This pillow can be easily customized for your recipient. I was unsure of my gift reciever's favorite sushi, so I stuck with the standards--cucumber, salmon, tuna, and avocado.
Step 1: Materials
- Sewing Machine
- Tape Measure
- Old pillows or stuffed animals to harvest for their stuffing innards
- 1 yard white felt
- 1 yard dark green flannel (you can use 1/2 yard if you are cheap like I am. You will just have to sew an extra bit onto the end of another piece to reach the length for the outside ring of the pillow.)
- 1/2 yard dark pink flannel
- 1/2 yard red flannel
- 2 sheets orange felt
- 3 sheets light green felt
Step 2: The Big Donut Pieces
Fold the white fabric in half. Place a very large circular object on the fabric. I used a drum that makes a circle with a 16" diameter. Draw around your object with a marker.
Cut out the circle, cutting through both layers of fabric.
Place a smaller circular object in the center of your white circle--a bowl works great.. An easy way to find the center: take one of your large circles and fold it in half one way, then in half the other to form a pizza-slice shape. Place this slice onto your other large white circle, lining up the outer edge. The point of the pizza slice is the center of your circle. Center your bowl on the point of the pizza slice, gently pull the slice out from underneath, and trace around your bowl with a marker.
Stack the large white circles again and cut out the inner circle of both pieces.
Step 3: Sewing the Big Donut
Measure the diameter of your big circle and multiply it by pi to find the circumference of your circle. My diameter was 16", so my circumference is 50 1/4". Add a half-inch onto your circumference for seam allowance (50 3/4" in my case). This is the length to cut your dark green fabric for the outside of your sushi roll.
Cut your dark green piece to be 12" high and the length you calculated earlier. My piece is 12" x 50 3/4". Fold in half hamburger style. Pin and sew the small edge leaving a 1/4" seam to make a big loop of fabric.
Step 4: Attaching a Big White "O"
Step 5: Sewing the Inside
To make the inside of your big sushi donut, measure the diameter of the inner circle of the white ring and calculate the circumference like before. My diameter is 8", so my circumference is 25 1/8." Add a half inch onto your circumference length for seam allowance.
Cut a piece of white fabric 12" high and as long as what you calculates above. Fold hamburger-style, pin, and sew.
Turn the white tube you just made right-side-out. Place it inside the big green sushi, leaving the wrong-side out. Align the top edge of the white tube with the edge of the inner white ring (hopefully the picture helps make sense of that mish-mash of instruction). Pin around the entire edge and sew.
Step 6: The Other "O"
Turn the whole thing right-side-out, pulling the inner white tube up through the center so the whole thing makes a large donut shape.
Step 7: Stuff With Fluff
Cut open all the sacrificial stuffing vessels you have collected and rip all the stuffing out. You will need a lot--this pillow and its inner sushi bits need to be quite stiff. Take all the stuffing and make a big pile, pulling apart packed balls of stuffing as much as possible.
Loosely stuff your sushi pillow to give it just a bit of shape. Fill it about half way.
In your non-dominate hand, pinch together the right sides of the white tube and the inner edge of the white ring so that your pinch forms a seam on the inside of the pillow. With a needle and thread, hand-sew the edges together from the inside of the pillow.
Congratulations! That was the hard part. Phew!
Continue all the way around the edge until there are only a few inches left to sew, hiding the seam inside the pillow. Fill the pillow with stuffing, packing it down as you go until the sushi is very stiff. Once it is stuffed with fluff, sew the hole shut.
Massage the stuffing around inside the pillow until it is evenly filled.
MATERIALS NOTE: When I used white felt instead of white flannel, the sushi stayed very firm and in big-donut shape. With the white flannel it folded into a bit more of a triangular opening. The flannel just doesn't hold form at all, where as the stiff felt maintained its shape very well. Whether felt or flannel, once the pillow is full of sushi ingredients it fills out nicely.
Step 8: Salmon Bit
Cut a long strip of light pink fabric 2" wide. Fold down the edges about 1/4" and iron flat. Cut a section of the strip to fit across each circle and two strips to run around the pink tube and pin each strip into place. Sew into place 1/8" from the edge of the light pink strip. After sewing, cut the excess light pink strips from the circles and tube fabric.
Fold the large rectangular piece in half with the light pink bands on the inside so that the ends of the bands are touching (they should line up nicely at the seam). Pin and sew into a tube.
Keeping all the right sides inside the tube, pin one of the pink circles to the end of the tube, lining up the edges as you pin. Sew.
Pin the other pink circle to the other end of the tube and sew, leaving about a 2" opening. Stuff the tube full until it is very stiff. Hand-sew the opening closed and massage the stuffing around inside the pillow so that it is evenly dispersed.
Step 9: Slice of Tuna
To measure the outside of the shape, run your tape measure all the way around the outside edge of the hill shape. This will be the width of your dark pink fabric rectangle to make the main part of the tuna hunk. Cut a piece of fabric 12" high and as wide as your tape-measure number.
With white thread, sew wavy lines back and forth across the two end tuna shapes and the large rectangle to add a bit of texture.
Fold the large rectangle in half so that the 12" edges match up and sew. Line up the seam on the rectangle with the corner of one of your hills and pin the hill onto the rectangle and sew. Pin the other hill onto the other end, being sure that the flat side of the shape lines up with the flat shape on the other side. Sew, leaving a 2" opening on the flat side of the tuna. Stuff full until very stiff and sew shut. Massage the stuffing around inside until it is evenly distributed.
Step 10: Avocado and Carrot
Cut two light green squares that are 3 1/4" wide. Pin one onto the end of the square tunnel and sew all the way around. Repeat on the other side, leaving an opening for stuffing. Fill the little square pillow with lots of fluff, sew shut, and move the stuffing around inside until it is evenly distributed.
If you would like to also make a carrot slice, repeat all the above steps with orange fabric.
Step 11: Cucumber
Cut two light green triangles that are 3" wide on each side. Pin one triangle onto the end of the triangle tube and sew. Repeat on the other side with the other triangle, leaving one side open for stuffing.
Cut 16 teardrops out of white felt and stitch them to the cucumber with a very small "x" in the center of each. You can also use tacky glue to seal the whole white seed onto the cucumber before stitching. Stuff full very stiff, sew shut, and even out the stuffing inside.