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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Travel in style part 3: How to make a custom fit neck cushion

This is the third part of my "travel in style"-tutorial series. Let me show you below how to make a custom fit neck cushion to use during your travels. If you prefer to use an inflatable cushion that will take less space in your luggage, click here for the tutorial for a matching cover.
This cushion is part of a set with the comfortable eye mask (click here for tutorial).

I like these neck cushions to be big, so your neck doesn't bend so much when you fall asleep, and therefore I will make a big cushion. Think about what you want and adjust your custom fit cushion accordingly.

You will need:
Cotton fabric
Stuffing (you may use regular polyester stuffing or, if you have lots of small craps left from previous project have a look at this tutorial for how to use them as stuffing)

First we need to prepare our template.
Measure your neck in order to know how big the space within the cushion has to be. Trace the lines of the cushion (pratically a C with corners) so that the room within the C is big enough to fit your neck comfortably. Think about how long you want the sides to be and how thick you want it to be. You might even want a different thickness in different parts of the cushion.

I prefer the second (red) version and will make myself a cushion that is thicker on the sides and thinner in the back.

The measurements of my cushion are:

 First you need to prepare your paper template. Prepare the template in the actual size of the finished piece, we will add the seam allowance later, because like that we will be able to trace the actual finished measurements and be able to sew right on the traced line.

Cut the template. Place your fabric (if you want to make the set as shown above, remember to use the same fabric for the eye mask) right side down on the table. Trace the template once, then flip it over and trace a second, mirrored image. Or, alternatively, place two layers fabric right side on right side, trace the template on the top layer and cut both fabrics int he same way as shown below.

Cut the pieces adding seam allowance.

Place the pieces one on top of the other, wrong sides out, and sew together with a simple straight stitch right on your traced line. Fix the seam at the beginning and at the end with a few backstitches and remember to leave an opening of about 5 cm in the center of the back.

Turn the cushion inside out through the opening so that the right side of the fabric faces outwards.

Stuff the cushion through the opening.

I like these neck cushions to be pretty well stuffed, eventhough that makes closing the opening more difficult as it will have more pressure from the inside. Stuff your cushion to the desired level and then close the opening with blindstitching.

Fluff your cushion in order to evenly distribute the stuffing and you're done.

This is what your cushion will look like.

And now, rest well during your next trip!

 Have you made a project following this tutorial? Let me know what you think. Did you like it? Was it easy to understand and to follow? Do you have any suggestions?
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