Before I start, I should say I sell these Nursing Pillows in my Etsy store, Pretty Pretty Cindy. If you would rather make your own, this post will tell you how to do it.
1 Piece Cotton Fabric 13" x 24"
1 Piece Minky Fabric 13" x 24"
Sewable Velcro (approximately 6 inches)
I was making several pillows while taking pictures for this tutorial, so if you were seeing whales and suddenly see elephants, you're not confused.
Place the two fabric pieces right sides together and PIN, PIN, PIN! (While the cotton fabric in this picture looks like it is right side up, it is NOT.)
Minky is notorious for sliding, so the more pins, the better. Sew around the perimeter with a 5/8" allowance, leaving approximately 3 inches of the fabric open on one of the short ends so you can turn it inside out. Before you turn it inside out, press the seams. (DO NOT iron the minky side.) This is very important on this piece because it helps it keep its form. Turn the pillow inside out and press the cotton sides again. This is what you should have so far. Note the hole at the bottom.
Stuff the pillow with fiberfill. Don't fill the pillow because you won't be able to fold it over and still get your arm inside. Stuff it loosely and keep folding it over your arm until it is a plump, firm pillow when folded. Hand stitch the opening closed.
On each short end of the pillow, topstitch 2 inches from the end. It doesn't really matter whether you sew onto the minky side or cotton side of the pillow, as long as your bobbin thread is the same color. I usually like to sew on the cotton side because my bobbin stitches don't always look as nice as I would like and the minky side is more forgiving as the stitches are not seen as well.
Now for the
sadistic fun part. Be sure to use Velcro for sewing because the adhesive Velcro will really do a number on your needle.
Cut three segments of Velcro 1 1/2 to 2" long (both the soft sides and hook sides). Using an empty bobbin or other similar sized round item, trace a rounded end on each end of Velcro and cut. This makes a more attractive piece.
Rip the Velcro pieces apart. In the 2" space at the end of one side of the pillow, place one of the soft Velcro pieces on each end and one in the middle, like this:
Sew around the edge of each piece of Velcro. You want these securely fastened. Then, place the hook side of each Velcro piece together with its match already sewed down on one end of the pillow. Fold the pillow over the minky side so the 2" spaces on either end line up.
For each Velcro piece, hold the pillow in place to match the sides together and carefully tear the Velcro pieces apart. I use my thumb and forefinger to pinch the hook side of the Velcro to it's corresponding location on the other side, but you may want to use a fabric pen to mark the intended location on the other side of the pillow.
Sew each hook side down. Sewing the hook side of Velcro can be a little tricky. Try to stay on the thin outside edges of the pieces where there are no hooks. Once you get all three hook pieces in place, fold the pillow and match them with the soft Velcro sides. Slide your arm in for fit.
And there you have it! A soft, portable nursing pillow that keeps your arm cool and covered in soft minky while supporting baby's head for breast or bottle feeding. It's so portable and when your baby outgrows it, the pillow makes a great travel pillow. It is machine washable, just fluff it back into shape after drying.
Again, I have plenty of designs for these pillows already made at Pretty Pretty Cindy, and I am happy to consult to find the perfect fabrics for you if you don't see something you like. I welcome custom orders! I don't generally charge more for custom orders and I can usually get a nursing pillow made and shipped in a few days.
Whether it's for your baby or a gift for someone else, nursing pillows are pretty AND practical.