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Sew a Back-Friendly Pillow

When complete, your pillow will look like this.
The pillow can provide relief for a sore back when hung over a chair, like this.
When complete, your pillow will look like this.

When complete, your pillow will look like this.

Photo: Scott Phillips

Easy to make, and good for the spine--what's better than that? In "Posh Pillows" by Angela Lamb-Dittmarin in p.24 of Sew Stylish: Gifts to Make, we promised you a bonus pillow project. And here it is. This little pillow, which floats securely at any height due to a cool rubberized strap, provides lumbar support at your sewing or desk chair, in your car. You can even take it on the airplane!

What you'll need:
-1/3 yard fabric
-Nonslip rubber shelf lining
-1/3 cup of inexpensive beads, or fine aquarium gravel/pellets (yes, the stuff for fishies)
-Polyester stuffing

How to do it:
1. Sew a tube. Cut a fabric strip 4 inches by 25 inches. Fold it in half lengthwise, right sides together. Sew the long edge using a 3/8-inch seam allowance. Press the seam flat, the press the seam allowances open. Stitch across one short end. Center the seam on the tube back. Turn the tube right sides out.

2. Weight and rubberize the strap. Cut a 1-inch-wide by 22-inches-long strip of rubber shelf lining. Shake beads (or gravel/pellets) into the tube, filling to a depth of about 3 inches. Sew across the strap above the beads to secure them. Center the rubber shelf lining over the rest of the seam. Sew it in place by hand or machine.
TIP: If you sew by machine, cover the rubber with tissue paper, so it runs smoothly under the presser foot.

3. Sew the strap to one pillow layer. Cut two pieces of fabric 11 inches by 8 1/2 inches. Place one pillow piece right side up on your work table. Pin and sew the unfinished end of the strap as shown below. Use a 5/8-inch seam allowance.
TIP: Stitch again to reinforce.

4. Stitch around the pillow. Fold the strap so it fits inside the pillow's seam allowance. Cover with the other pillow piece, wrong side up. Sew around the edges. Leave a 3-inch opening to turn. Turn the pillow right side out. Fill with polyester stuffing until it is the firmness you desire. Slipstitch the opening closed.


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