I was looking for a seat belt travel pillow (a travel pillow that folds around or fastens to the seat belt in some way) but wasn’t one of those long skinny ones. I wanted something with a little more poof to it for my teen. I quickly found a very cute idea that was basically two pillows with a flat channel for folding around the seat belt. I made a few modifications to size (larger and proportions of the seat belt channel) and stitching for my preferences and away I sew. Following is my pattern that was inspired by the pattern by Pineapple Mama.
2 Fat Quarters or 1/2 Yard fabric of your choice cut into two 18″x21″ (adjust for the width of your fabric as needed) pieces – I like quilting cotton or flannel)
Hand Sewing Needle for closure
Stuffing (the softer the better)
Dressmaker’s Chalk or other removable marking method
Even if you are using fat quarters, chances are you’ll have to “true up” the sizes. Companies have gotten really lax on quality of cuts.
Sew the two pieces of fabric together, right sides facing. I recommend a half inch or smaller seam allowance. Leave two 4″ to 5″ gaps at the bottom for turning and stuffing. See photo for stitch outline.
Clip the corner fabric outside the seam to make it easier to turn.
Turn through one of the holes. Make sure to turn your corners well. A small wooden dowel or a crochet hook is good for helping you push out the points. Set your seams with an iron. Setting the seams really helps keep things neat when sewing the next step and your final hand stitching.
Mark a line down the center of the short side of the fabric. Now make two more lines 2″ away from the center line, one on either side of the center. This creates the 4″ channel that is folded around the seat belt.
Sew down each of the three marked lines. Be sure to backstitch at the end to secure the seams. You can do this with the coordinating color thread or with a bright topstitch thread that picks up a color in your fabric pattern. Brush away remaining chalk.
Stuff each pillow through the openings in the bottom of the piece. Remember to pay attention to the corners of the pillows so they don’t flop.
Now all that is left is to hand stitch closed the openings using a coordinating thread color so it is not noticeable. A ladder stitch is great for closing up this type of project. I find that using wonder clips to hold most of the hole shut while I am sewing saves a lot of pain and hand cramps.
Fold over the seat belt with the pillows facing out so that the flat channel fits over the belt and you avoid bulk at your shoulder and neck.