I’ve had the itch to come back to this little blog for a few months now. It has actually been a tougher decision to make than I would have expected. Literally, the day before my water blob tutorial went viral my husband and I decided that it would be worth it to try out again.
It’s not that I think the post’s success was a “sign” or anything – but it definitely gave me the confidence to come back, knowing that it would be worth my time in the end. I had originally planned to come back after baby comes in June, having a handful of posts ready on the back burner and a well-planned and organized schedule to follow – but I just can’t pass up the opportunity to post with all of you new visitors every day! So, for now it will be a little chaotic and disorganized but I am excited to be back and sharing what I love to do with you guys!
Now, let’s talk about that baby.
So I’m due at the end of June. And it’s only the beginning of May. Who KNEW you could even be so uncomfortable!? Maybe my I forgot what it was like near the end of my other two pregnancies, but I really don’t think it was ever this bad. And I still have 7 weeks left. Oy.
About a month ago when the insomnia started really setting in, I decided to make this obnoxiously over-sized pillow to see if it would help at all – mostly, because I am cheap and didn’t want to spend $80 on something that I wasn’t sure I would even use. Ohmygosh. I really don’t know how I made it through TWO whole pregnancies without one!
Literally, a cotton-stuffed miracle, people.
The pros. Since your back, belly, and hips are all supported and aligned – you’ll sleep like a champ.
The cons. Since this thing is over 4 feet long and nearly 3 feet wide, you’ll be taking up a good portion of the bed. But let’s be honest… you were doing that before the pillow, anyway. Also, those six times you get up to pee in the middle of the night? Mini wrestling match vs. maternity pillow. As long as your bladder is willing to give you 15 extra seconds, you’ll win – most likely.
If you don’t have the time or energy (or fabric hoarding tendencies that you need to prove to your husband are necessary by making AND finishing a project with something from your stash.. what?) to make one for yourself – it would be still be worth every single penny of that $80 to just order online! So follow this here tutorial to make one, or order this one that I used as my inspiration. (affiliate link)
Kay. Here we go.
Here’s the deal. It comes in two sizes: regular and tall. I originally made myself what is now the “regular” size… and wish I had just an inch or two more length on it (it still fits totally comfortably and fine as-is, but anyone taller than me may want the extra length for sure)… thus the creation of the tall size. I’m about 5’7″, so if you are taller than me – make the tall size.
And, one more disclaimer before we start. Originally, I had planned to make a liner and a cover for my pillow, both using an identical pattern. I got a little too impatient and excited after I had finished what I intended to be my cover and just ended up stuffing it as-is. Because I stuffed it so firm and with cheap stuffing, after a few weeks of use the stuffing has started to just barely poke out of the fabric, making it kind of itchy. So… my advice would be to either use a thicker, nicer fabric than just a plain cotton like I did (minky would be a DREAM!), make a liner AND a cover, use a better-quality stuffing, or just be prepared to lay a soft blanket over your pillow like I do!
Here’s what you’ll need:
Contoured Maternity Pillow PDF Pattern (print, cut out, and piece together by overlapping grey sections)
(two) 50-inch (or 54-inch for the tall pattern!) x 30-inch pieces of fabric A
(six) 3-inch x 40-inch (44-inch for tall!) strips of coordinating fabric B (optional – to give it a little more height)
(two) 2-inch x 25-inch strips of fabric B (optional)
(one) 24-inch (+/-) zipper (optional)
stuffing (I used the stuffing from 4 “huge” pillows to make a VERY firm pillow – ripping open pillows is usually cheaper than buying bags of stuffing!)
