This Instructable is kinda in two parts: the first being the heated pillow, and the second being the foxy pillow case.
For this fairly simple project I used:
100% cotton scrap
1 fleece blanket
Sewing machine and matching threads
Hand sewing needles
Step 1: The Pillow
For this part of the project I used the piece of scrap cotton and the linseeds.
I’m not sure why I chose the busiest looking fabric I’ve ever owned for this, but I hope the photographs make some kind of sense.
I wanted a pillow that could sit around the shoulders, as well as across the abdomen; but not so long that the seeds slid off to the sides.
I created a simple rectangle approximately 20” long and 6’ wide.
I cut the material out and sewed them right sides together, leaving about an inch and a half hole for turning.
Corners clipped. Pillow turned.
Step 2: The Seeds
Once that was completed I decided to add a channel down the centre, with a running stitch. I folded the bag in half to find the centre, then took a rough measurement (by using my fingers) to decide where the stitch should end. The channel is there to stop the seeds bunching up in awkward places.
I then filled the bag with the linseeds and used, my much beloved, ladder stitch to sew it closed. (There’s going to be a lot more ladder stitch coming up in this project….)
Complete! The pillow is ready to be microwaved. Just separate the seeds so they sit at either end, then fold into a small ‘parcel’. Pop it in the microwave with a cup of water for 1 - 2 minutes, and it’s ready to go!
Step 3: This Could Be Better If It Looked Like a Fox...
For this part of the project I used a fleece blanket and some Ikea pillow stuffing.
For the fox body, I used the simple rectangle that I created for the pillow, and added about a quarter of an inch seam allowance for his back: folded that pattern piece in half and added about two and a half inches for the ‘envelope closure’ of his tummy, of which I cut two.
I used the width of the new rectangle to create the measurement of the base of his head, and drew an isosceles triangle from there.
The rest of the body parts were created free-hand, with some trial and error.
I started by hemming one of the short edges of both tummy pieces, and set these to one side.
I then sewed the four legs, leaving the short, straight edge open for turning and stuffing. I clipped away the excess fabric, turned, then stuffed the legs, leaving about a finger’s width free.
Step 4: Tails and Sandwiches...
The tail was next. I made sure that the turning hole was along the seam, but kept the small bottom edge un-sewn to avoid creating extra bulk. I left the tail unstuffed, at this point, for reasons that will become clear in a moment….
Now I had to ‘sandwich these various components between the from and back body pieces. I did this in two stages in order to keep everything as controlled as possible.
Rather than putting all the limbs on and the two back pieces at once (which can be quite fiddly to sew), I did the back legs and tail first, then repeated the process with the front legs. I carried out these steps really slowly, continually checking that I was catching everything that needed to be inside the seams.
I turned him the right side out. As I knew that the tail would be quite bulky, it made more sense to sew it flat, when it was inside the ‘sandwich’, and stuff it when everything was right side out.
Step 5: Where Is My Head...?
After that, all that was left to do was to make, and mount, the head and ears.
The head is quite a quick sew. All straight edges and a hole for turning and stuffing.
Once stuffed, I closed it with ladder stitch.
I used the same ladder stitch to attach the head to the body - making sure to hand sew both the front and the back, so that it would be attached securely.
Step 6: Say Hello to the Sleepy Fox!
Once the head was on, I made the little ears. I chose to only sew two sides of the ear and leave the entire bottom seam open.
I added the stuffing then used some hand stitches to needle sculpt a crease in both ears.
When I felt happy with the shape I sewed them onto the join of the head and body.
I was originally going to use buttons for the eyes and nose, but, as I wanted him to look asleep it seemed that a bit of embroidery might be a better choice. I really cannot embroider, and I have zero patience for it, but I’m glad I chose to create his face that way, even if it looks a little higgledy piggledy.
Once his face was complete, all I had to do was add the heated pillow and I had a new BFF :-)