Car pillow tutorial- perfect for those long rides!

car pillow
car pillow tutorial
car pillow tutorial

I can’t get enough of pillows apparently, and during a 6+ hour ride (one way) this weekend and a stiff neck in between, I realized I needed a pillow for the car.

Now, I’ve seen these car pillow things before on pinterest but all instructions I saw required velcro (which I don’t have) and stuffing (which I didn’t want to use).

So what is a girl to do other than make her own?! Except, that this one isn’t for me but my boyfriend’s daughter. Anyways, I remembered that we had a very whimpy pillow (whimpy as in not stuffed very much at all, it’s sort of thin and unless you fold it up there’s no substance to it) so I dug that up from the closet and measured it. It came out to be 16x24in. In order to have enough room to fit the pillow and fold it over, I cut the front piece to be 17x25in and the back pieces 17x15in and 17x10in respectively.

car pillow measurements
car pillow measurements

I used fleece for the front and flannel for the back. Both fabrics are soft but especially the fleece is very forgiving if you didn’t measure right as it will streeeeeeeetch😉

I hemmed the edges of the back piece which will be the closure.

hemming the back pieces
hemming the back pieces

Now the next step is to pin it all together. It’s important to get the back closure right so that the pillow looks nice, despite it being all folded up… With right sides facing, place the larger back piece onto the front piece. Then, put the shorter back piece onto the front piece (again right sides together) and pin it down.

pinning the back
pinning the back

This picture shows you what it looks like when you pin it and what it will look like when you turn the pillow inside out (right sides to the outside). The larger back piece is underneath the shorter one in the top picture but once you turn the pillow inside out the larger back piece will be over the shorter one. It’s sewing magic.

Once that is done, put your pillow in to admire your work fully.

Now take the pillow out again and get your snaps ready. I used Kam Snaps. Fold the short ends together – this creates a sort of pouch. Make sure that the corners align. You want the front fabric ( the one that will be touching the face) on the outside. Put a snap in the 2 corners, with the cap being on the “face fabric”.

attach snaps to pillow
attach snaps to pillow

Depending on how many snaps you think you’ll need, attach those evenly spaced. I used a total of 4 snaps and that works great for this size of pillow.

Now that the pillow was done OF COURSE I had to try it. So I got out there in the cold and snapped the pillow onto the seat belt and voila, it’s magic!

car pillow
car pillow

It’s really soft and works great in supporting your neck. Here are some more pictures.

car pillow
car pillow
car pillow
car pillow

I feel like I have to say this since this involves a seatbelt: I do not in any way take responsibility for anything that happens while you use this pillow. Be a responsible driver, and a responsible passenger. Be buckled, don’t text, don’t drink and drive…you get it. This pillow is simply meant for comfort on long car rides – not more and not less. The way your seatbelt fits you when you sit upright, with the seatbelt directly on your clothes and no “obstruction” in between is the perfect way for the seatbelt to fit — I understand that and appreciate everyone who has pointed out these safety issues to me. However, I rather have the teen buckled AND in an upright position leaning on the pillow than what she is currently doing (sort of spun 90 degrees so she can rest her head on the back seat, or worse, slumped over to the side and in no way even close to sitting upright). The teen loves the pillow which means she will use it AND THEREFORE sit upright in her seat, all buckled.

Please use this tutorial for personal use only.

Happy sewing!

Franzi

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