First, gather the following items:
1 king-sized (“firm,” if possible) pillow
a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed snips
a pencil (or fabric pencil/marker)
a tool for establishing a straight line
Needles for sewing or machines for sewing
For this endeavor, I used a brand-new (albeit inexpensive) “firm” pillow. Use whatever old pillow you have lying around; however, if it’s really worn and lumpy, the finished product might not be very comfortable.
Step 1: Measure
Determine the size of the pillow opening you prefer using the measuring tape.
I used a standard pillow for both my head and my back while lying in bed. After arranging them to their satisfaction, I got up slowly to gauge the space between them.
I recommend you measure, or at least get this far and make an educated guess about the distance. The actual circumference of my middle only measured 7 inches, which is considerably less than I had anticipated!
Step 2: Rip the Seam and Gut the Pillow
Start by using the seam ripper to undo the stitching along one of the pillow’s longer sides.
To start, find the center, or where the flat part of the final product will be, and cut a hole in it large enough for your hands to fit through. Divide the stuffing in half by hand and move it to the approximate location it will have in the finished pillow.
You should now be able to open the entire seam along the long side and pull out the two pieces of stuffing.
It’s possible to simply cut it in half by opening the seam all the way, removing the stuffing in one go. Those are the reasons why I acted as I have described:
I thought I could open the seam in the middle, place the stuffing inside, and pin and sew. As soon as I tried it, I knew it wouldn’t work!
b) It may be easier to re-stuff later if the stuffing is pushed to an approximation of the correct size while the rest of the seam remains in place to keep the stuffing in place.
So that there wouldn’t be any lumps or unevenness in the end, I tried to preserve as much of the stuffing as possible.
Pin the trim back onto the skin of the pillow on one side and sew it in place if your pillow has it; I had to do this with mine. This is something I didn’t consider until much later, but it would prevent you from having to pin and sew three layers together at once while struggling with the weight of the stuffing. Since no one will see the seams (and since you should probably use a king-sized pillowcase for the whole thing when it’s in use anyway), I recommend simply cutting the trim off this side and sewing the corners of the pillow down well at the cuts.
Step 3: Mark and Pin
Find the exact middle by measuring your pillow’s “skin.” Since my entire pillow measured 35 inches, the 7 inches of flat surface that I used fell between the 14 and 21 inch range.
Make two marks, one on each side of the flat part of your pillow, using your pencil and a straight edge of some kind. Put a pin in the lines where the two pieces of your “skin” meet.
Step 4: Follow the Lines
Follow the dotted and angled lines as you sew. Since I was using the sewing machine, I opted for a triple stitch in the interest of durability. This was, admittedly, unnecessary, but I figured what the heck.
Sew to within an inch of the end of the fabric rather than right to the edge if you intend to reattach the trim later.
If you’re taking the trim off or have sewn it back on to one side, you can sew all the way to the end; just make sure to fold the unfinished edges of the pillow case back in before you start stitching.
Assuming you have already removed the trim from your pillow or sewn it to one side, now is the time to wash the pillow’s “skin” to get rid of the pencil lines.
Step 5: Stuff Your Pillow
Restuff your cushion again. If you’re picky (like me! ), you might want to turn the stuffing inside out so that the seam you opened is on the pillow’s exterior.
Gathering the stuffing at one end and pushing it in as far as possible with one hand worked best for me. The rest of the stuffing could be pushed in without deforming the shape too much once the process had been initiated.
Step 6: Pin and Sew
Fold the raw edges of the pillow “skin” back in and pin them together along the long side.
First, pin the trim to one side, then pin the other side to the trim and the first side (make sure to get all three layers with the new pins) if you haven’t already done so. Due to the tension of the filling, pinning all three layers together at once is nearly impossible.
Fix the hole by sewing it shut again. It could have been done with hand stitching, but I used my sewing machine. If you are using a sewing machine and are feeling particularly bold, you can even sew over the pins and then take them out afterward. Stuffing tension will cause layers to shift as pins are removed (which may or may not be a problem if you are not also sewing the trim back in).
Step 7: All Done!
It’s over! In the end, you’ll have a very firm pillow with a divot in the middle where you can comfortably lie down. The pillows may seem too firm at first, but keep in mind that they will soften up after a few uses.
Making the Pregnancy Pillow
- Pure Elements Cotton Fabric (PE-464), 3.5 Yards
- Two packages of fiber fill, each 32 ounces, and one package of fiber fill, 12 ounces, are included.
- A pillow fit for a queen (Standard-sized pillows will also work; there will just be some empty space on the sides. When working with a king-sized pillow, you’ll need to cut the “legs” and the pillow case cover separately before sewing them together.
- Two zippers, 22 inches in length (shorter is fine; just adjust the strip length accordingly).
- Download the PDF template for the hole in the middle, and tape the pieces together. Pick a size that works with your stature. Redraw the square at the top of our version and cut it to size. From the pattern’s apex, draw a line perpendicular to the fold, and continue drawing until you reach the corner’s outermost curved edge. Your lines need to intersect at a right angle and extend the corner slightly.
Template for Fabric Cutting:
- Dimensions (width x height): 62″ x 30″ (66″ x 30″)
- Size of back panel: 56″ x 30″ (height: 60″ x 30″)
- Two strips measuring a total of 7.5 centimeters in length
- Using a 3″ strip cutter, cut enough material so that you have a total of about 134″ (more if using shorter zippers).
- Cut four strips measuring two inches wide by twenty-five inches long (or the length of your zippers, whichever is shorter).
- Follow the instructions (steps A, B, and C) in the diagram to round the corners and remove the center section from the front and back panels.
