also sew closer to the outside of the seam allowance because this is a 3D mattress, so if you sew it the same size as the inner part- the cover you are making won’t fit!
SEE: you will now roll and stuff the inside batting layers into the muslin case.
Don’t forget to sew your opening shut
You will dart 5 places to hold the material all together and keep it from shifting.
This was actually the hardest part for me!
And done…now you need a cover to make it pretty and to keep the baby drool off of it.
I don’t think this is machine washable, I would recommend hand washing and laying flat to dry, like a duvet.
I will blog about the sham next. I did not have a pattern for that one, so I made it up (and am pretty proud of that actually)