When you use this free pattern for a mastectomy comfort pillow with a pocket, you will provide physical and emotional comfort to someone fighting breast cancer.
On February 4th, I honored World Cancer Day 2021 by outlining four simple things makers can do to support cancer patients.
One of those things was sewing mastectomy pillows and I linked to my patterns for a heart-shaped mastectomy pillow and my double mastectomy pillow.
But I still had this mastectomy comfort pillow pillow pattern in my queue, so it was time to finish it and release it into the sewing tutorial wild.
A Simple Mastectomy Comfort Pillow Pattern
This comfort pillow is a basically a fabric rectangle with a cut out that I lovingly call the “arm divot”.
Because well, “armpit hole” sounds gauche.
Another thing of note: You won’t be using the pattern piece to cut on a fold.
I wanted to have a different fabric piece for the front and the back. So, you’ll just align the pattern with the top edges of the layered fabric pieces.
If you can’t visualize it clearly yet, don’t worry! The video tutorial walks you through the whole thing.
Materials & Tools For A Mastectomy Pillow With A Pocket
These are the materials you’ll need for this cancer support pillow:
– 100% cotton fabric in a fun pattern or print
This patterned/print fabric is used as the front panel of the pillow form and needs to be cut to 14″ x 9″.
– 100% cotton in solid color
The solid fabric is used for the back panel of the pillow form and for the pocket. The back panel should be cut to 14″ x 9″ and the pillow piece should be cut to 14″ x 5.5″.
– Polyester fill
A small bag of polyester fill should work for this pillow. You want the pillow to be a medium firmness so that it doesn’t add pressure instead of relieve it.
– Free mastectomy comfort pillow pattern (aka the “arm divot”)
– Sewing clips
You will want to clip the pillow form edges along the way. They are also super helpful to secure the pillow curve while sewing.
– Small scissors
You’ll be trimming a lot of thread along the way so it’s good to have small scissors close at hand.
– Sewing machine
Even if you love sewing by hand, this isn’t that project…
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Video Tutorial: Sew A Mastectomy Comfort Pillow
How To Make A Mastectomy Comfort Pillow
This tutorial provides detailed instructions on how to make a mastectomy comfort pillow with a pocket. These post-surgery pillows can be made in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the person's need.
This mastectomy pillow with a pocket is a good solution for people who want to use a cold or hot pack as part of their healing. A pillow like this is also a wonderful addition to any chemo care bag you are creating to give to family or friends.
- 100% Cotton Fabric (pattern or print)
- 100% Cotton Fabric (solid)
- Polyester fill
- Sewing clips
- Sewing machine
- Mastectomy Comfort Pillow Pattern
CUT FABRIC TO SIZE & PREPARE PATTERN
- Cut a 14" x 9" piece of the 100% cotton patterned/print fabric.
- Cut a 14" x 9" piece of the 100% cotton solid fabric.
- Cut a 14" x 5.5" piece of the 100% cotton solid fabric.
- Download the mastectomy comfort pillow pattern (aka arm divot) and cut it to size.
FINISH POCKET EDGE
- Take the pocket piece and fold one long edge over 1/2" and clip.
- Finger press to crease.
- Remove the clips and fold over another 1/2" and clip to secure for sewing.
- Use a zigzag stitch or straight sitch with a 1/8" seam allowance to secure the folded edge.
CONSTRUCT PILLOW FORM
- Lay the patterned/print fabric down right side up.
- Take the pocket piece and place it right side up on top of the back panel piece. (Reminder: The bottom edge of the pocket is the unfinished edge.)
- Take both fabric pieces and place them right sides together with the patterned/print fabric. The pocket piece should be sandwiched between the two larger pieces.
- Clip the short edges of the fabric to prepare for sewing.
- Sew the sides together using a 1/2" seam allowance.
CUT OUT THE ARM DIVOT
- Place the pattern piece on the fabric and align the straight edge of the pattern piece with the top edge of the fabric.
- Now move the piece so that each of the edges is 3" away from each side edge.
- Clip the pattern piece to the fabric and add a couple of extra clips to hold the whole top together. If you'd like, you can also clip the bottom edge so that the fabric doesn't shift while you're cutting.
- Cut out the half circle.
- Clip around the curve of the half circle to prepare for sewing.
FINISH SEWING THE PILLOW FORM
- Sew the top edge and the curve using a 1/4" seam allowance.
- Use clips to mark a 3" turning hole in the center of the bottom edge.
- Sew the bottom edge using a 1/2" seam allowance.
TURN AND STUFF THE MASTECTOMY PILLOW FORM
- Trim all of the edges/corners to reduce bulk in the pillow's corners.
- Turn the comfort pillow form right sides out.
- Take an extra minute or two to make sure all of the corners are poked out for crisp corners.
- Finger press all the edges for extra measure.
- Take a handful of polyfil and start stuffing your pillow form.
- Stuff the pillow to medium firmness.
- Use the sewing clips to prepare the open bottom section for sewing.
- Use a 1/4" seam allowance to sew the hole closed.
- The sewing sequence isn't set in stone. For the purpose of this tutorial, this process was easiest to follow. If you're a seasoned sewist, use whatever process feels best for you.
- Before sewing the curve of the pillow, push the edge of the pocket down so that it doesn't get caught in the seam.
- You can use a ladder stitch to hand sew the turning hole closed if you prefer. The sewing machine, however, is typically faster.
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PENTA ANGEL 4.1inch Sewing Scissors Yarn Thread Cutter Mini Small Snips Trimming Nipper - Great for Stitch,DIY Supplies (3PCS, Multicolor)
Additional Handmade Gifts For Breast Cancer Patients
If you’re pulling together care packages for people battling breast cancer, here are some additional things you can make to support them:
- Waterproof mastectomy drain bag holders for the shower allow the patient to shower with peace of mind instead of wondering how to manage the drains without specific clothing or a some sort or belt.
- A lip balm keychain holder with a lightly scented or unscented lip balm that the person can easily attach to a bag or purse for when their lips feel dry and uncomfortable.
- A stress reduction kit that includes inspirational coloring pages and a set of coloring pencils.