Souvenir Makes No. 2 – Travel Essentials

5 Nov

I really enjoyed using my Scottish souvenir materials to make cushions for my living room sofa. Every time I sit down, I’m reminded of my lovely adventure North.

As my lovely blog readers will know, I am about to go adventuring again, this time even further North, to Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

This gives me the opportunity to make some travel essentials for my Nordic trip, using the materials from Scotland. How wonderfully well-travelled!

I don’t believe in doing holidays by halves – my trips are usually less than relaxing! On my Nordic adventure, I will be travelling to 6 cities in three countries over 12 days. Therefore, I expect that much of the trip will consist of flights, train journeys and bus rides across the beautiful Scandinavian countryside.

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With that in mind, I have decided to make my very own travel pillow, to allow me to snooze comfortably between locations. After scouring the market for a good travel pillow, I became perplexed by the sheer variety of products on the market: microbeads, memory foam, heated pillows – even pillows that look like exotic animals! In the end, I went back to basics and bought a very cheap, unbranded inflatable pillow, for which I would make a deluxe cover for. This meant I would be able to deflate the pillow to pack away between journeys.

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I still had a stash of gorgeous woven remnants, which I had picked up from Kingcraig fabrics in Dornoch. I love all of the colours and patterns, so I decided to piece together a patchwork design for my cushion. Cue the usual chaotic explosion of materials in my living room!

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I made a rough pattern from a piece of paper by tracing around the deflated pillow, then simply cut out my fabric and stitched it together. I also flat felled the seams, to make the pillow look a bit more finished, and to strengthen the seams.

Either my pattern was too wide, or I stitched my seam allowances too narrow, as the finished pillow cover ended up too wide after stitching together. I stitched a new hem down the centre of the sandy material, to improve the fit.

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I stitched around the outer edge, but left the inner curve unstitched, in order to insert the pillow.

I then measured where the air valve was, and carefully snipped a hole in the material – I tacked it by hand and then used a button hole stitch to create the edging for the valve. I appreciate this is not my neatest stitching! The woven fabric was lovely to use but was fraying really easily, so I found it difficult to get a smooth, even finish.

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Finally, when I was happy with the fit of the cover, I tacked the inner curve closed, and inflated the pillow to admire my handiwork

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I enjoyed using the fabrics so much that I used the final scraps to produce a little bag to store the pillow in.

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I’m naturally quite a clumsy person, so at least with this design, if I manage to puncture the pillow, I can easily untack the cover and replace the inflatable. The only risk I have now is losing it! Air pillows can often feel quite cold against your face, but the cover makes the item feel much warmer and more snuggly. I can’t wait to use it on my adventure.

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My final make before my trip started life as a crochet experiment. One day, whilst timewasting on Pinterest, I found a website by two fabulous crochet designers called Shibaguyz. One of their patterns is for an afghan square which shows a sort of diagonal basket weave design, which really appealed to me. I thought I would have a go at producing the square, and was doing really well until around line 4, at which point I came a little unstuck!

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I loved the idea of cabling, and the effect I was producing, but I seemed to have no success in continuing the pattern, no matter how I tried. I was loath to unravel the strip I had made, and so it sat, neglected, in the bag of yarns for a few weeks, until I started prepping for the holiday.

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It occurred to me that it would make a perfect head band to keep my ears warm, so I evened out the final row of stitches, and tacked the two ends together.

The most stylish traveller on the Swedish and Norwegian highways! Until my return, adjo!

 

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