Introduction: Aliens Dropship Pilot Helmet Hoodie Travel Pillow
We're in the sleep, 5 x 5. Travel pillows are great. The only thing they lack is some kind of screening to block out ambient bright lights and noise. And out on deep space missions you have to worry about radiation. Well, if they only offer suspended animation in first class, make and take this travel pillow with hood and eyeshade to ensure things are nice and cozy.
Note: This is a prototype that I made in one evening to beat the NYC heat by hunkering down in the workshop. Not official US Colonial Marine issue. Someone out there makes a hoodie travel pillow. But they don't have this helmet hoodie. Sorry, Star Wars and Halo Master Chief helmet hoodie travel pillows are nowhere to be found in this galaxy. You have to make them yourself.
Step 1: Stuff It...
Travel pillows are kinda like your regular sleep pillows but they are horseshoe in shape.
They are meant to be worn around the neck to keep them in place when you are forced to sit mostly upright in a car or plane. It saves you from getting that pain in the neck when you doze off in your office chair...wait.
This one was particularly squishy and had a nice fluffy soft cover.
The cover was removable for washing so inside was a sewn tube of fiberfill. We will reuse this modular component for our helmet hoodie travel pillow. You can make a tube of stuffing or pack in loose fill for this project.
This project was made from a stretch fabric but you can use any kind you have. I would recommend anything that is like a sweatshirt jersey. It is a hoodie afterall.
To add some structure to the details we need a bit of stiff wire and sheet craft foam.
I used 16 gauge wire which was enough to hold its shape and was bendable enough to include in a piece of clothing.
A sewing machine helps to put it all together. A serger is a nice accompaniment in your arsenal of sewing tools. Know how to use your machinery safely.
Step 2: Back in the Hood...
Take your original travel pillow case and use it as a cutting template.
Cut two layers of fabric for the front and back.
Based on those collapsible laundry hampers, I borrowed the idea of having an internal wireframe support for the opening of the hood. 16 gauge wire seemed just right to use for this project. Bendable and soft enough not to hurt when you press your face against it.
Create the hoodie part by cutting out a piece of fabric that is big enough to cover your head. I sewed in a backpiece to increase the volume of the hood. Sew a channel in the front edge of the hood.
The wire is encased in a fabric channel on the hood. Cut a length to fit and loop the cut ends. You may need to bend the end with the help of a pair of pliers. Wrap with electrical tape so they don't cut or poke. Test fit. Remove and leave out until the end when all the sewing is completed.
When the hood is attached to the horsehoe pillow as the base, we should get some kind of pop-up tent like structure for the hood. No helmet hair for those with bouffant do's.
Step 3: They're Not What You Think...
Craft foam makes a nice padded layer for the project.
The blackout visor needs some support but I didn't want it to be underwire.
Take a sheet of craft foam and mark out the shape.
Sew two layers of fabric to the visor shape. I put some cuts or notches/darts at the top so it would bend easier around the curve of the face. Leave a small opening at the top.
Since the foam is flexible, we can squeeze that in or out of the opening when we turn the assembly inside out. This gives us some nice finished seams when turned out.
The foam wasn't laying too flat when I turned it inside out. I sewed all around the border to finish the edge.
Make a second piece which is the visor cover. That extends the front of the hood a bit and completes the curve on top. Embed a piece of foam and sew on detail lines to mimic the visor mechanism.
Position and sew to the hood part.
You can add additional details like the helmet wiring, wiring covers and microphone boom. You can stuff with fiberfill to make them 3 dimensional and soft.
Step 4: Get Some Closure...
Once the visor assembly is attached to the rest of the hood, you can attach that to the top piece of the pillow case.
Mark the centerline of your pillow case so you can position and pin the hood evenly for sewing. I did none of that so that is why it came out all wonky. Knit fabric is all stretchy and floppy so it is hard to work with.
You can have the bottom piece of the pillow case one piece or make it have an overlapping flap opening or sew a zipper in. If you make it one piece, leave an opening to stuff in the stuffing and sew it up later. I did an overlapping flap which probably needed buttons or velcro to secure it shut.
You have to figure out how you will complete the pillow case since you want a finished seam on the outside. The hood and visor need to be sewn inside so you can turn out the sewn pillow case. It's a good thing all of it is flexible.
You can now feed in the wire in the hood channel.
Step 5: Go Kick Some...
Get some fabric paint or a paint marker to customize it with your own motto or saying.
Hoohah! Now you can rock out that 8 hour drive to grandma's house.
You can flip the visor up or down. Don't flip the people in the other car honking and trying to pass you for the last 10 miles.
Add a surround sound speaker system to your helmet hoodie travel pillow so you can really zone out.