I’ve been wanting to make a travel pillow for a while. I actually have a really nice one, that I’m very happy with, but so is the hubby ;). I figured if I could copy it, make it my own and match the fabric/colors of my sleeping mask, he could have mine :). But it’s not as easy as it seems…
The travel pillow uses poly pellets (small beads) filling, which makes it extremely comfortable. It took me a while before I had found out its name and a craft store that sells it. I ordered the wrong product (micro beads) from Amazon :-/, JoAnn didn’t carry it any longer, but I got very lucky at Hancock Fabrics!
At first I couldn’t find it, but when I asked the shop assistant, she said there was only one bag ($21) left, but it was torn, so she could give me 20% off.
Happy to have finally found it, I walked to the register, where another shop assistant helped me checking out. She told me how terrible the poly pellets were, how she had once used it for a pet pillow and how the pellets went everywhere, stuck to everything, static as they were. She would definitely never ever use it again! She couldn’t find the price in the register and after checking with the manager, she added to her long story: “it’s the last bag, it’s torn, it’s no longer in the computer and… it’s impossible to work with, so here’s the deal; I’m giving it to you. Good luck!”
I couldn’t help but wondering how terrible this stuff must be to give a $21 bag away for free, but I was sure curious to find out! Free or not!
To make a long story short; Yes – these pellets are definitely sticking to everything! I’m pretty sure I’ll keep finding poly pellets till the day we move out of this apartment, but they’re definitely not as daunting as the Hancock lady made it seem ;).
Instead of copying the pattern from my beloved travel pillow, I went with the travel pillow pattern out of the One Yard Wonders, part 2 – book. I thought it wouldn’t make much of a difference, well…it ended up being way too small.
First attempt: woven cotton travel pillow
But the more annoying part was that, despite the poly pellets, the pillow didn’t feel very comfortable. I had to contemplate this for quite a while and then it struck me, my woven cotton copy didn’t allow for any movement; the pillow needed a knit/jersey fabric! Doh! So I sewed up a pillow from jersey and shifted the pellets again with a funnel. Bit of a mess, but nothing the Hoover can’t handle ;).
However, now I’m stuck: I wanted to make a cover for the travel pillow with the same fabric (quilting cotton and fleece) as my sleeping mask, but that would sacrifice the movement of the poly pellets. I tried making a cover that was as wide as the knit could possible stretch, but that ended up being too small and made the pillow look like a sausage.
I’m willing to try it again, just making a really big cover out of quilting cotton and fleece (instead of a knit fabric), but do you think that makes sense or is bound to fail, anyway? Should I go for a knit cover or would a quilting cotton/fleece cover work?
The way the pillow is now is ‘okay’, but not ideal. I had already planned on making a cover, so I didn’t bother notching the edges of the white knit fabric (making it look lumpy). Nor did I bother picking a thread that would make the filling seam invisible…
All suggestions are welcome!