The “Unicorn” Pillow


Remember all the hullabaloo about which top I should make with the pink ponies silk for K’s birthday? Well, when 11pm rolled around the night before her 10th b-day and the fabric hadn’t even been ironed, I knew that I was in trouble.

And then I remembered that Shelley had left a brilliant comment about embroidering a unicorn horn, an idea with which I became obsessed. She also suggested wings, but that was beyond my mental and embroidery capabilities at the literal 11th hour. So I came up with plan B and foraged for some silver embroidery thread because I knew I was out of gold and went to work.


When I gave her the 14″ x 14″ pillow the next morning, I hinted that a special unicorn was hiding amid the pink ponies and it actually took her a lot longer than I expected to find it. Then again, it was fairly dark in the room. The pillow required all of 15 minutes to sew including embroidering the horn. I broke all manners of sewing rules and didn’t care one whit that the edges weren’t totally straight and didn’t even consider creating French seams. It almost felt sacrilegious to overlock the raw edges of the fine fabric, but I’d say the time saved was well worth the sacrilege. I always make pillow covers with an envelope closure, so K can freely drool on it if she so chooses and freshness is just a washing machine away.


Can you find the unicorn? The most rewarding part is that she LOVES loves loves the pillow. I actually think that making something that she won’t outgrow was the smarter choice here, and the unicorn horn made all the difference in elevating this simple project into a magical one. Thank you, Shelley!! You’re a genius.

And oh, her birthday was awesome — filled with swimming, her favorite restaurant (the xiao long dumplings are to die for) and a sleepover. Ten-years-old!!!! I can’t believe it. I almost forgot! She also got a curling iron for her birthday with strict instructions of never using it on her own, and she loves it even more than the pillow. We’d been using a makeshift wooden spoon + flat iron Macgyvering maneuver to occasionally curl her hair, but it was…not fun. Behold my curls-bedecked tween:

k-curlsP.S. That’s a garage sale dress that a friend gave her a while ago and is not handmade. She was practically hyperventilating from happiness on her birthday. So so sweet.

12 thoughts on “The “Unicorn” Pillow

  1. I knew you would solve this dilemma. And what a great solution! She will never outgrow the pillow and K looks like a million bucks and very happy with her beautiful curls.

  2. Happy birthday!!! 10 is awesome! I hope it was a great celebration! Congrats on the pillow move Sanae! Brilliant McGyvering.

    As for that restaurant link, wow. I must go there! I am Taiwanese! I like xiao long bao! I was not sure that they were Taiwanese or a Hong Kong dish. My little Stella can eat about 11 of them. If I ever go to Seattle, I must go. Anyways, I am glad to hear that another birthday has been successfully celebrated.

    1. Thank you, Max! 10 is so very awesome :-).

      I bet there’s a Din Tai Fung that’s going to open up somewhere close to you if there isn’t one already — they seem to be popping up everywhere! It’s funny how they seem to target malls, but the food is delicious and because they don’t take reservations, the wait is outrageous (we waited two hours!!).

  3. Happy, happy birthday K! 10 is a fabulous age, and the beginning of such much “big”girl stuff to explore:)

    Sanae, you did a beautiful job in ushering K into double digits in style. Love the idea of the room makeover, and the unicorn pillow is clearly the icing on the cake! She looks so grown up in that last photo, with her gifted dress and freshly curled hair. Oh, the fun times that lay before you both!:)

  4. Oh you can’t imagine how happy this makes me!!!!!
    No other words, but gosh, thanks.
    There’s another level of delight in this for me which will only become clear in time, but obviously I’m just ecstatic about having been helpful.

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