Hi, I’m Reen, a Shannon Fabrics Brand Ambassador and owner of Embroidery Garden! Whether you’re traveling by plane or by car (or sitting on the couch), I've designed this super soft and comfortable neck pillow made with Cuddle® minky plush fabrics that will help you relax and sleep!
See Related: How to Make an In-the-Hoop Machine Embroidery Cuddle® Eye Mask
The added hidden zipper allows you to remove the stuffing to launder the cover or adjust the amount of stuffing to better suit you. The contrast of Cuddle® 3 and Luxe Cuddle® Hide adds interest and appeal to this easy-to-stitch project.
It’s a perfect gift for anyone who needs a little TLC (including yourself)!
Recommended fabrics and notions for making a Cuddle® neck pillow
I’ve listed supplies you’ll need for each project and some optional tools you may find handy when working with Cuddle®.
Supplies for the neck pillow:
- Cuddle® 3 in Mother’s Bouquet Digital Cuddle® Pink
- Luxe Cuddle® Hide in Rosewater
- Polyester sewing thread — Mettler
- One 9” zipper
- Zipper foot
- Fairfield Poly-Fil stuffing
Optional supplies for working with Cuddle®:
- 90/14 jersey or stretch needle — SCHMETZ
- Craft knife — OLFA
- Fabric clips — Clover
- Felt tip marker or ballpoint pen
- Long, flower head pins — Clover
- Micro-serrated scissors — Karen Kay Buckley, Famore or Kai
- Rotary cutter and mat —OLFA
- Stiletto and Pressing Tool — ByAnnie
- Walking foot
How to make a neck pillow using Cuddle® fabrics
Neck pillow pattern
To make your own pattern of the three pieces you need, use copy paper sheets taped together and draw a 1” grid on them. Re-draw the pattern onto the paper following the photos below.
Click here to download Pattern 1
Click here to download Pattern 2
Click here to download Pattern 3
Be aware of the nap of the Cuddle® as you cut the pieces — you want the nap going downward on all pieces.
Cut 1 front from the Cuddle® 3 and the 2 pieces for the back (1 Upper and 1 Lower) from the Luxe Cuddle® Hide.
TIP: Serrated scissors are great for cutting low pile (3mm) Cuddle®. To cut Luxe Cuddle® Hide or any higher pile Cuddle®, first draw the pattern piece onto the back side using a light-colored marker, then cut on the line using a craft knife (this way you’re only cutting through the backing and not the fibers).
Installing the zipper
Don’t be intimidated by the zipper. Due to the pile of the fabric, you will not see any of your stitching especially if you use thread that matches your fabric — Cuddle® is very forgiving!
Find the center of the zipper and the upper and lower back pieces along the straight edge. Mark all centers with pins.
Place the zipper right side down on top of the lower back piece matching the centers. Pin it securely in place.
Using a zipper foot, stitch the top edge of the zipper to the edge of the fabric. Back stitch at the beginning and end.
With right sides together, match the zipper center to the center of the upper back piece and pin securely together. Stitch the zipper to the fabric.
At this point, the back piece will have the zipper in between the upper and lower pieces.
Fold the upper back down over the zipper until the edges at the sides meet forming a continuous curve. A small triangle shaped piece will extend off each side. Pin near both side edges.
Make sure the fold is even going across. Turn the piece to the back side.
TIP: Use a press cloth and very lightly press the fold in place (do not steam). Never press directly onto the fibers of Cuddle®.
Sew ¼” from the raw edge of the fabric all the way across the back. You will stitch over the zipper again.
On the back side, fold the edge of the lower back up to the raw edge of the upper back on each side of the zipper and pin.
The ends of the zipper and the small areas on each side of the zipper need to be stitched closed. Start about ½” in from the end of the zipper and stitch across it then pivot towards the outer edge. Repeat this on the other side.
This will create a small fold in the seam on the lower back piece. Don’t worry about it. It won’t be seen.
Cut the small triangles on each side off following the curve of the edges.
Unzip the zipper.
Place the front and back pieces right sides together and pin securely all around the edge.
Stitch all around ¼” from the edge using a 3.0-3.5mm stitch length. A walking foot is very helpful for this step.
TIP: Stitch with the Cuddle® 3 on top. You will be able to control the fabric better. If needed, use a stiletto to help guide the fabric under the needle.
Clip into the curves being careful not to cut the stitching. This helps to relax the fabric and make the curves smooth when you stuff the pillow.
Turn the pillow to the right side through the zipper. Round out the curves and stuff to your desired firmness. Use a stiletto to fluff the fibers from the seams.
TIP: To launder your neck pillow, machine wash on gentle in cold water. Machine dry using low heat.
Follow Embroidery Garden on Facebook and Instagram to see more projects I have stitched using Cuddle® fabrics.
If you have any questions about Cuddle® minky plush fabrics or any of our Cuddle® Kits, feel free to contact our friendly, no-pressure customer service team at 866-624-5252.
Ready to start creating with Cuddle® minky fabric? Use our store locator to find a selection of Cuddle® minky fabric online or near you.
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