Thursday, July 26, 2012

A tutorial you never knew you wanted

Can you guess what this tutorial is for based on that first photo? 

Sometimes I start out attempting to perform a seemingly simple task (like buy a new pillow because I'm waking up with neck aches and think my *ahem old ahem* pillow is to blame) and end up complicating things far more than I ever anticipated.  My search for a new pillow is the perfect example. 
I started looking into foam pillows thinking the better support would resolve my neck aches.  Hours of research later I decided 1) foam wasn't the way to go 2) I should instead, join the many people in Asian countries who sleep on buckwheat pillows every night 3) figure out a way to address the problem of buckwheat pillows being unusually hard compared to the goose down and/or poly pillows I'm acustom to and 4) not spend a ton of money on a pillow I'm not 100% sure I'm going to love.  Another 30 minutes or so of research and I found all the materials I needed.  If you're looking for a healthy, supportive, relatively cost effective alternative to the pillow you're acustom to, you'll need:

- One half pound eco wool (I found mine at the Bungalow Bear & Friends shop on Etsy)
- Approximately 4lbs buckwheat hulls (source - Serenity Pillows)
- 3/4 yard ticking (you'll have to ask JoAnn's for the "real thing" (not the looks like ticking but isn't stuff) it's not pretty but it does the job of holding all the buckwheat hull bits in)

We're going to make a simple box shaped pillow from the ticking and add a separate chamber on top to stuff with the wool to make it softer.  Here's how:

Cut two 25"x21" rectangles from the ticking
Cut one 20"x16" rectangle from the ticking

Sew the 20"x16" rectangle into the center of one of the larger rectangles (there's no right or wrong side of ticking, so it doesn't matter which side you sew it to), leaving a hole to stuff through.

Stuff the small rectangle with the wool and sew the hole closed.

Lay the rectangle with the chamber of wool with the raw sides of the chamber down.  Place the other rectangle on top and sew all around, leaving a hole to stuff through.

At each corner, line up the side seams and sew perpendicular to the seams to make a boxed corner (like how I made the bottom of the library tote bag)

Turn the pillow right sides out.

Fill with desired amount of buckwheat hulls & sew the opening closed

Lay your head on it and sleep

Okay so here's the low down... for me at least. If I'm perfectly honest, I have to tell you two things.  Firstly, my neck aches are completely gone since the first night I used this pillow but also, I'm not super in love with it.  I apparently move around quite a bit in my sleep and this pillow holds its shape extremely well, so I wake myself up having to re-adjust it when I change positions in the middle of the night. But it's easy to re-adjust and an inconvenience I have thus far (almost 4 months into sleeping with this pillow) been willing to endure in exchange for no neck pain... I am however, thankful my Doug gets out of bed before me so I can steal his flimsy goose down pillow every morning.  


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