Part One: Cutting out the “Contoured” Pattern
1. Lay out your big 50×30-inch (or 54×30-inch for tall!) rectangles. Fold into quarters so that all of the corners meet.
2. Use a large bowl (or good judgement) to round all four corners of both pieces.
3. Now, we get tricky. Unfold your rectangles, then fold in half HOTDOG style. From one side only, carefully cut right down the middle to just about halfway through. Don’t worry too much about the distance you cut – just keep it right down the middle, stopping at the middle-ish point. (See step 3 in the illustration)
4. Now, round the corners of the inner flappy thingers you just cut, just like you did the outer corners. (Refer to step 4 in the illustration)
5. Fold your rectangles back up HOTDOG style. Align the pattern piece with the middle fold/cut, placing the top edge of the pattern 14-inches (same for both reg & tall) from the top (the uncut side) of the contoured pieces. I just used a little scotch tape to keep it in place. (See step 5)
6. Carefully cut the pattern out of the middle section. (I ended up modifying the pattern slightly after I took this pic, so that’s why your pattern piece looks just a little different.) Unfold, done, bam.
The thing is… you can totally skip the rest of this and just sew the two contoured pieces together without any fabric in between. Then, just turn it inside out, stuff and you’re done. But, we like to get a little fancy over here. So be fancy with me.
Part Two: Piecing the Strips
Ok, so now you have your two contoured pieces, your six long 3×40-inch (44-inch for tall) strips, and your zipper with two more 2×25-inch strips.
First, we are going to pair up our long 40-inch (44-inch for tall) strips. With right sides facing, simply sew two strips together (on the short end!) at about 1/4-inch seam allowance. Then, sew two more together, then two more… so you end up with three SEPARATE 80-inch long strips. Press the seams open.
Now, we are going to encase our zipper. with the outside of the zipper facing the right side of one of the 25-inch strips, sew down the length of the zipper about 1/4-inch in. Your strip of fabric will be slightly longer than your zipper, just center the zipper in there.
Ditto the other side.
Done. Turn over and press the seam.
So now your set-up will look something like this. Zipper + 3 super long strips.
Next, we are going to sew one of the 80-inch long strips onto each side of the zipper. Place right sides together of both the long strip and the zipper. Make sure you overlap slightly so that your seam will be on the inside of the zipper before it begins or ends. (Hopefully this pic describes what I am trying to explain!)
Then, sew those short sides together with about a 1/2-inch seam allowance, back-stitching a few times over the zipper itself. Do the same with a DIFFERENT long piece on the opposite end of the zipper. Turn over, press seams. It will look something like this.
Now, trim the edges of the zipper piece so that it is exactly the same width as the other pieces (3-inches)… leaving you with one 180+inch strip of fabric.
Still with me? Almost there.
Part Three: Putting it Together
Lay out ONE of your contoured pieces, right side up. Center the zipper at the top (right side down) and pin your giant strip into place – carefully following the edges and pinning as often as necessary to keep the strip aligned with the corners. You will end up with a little extra fabric hanging off the end, don’t worry about it for now.
Sew the strip onto the contoured piece with a 1/4-inch seam allowance around the entire outside of the pillow, stopping and ending within 1/4-inch of the inner part of the pillow. (Read the rest of the directions of this section and that will make more sense.)
Now, center your last strip in the middle of the inner part of the pillow, so that the seam of the strip is right in the middle. Pin again, and sew with a 1/4-inch seam allowance, stopping again within 1/4-inch.
This part is a little bit tricky, but hopefully the pic explain it a little better. After you have sewn the strips to both the inner and outer parts of the pillow, the strips will meet up at that little corner – most likely with quite a few inches of extra fabric. Carefully align both strips, and the contoured piece will naturally fold inside. Now, trim the strips at a 90-degree angle so that they are flush with the corner of the contoured piece. Sew the two strips together, this time at 1/4-inch allowance, stopping and ending within 1/4-inch, like this… Do the same to the other corner.
Now, place the second contoured piece right side down over the entire piece you just sewed together. Align the strips to the contoured piece as you did before, pinning as often as needed.
Then sew the strip onto the second side just as you did the first.
When everything has been sewn up carefully clip the curves, unzip the zipper, turn right-side-out and STUFF!!
Like I mentioned before, I used the stuffing from 4 of these “huge” pillows to make a very firm pillow – I found them on sale for about $3 each. Since I had the fabric and zipper in my stash already, this whole pillow only cost me about $12!