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5.13.2010

Lumbar Support Pillow

The hubs and I are driving to Utah this weekend to see some family.I'm so exited; on my mom's side one of my cousins is performing her last high school play (and she is queen of the stage). To celebrate the event, my grandparents on that side flew out to see it. On my dad's side, my grandma came to visit my uncle for the month, and one of his sons (who I haven't seen in years) is visiting with his wife. Basically, I'm going to get to see all of my living grandparents, a good majority of my cousins (from both sides!) and aunts and uncles I haven't seen for a while. I'm so excited! I get to see everyone! If only our immediate families were coming. :(

Anyway, it's a 4 1/2 hour drive, which really isn't that long...but I HATE long car rides! What I hate even more is driving. Luckily, I have an amazing husband that is willing to drive all long distances for me and never complains. Not even when his lower back is killing him. He mentioned to me a little while ago that driving for a long time really hurts his lower back, so I decided to make him a lumbar support pillow. It's a nifty little pillow that is placed in between the curve of the lower back and the chair (or seat or whatever) and provides support to the lower back.

See the little curve? That's what provides the support. Cute, functional, AND it was super easy! Aside from measuring the hubs, it took me less than a half hour to make. Want to make one for your loved one suffering from lower back pain? (Or yourself? ;)

You will need:
Fabric (I used a 12" x 23" rectangle and the two curved pieces were about 10" x 3". I also used snuggly soft fleece but you can use whatever you have on hand.)
Polyester Fiberfill
Sewing machine, thread, scissors, seam ripper, etc.
*Note: I used a 1/4 inch seam for the entire project.

The hardest part of this project was getting the right measurements for the pillow. I carefully held up a piece of paper perpendicular to my husband's back and traced a line that followed the curve of his back. This also helped me figure out how tall the pillow would be. After a little bit of trial and error, I came up with this shape. I call it the "D" shape.

Feel free to use mine or spend a little time measuring your lucky recipient's back. (You will probably need help if you're making this for yourself)  Next, you need to find out how big your rectangle will be. Don't worry, you don't  need to do any math here, simply lay your measuring tape along the perimeter of your "D" shape and add a half inch for seam allowance (mine ended up being 23 inches). This will be your length, your width can be whatever you choose (mine was a 12 inches).

 

Cut out two of your "D" shape and your rectangle. That's it for your pieces!! Next, you'll need to pin down the flat side of your "D" shape against the long side of your rectangle (right sides together). Be sure to line up the corners. Do the same on the opposite side, so the the curves of your "D" shape are facing each other.


See how the corners line up? Sew both pieces in place.

The next part is the trickiest part of the sewing. Bring up what's left of the long side of your rectangle and carefully pin it along the curved edge of your "D" shape. This is a lot like pinning a sleeve onto a the shirt base. Do this on both sides.

It will look a little more 3D after this step. :D Carefully sew in place, and make sure that the fabric underneath doesn't bunch up or you'll have one funny looking pillow! (Well, I guess it's already funny looking isn't it?) Do this on both sides.

You'll end up with a shape like this.^^ (My rectangle length was a bit too long, so I cut off most of it and left that little tab to help when I folded it under to hand sew it.) Next, you'll need to sew across the bottom, leaving a 4 inch opening to turn right side out and stuff.) Clip the corners, being careful not to cut the seam, to help it lay a little more flat. Turn right side out. Now comes the fun part! Stuffing! Stuff the pillow pretty firmly, it's meant for support!

When it's reached your ideal amount of firmness, fluff to reshape the pillow. Then, hand stitch the opening closed.


And that's it! You're done! No more suffering from lower back pain during long car rides! Wrap in up in pretty paper and see the happy face of the recipient! (This is also fun to do if it was for yourself, it feels like a real present!)

See? Wasn't that easy? And you didn't have to spend over $20 for one from a store. I already had everything in my stash so it was free for me!! Feel free to comment with any questions, this is my first tutorial so I'm not quite sure what I'm doing! Also, please only use this tute to make pillows for your family and friends, not to sell. Thank you!

I'm linking this up to the following linky parties!








6 comments:

Chris King said...

Outstanding! Well described, well photographed, adn well executed. I'm jealous I don't have one!

Sachiko said...

Nice job! Your tutorial is very easy to understand too. Thank you
for linking up to my party!

Craft Envy said...

Looks SO comfortable! Thanks for linking up!

The Harris Family said...

What a wonderful idea! It turned out great and sure would make those long trips a lot better (we've had a ton lately). Also thanks for linking up to my challenge!
-Crystal

Kelli said...

How'd this work for him? Was the fiberfill firm enough for his needs? I'd like to make one but want to make sure it will work long term. Thanks for offering a fantastic, easy to understand tutorial.

Amie said...

Hi Kelli,
Thanks! It worked fairly well for a while! We just barely threw it out last month, which means that it lasted a good three years of every day use!

I would def use a more sturdy, less stretchy fabric, maybe duck cloth or home dec weighted fabric. The fleece was "comfy" but I feel like no matter how much I stuffed it, it was never as firm as I wanted it to be. A stiffer fabric would help that a lot!

Good luck!