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Sewing DO's and DON'Ts - Ola makes a clutch...Part 2

DIY Pregnancy Pillow Tutorial

Hello, AGF Aficionados!

I’m here to share with you how I made my new favorite thing ever: this super comfy DIY Pregnancy Pillow!  Now that I’m clocking in at 7 months pregnant it’s become tougher to get a comfortable night’s sleep and even the simple act of actually tossing and turning is a bit of a challenge.  I decided to trade up my shifting multitude of pillows for an actual pregnancy pillow, but the price… yikes!  Thank goodness for our sewing machines!  This is a great DIY project for expectant mamas & for the crafty people in their lives that want to gift them something to make them feel pampered. 

I researched existing styles of pregnancy pillows and decided on this giant version that envelops you from both sides because I used to be a back sleeper and the middle curve in the back supports your back and helps keep you in the position that you should be in even if you have a tendency to turn to your back while sleeping.  The middle curve in the front supports your belly and the bottom part gives your legs and hips support.  I found a great tutorial at Homemade Toast, and used their instructions as a starting point but made a couple modifications for my version which I will outline below.  The biggest change I made is converting the top part into an attached pillow case so I could slip my favorite pillow in there and continue to use it.  My fiber fill stuffing skills just don't compare to my favorite down pillow.  I also made a knit pillow case for the pillow and to account for the stretch in knit I simplified the pattern a bit. 

Pregnancy Pillow

Making the Pregnancy Pillow

Materials:

  • 3 ½ yards Pure Elements Cotton Fabric (PE-464)
  • Fiber Fill (two 32-ounce packages & One 12 oz. package)
  • Queen sized pillow (Standard sized pillows will also fit, with a little extra room on the sides. King sized pillows are wider than 30” so you would need to cut the pillow “legs” and pillow case cover separately and sew together at the end.) 
  • Two zippers 22” long (shorter is fine, just remember to change the length of strips)

Preparing the Pattern:

  1. Print the PDF Pattern for the center cut-out and tape together. Choose the size appropriate to your height.  For our version go ahead and re-draw the top corner square before cutting out your size.  Square off by drawing a line perpendicular to the fold, from the top point of the pattern, then draw a line that lines up to the outermost edge of the corner curve.  Your lines should meet at a right angle and add a little to the corner.  

Fabric Cutting Directions:

  1. Front piece: 62” x 30” (tall: 66” x 30”)
  2. Back piece: 56” x 30”  (tall: 60” x 30”)
  3. Two 3” x 5” strips
  4. Cut 3” strips until you have approximately 134” in total length of strips (more if using shorter zippers)
  5. Four 2” x 25” strips (or the length of your zippers)
  6. Round edges and cut the center piece out on the front and back pieces according to the diagram (steps A, B & C).

Diagram-01

Construction (seam allowances are ½”):

  1. Finish the top edges of the front and back pillow pieces, by folding over ½” twice and top-stitching. Mark the sewing line with a fabric marker ½” above the top of the center cut-out. (Diagram step D)
  2. Take the two 22” zippers & the four 2” wide strips and encase your zippers with a strip on either side of the zippers. Press the fabric and top-stitch (optional). 
  3. Take a 5” strip and pin to the top end of the zipper, right sides together. Sew across the fabric and the top edge of the zipper so that the metal stopper is in the seam allowance (making sure that the zipper pull is not in the seam allowance).  Repeat for other zipper.  Trim away excess to ½”. 
  4. Sew together 3” strips so that you have two pieces approximately 67” long. Pin a strip to the end of the zipper, right sides together, with zipper zipped.  Sew across the fabric and zipper so that the metal stopper is in the seam allowance.  Trim away any excess to ½”.  Repeat for other zipper. 
  5. Trim zipper portion so that it is 3” wide, matching the rest of the strips.
  6. Pin the strips to the sides of the pillow front, right sides together, zipper sides first, starting ½” inside of the marked sewing line and continuing until the inner corner, ending at the sewing line. Sew together.  (Diagram step E)  When sewing the strip to the inner corners of the pillow, 6 inches from the end start tapering to the center of strip, matching the center point to the stopping point.  (see picture)
  7. Repeat step 9 with the pillow back, tapering at inner corners and pivoting at the corner and sewing pillow front and back together across the top of the center cut-out, and continuing to sew the strip on the other side. (Leave zippers open.)
  8. Fold the top front over the back top and pin. Measure to make sure there is 20” between the fold and the marked sewing line. Pull out the strip ends to the side to not catch them in your sewing, sew the sides together, matching seam lines and overlapping the stitching by ½”.  (Diagram step F)
  9. Turn the pillow right-side out. Make sure the strip ends are pushed inside and sew across the marked sewing line, making sure to catch the ends of the strips in the stitch so there’s nowhere for stuffing to escape. Sew across the line again to reinforce the seam.  (Diagram step G)
  10. Stuff each pillow leg with fiber fill to your desired firmness. I used one 32-oz package plus a little extra to fill each leg.
  11. Insert your pillow into the pillowcase top of the pregnancy pillow. Now you’re ready to make the pillow cover, this is the easy part!

Picture Montage

Making the Pillow Cover

Materials:

  • 1 ⅞ yards Art Gallery Fabrics Knit (60” wide knit). I used K-7040 from April Rhodes’ Bound collection for my pillow cover. 

Cutting & Preparing the Pattern:

  • Cut out the front and back pieces in the same manner as for the pillow. Cut very carefully, up to the selvedge- we are using every bit of fabric width.  
  • No strips are necessary due to the stretch in our knit fabric! Yay! 

Construction (seam allowances are ¼”):

  1. Finish the top edges of the front and back pillow pieces, by serging the ends, then folding over ½” and top-stitching with a stretch stitch. Fold the top front over the top of the back piece to make the envelope opening.
  2. Match the sides of the front and back pieces and serge all around the entire pillow. Starting at the top left corner and ending at the top right corner.  Be careful not to let any of the selvedge show. 
  3. Flip right side out and slip over your pillow! Voila!  These pillow covers are so easy to make I’m sure you’ll want to make a couple more just for fun!  

Disclaimer:  AGF cannot be held accountable for any sleepy husbands that are pushed off the bed while pillow is in use. 

Tip for Use:  When it’s time to get up I find it’s easiest to slide under the pillow and out of the bed rather than trying to wrestle my huggable pillow giant. 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

Until next time,

Christine  :)

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