Build (half-inch seam allowances):
- The front and back pillow pieces are finished by folding the top edges over 12″ twice and topstitching. Half an inch from the top of the center cutout, use a fabric marker to mark the sewing line. (Step D of Diagram)
- Using the two 22-inch zippers and the four 2-inch strips, encase your zippers with a strip on either side of the zippers. You can press the fabric and topstitch it (but it’s not required).
- Pin the right sides of a 5-inch strip to the zipper’s uppermost teeth. Sew along the top edge of the fabric and the zipper, making sure the metal stopper is within the seam allowance but keeping the zipper pull outside of it. You should do the same thing with the other zipper. Minimize the overhang to half an inch.
- Put together two pieces 67 inches in length by sewing together 3-inch strips. Attach a strip to the closed end of the zipper using pins. The metal stopper should be tucked into the seam allowance as you sew across the fabric and zipper. Take off the extra length of 12″. Replace the other zip twice.
- Reduce the width of the zipper section until it measures 3 inches, just like the rest of the strips.
- Start pinning the strips to the sides of the pillow front, right sides together, zipper sides first, halfway inside the marked sewing line and continue all the way to the inner corner, ending at the sewing line. Fix by stitching. Step E in the diagram: Sew the strip to the pillow’s inner corners, beginning 6 inches from one end and gradually narrowing to the strip’s center so that it meets at the point where the sewing stops. This is what it looks like:
- Sew the pillow front and back together across the top of the center cutout, then continue sewing the strip on the other side, as shown in Step 9. The pillow back should be tapered at the inner corners, and the seam should pivot at the corner. (Keep fasteners undone.)
- Pin the front top over the back top. Make sure there is 20 inches of space between the fold and the line you marked to sew it. Sew the sides together, overlapping the stitching by half an inch; keep the strip ends out of the way as you sew so you don’t snag them. To illustrate this, consider diagram F.
- Make sure the pillow is on its right side. Sew across the marked sewing line, catching the ends of the strips in the stitch to prevent the stuffing from escaping. The strips should be pushed inside before sewing. For added durability, sew across the seam again. (Progressive Step G)
- To adjust the firmness, stuff fiber fill into each pillow leg. Each leg was stuffed with the contents of one 32-ounce package plus a little extra.
- When you’re ready to sleep, put your regular pillow inside the pregnancy pillow’s cover. Making the cover for the pillow is the simple part.
Creating a Case for a Pillow
- One and a half yards of Art Gallery Fabrics Knit (60″ wide knit). Pillowcase K-7040 by April Rhodes’s Bound collection was used.
Methods for Pattern Preparation and Cutting
- Just like you would with a pillow, cut out a front and back. Carefully snip up to the selvedge; we need every scrap of fabric.
- Due to the stretch in our knit fabric, we don’t need to use strips. Yay!
Assembly (with a quarter-inch seam allowance):
- The top edges of the front and back pillow pieces should be finished with a stretchy topstitch after being serged, folded over by half an inch, and topstitched. To create the envelope’s flap, fold the top front over the top back.
- Align the front and back pieces along their long sides, and serge all the way around the pillow. Leaving the top left corner and moving clockwise around the page. Watch that you don’t expose any of the selvedge.
- It’s time to put the right side out and throw it over your pillow! Voila! This pillow cover tutorial is so simple, you’ll want to whip up a few extras just for kicks.
If your snoozing husband gets pushed off the bed while you’re using this pillow, AGF is not responsible.
Useful Hint: Rather than trying to wrestle my giant huggable pillow, I find it easiest to slide under it and out of bed when it’s time to get up.
I trust you found this tutorial helpful.
As always, I hope you enjoyed,
How to Make a Best Pregnancy Pillow Just for You
Step 1: Find Your Own Pattern
In order to find a pregnancy pillow that works for you, it’s important to pick a design you enjoy. A contoured design is the best option.
You might need to get your hands on some of these things:
* Two pieces of fabric A, each measuring 50 inches by 30 inches
Six (3) by (40)-inch coordinating fabric strips
Two fabric strips, each measuring two inches by twenty-five
* A zipper that is 12 inches in length
Step 2: Cutting the Contoured Pattern
To make sure all four corners fit together, unfold a piece of fabric that is 50 inches by 30 inches, and then fold it into quarters.
The four corners of the two fabrics can be rounded using a bowl. Put the rectangles flat and fold them in half like a hotdog. It is best to start cutting from one side and work your way down to the center. However, the distance of the cut should not worry you. Then wisely cut the preferred pattern out of the middle area.
You can decide to skip the other remaining Steps by sewing the two contoured fabrics together then turning it inside out, stuff it and you are done. However, if you would like to have a fancy pillow, let move to the next steps.
Step 3: Piercing the Strips
You have two contoured fabrics, six long strips, and a zipper. The first step is to pair the long strips, and then sewing them together. Do the same to the remaining two pairs. This means you will have three 80-inch long strips.
Step 4: Piercing the Zipper
Now let bring the zipper. Remember you have Two (2-inch by 25-inch strips). You will use them to wrap the zipper. With the outer part of the zipper facing the right side of one of the strips, sew the length of the zipper. You will notice that the strip will be longer than the zipper, which is okay. Sew the other side as well using the other strip. Now you will have three long strips and an encased zipper.
Step 5: Put Them Together
Take one of your contoured fabric and place the zipper at the center. Now carefully following the edges, pin them together to ensure the strip is aligned with corners. Then sew the strip onto your contoured pieces. This step is a bit tricky because you need to sew the strip all around the contoured pieces.
Step 6: Stuffing
When you have sewed up everything and the zipper can zip and unzip, you can stuff the fabric. You can use stuffing from other pillows to make it firm.
All is done and the end result is a good pregnancy pillow. The pillow may seem firmer at first but keep in mind that it will be the best pregnancy pillow because you made it for your own requirements.