Clearly I have spent my pregnancy thus far crafting (or being sick) instead of blogging. Good intentions, and all that 😉 But here is the pregnancy pillow tutorial that I promised on FB!
I am now in my third trimester and sleep has started to become elusive. I just can’t get comfortable and I wake up through the night with my joints hurting. This happened last time around with Rowan and I ordered a pricey total body pillow, which I ended up hating and returning. I didn’t want to use part of the body pillow for my head. I also didn’t want to pay $70 for a different kind of pillow that might not work either. So I set out to make something of a giant U shaped pillow – something to support my knees, arms, tummy and back while allowing me to use my own pillow for my head. I made plenty of mistakes along the way, which I have tried to document. Don’t do as I did 😉 First off you will need some supplies. I used:
A really hideous mystery sheet from the linen closet (it was either a Queen or King, I’m not sure)
The stuffing from 4 old pillows (washed and thoroughly dried – after two cycles in my dryer, the insides of the stuffing was still wet on my pillows. You may need to take the stuffing out – pull apart and allow to air dry for a couple of days, so allow time to do so)
Washable marker or something else to mark fabric with
First off I folded my ugly sheet in half (I did it wrong sides facing, but you should do it right sides facing – so you are marking on the back of the fabric). With the assistance of my husband, I piled pillows all around me – just where I wanted support – and he marked where everything stopped and started. For the record, I was totally not still in pj pants at 4:00 p.m. – I would never wear pajamas all day long! Just kidding. Some days I joke that they are my new SAHM work uniform 😀
To come up with the dimensions, we used a pillowcase to wrap around pillows in various widths (one I liked for between my knees, another for hugging with my arms, another for what I thought would do on the side I usually have my back to – just to keep me from rolling over on my back) – after unrolling the pillowcase, we measured it and added an inch or so for seam allowance. We most likely made this part far too complicated and could have just eyeballed it. Either way, here are the dimensions that mine ended up with (I am 5’2″):
After cutting out my shape, I put a few safety pins around the edges so it wouldn’t shift while I was sewing. I sewed around all of the outside edges (except for the side which was on the fold) and down the inside U leaving a 6″ open space to turn inside out and stuff through. I used about a half inch seam allowance. After sewing, I cut out the inner U (this obviously could be done before sewing, but I just felt like the middle staying in there might make the whole thing more stable and easier to sew), and made some little clips around the curves.
Then I laid out my pillowcase fabric and traced the shape of my pillow. I cut out the shape with about an extra half inch for seam allowance. This curtain wasn’t as big as my sheet, so I had to piece it a bit and it was a pain. But hey, I was using what I had!
Note the right side falling off of the fabric – I had to cut that side from the bottom part of the curtain.
Tracing the right “leg” of my pillow on the bottom part of the fabric.
Here I started cutting the pillowcase out, but forgot to leave that extra half inch for seam allowance – I started cutting correctly as soon as I realized, but that bottom corner is a bit wonky. Don’t do as I did!
While I was cutting out and sewing my pillowcase, I threw my pillow into the washer to get rid of my washable marker from our many measurements. You could do this too, unless you didn’t make as big of a mess as we did 🙂
On one side of the pillowcase, you are going to have to cut extra fabric to overlap at some point to create your opening. I have never covered a cushion of any kind before so I made this up as I went. You could probably google a tutorial to get better instructions on how to do this.
Sew around the edges of your pillowcase just as you did for the pillow and turn inside out
Time to stuff your pillow!
After stuffing the pillow as much or as little as you please, you can sew up the edge by hand (or be so lazy that you attempt to sew it up by machine, leaving you with a very sloppy edge and several things knocked off of your sewing table from the maneuverings of a gigantic pillow). Then, with great effort, stuff the finished pillow into the pillowcase. It was seriously hard and for a while I thought it couldn’t be done. Maybe if you have better pillowcase skills than I do, you could do a different kind of opening so this part would be easier.
Now, because your preschooler has been such a good boy to let you sew all morning (kind of uninterrupted) let him try the pillow out first. He will invariably use it upside down. Also, by all means let him put his dirty little boy feet on the pillow where you rest your head 😀 And…yay!!!! You have a brand new pillow!!! I have not woken up once with aching joints since I have been sleeping with it. Total epic pillow win!
I know this wasn’t the clearest set of instructions but if you have any questions feel free to ask and I will try to answer the best I can!