Making gifts to give is just…the BEST! Yes, I could have gone and bought my little sis and her new hubby some neck pillows for resting their wedding-tired heads on in route to Hawaii Honeymoon, but it was more fun to stitch them up sewing in some prayers and LOVE.
I helped my students make some of these for Christmas Gifts, and they loved making them as well. Below are the pillows WITH handles for EZ carrying on luggage. I loved picking out the fabrics: soft soft fleece – the less furry, smoother type, at Jo-Ann’s: the airplane one for her hubby and the floral in wedding colors for my sis. She had borrowed pillows from her daughter but was thrilled with the gift. I imagine they’ll make it to under a hut on a Hawaiian beach as well!
Here are a few quick How-To’s.
1. Cut 2 layers as shown – the grid is 1″. Cut with the stretch of the fabric going ACROSS the pillow. 1/2 yard accommodates this easily of the 60″ wide fabric.
2. The handle shown was cut 3″ side and 12″ long, cut with the stretch of the fabric going its length to allow it to stretch over the handle of your suitcase. Test and adjust to fit snugly over YOUR handle on the carry on luggage. I stitched it with a 1/4″ seam and turned right side out, then to the upper edge as shown in the left photo above.
3. At the very top is where it will be left open for stuffing with poly fiberfill. But, for ease of slipstitching closed, I’ve found that stitching through each layer separately in that area. See the photo above at the right. All seams are 1/4″. When working with this slippery fleece, I found that it takes LOTS Of pins to keep the slippery fleece I used accurately together. IN fact, when making these with my young beginning sewing students, I had them cut one out, then lay that right sides together on a large piece to sew, THEN trimmed all at once, rather than cutting out 2 of the same shape. Also – use a smaller than normal stitch length for security, and stitch at the inner neck curve again for security, as in that area it is necessary to clip into the seam allowance. See in the photo below at left, how close I trimmed.
4. When stuffing, rather than shoving it in in big hunks, tear the polyfill into smaller hunks for the nicest (non-lumpy) result.
5. Slipstitch opening closed using a double strand of thread. You can see this ‘Slipstitch, ‘ ‘Ladder’ or ‘Sidewalk’ stitch above, and how closely I’m working the stitches. The guide stitching REALLY helps and I think it even makes the stitching more secure. For tying a secure knot, check out this method I learned from a student YEARS ago, and have been teaching and using since that wonderful day!
Below is a You-Tube Tutorial I made several years ago, demonstrating the Slip Stitch.
On our way home from the wedding, I noticed this tab and button closure on the Travel pillows in the airport. Another option… but honestly, I think the strap is easier.
Have fun – making GIFTS! I always appreciate your COMMENTS below.