We’ve all seen those long foam pool noodles. They’re the fun and colorful floats in the world of water. We’ve invited them inside with our exclusive Land Noodles™. Thin, soft, and flexible, they’re made with rolled batting wrapped in cozy Cuddle luxury plush fleece from Shannon Fabrics. We picked five combinations in a variety of prints and textures. With Land Noodles™, you’ll still be floating, but it will be on a cloud of softness.
The secret to the smooth yet bendable center of our Land Noodles™ is the use of rolled batting. Stuffing such a long, thin tube with traditional filler would be just asking for bumps and lumps. The roll rocks! It gives you an even finish end to end. And by choosing extra high loft polyester for the batting, the finished Noodle is also machine washable.
We used a pre-packaged, king size cut of high loft (12 oz) polyester batting that measured 120” x 120”. This worked perfectly, but there are a lot of choices for batting. The critical measurement is the 120” width, which will fold down to the 60” needed for the body of the noodle. The second measurement can vary, but you want at least 96” for the proper density.
Even with all the combos we came up with for our bouquet of Land Noodles™, we only scratched the surface of what’s available in colors, patterns, and surface textures. It’s a tidal wave of mix and match options!
We feature classic soft Cuddle prints as well as the silky Luxe Cuddle, ribbed chenilles, and double-sided Cloud Spa Cuddle. Each Land Noodle™ features two fabrics: one for the main center panel and another for the pony tail ends.
The rolled batting is encased in a muslin sleeve, which is then slipped into the Cuddle wrap. The ends of the muslin sleeve are cinched flat to secure, and the ends of the wrap have a simple pony tail tie. The exterior wrap can be easily removed to launder or the entire Noodle can be folded and machine washed and dried. Although it could be done, we don’t recommend trying to remove and wash the muslin sleeve unless you feel it is absolutely necessary. The batting roll is compressed inside the sleeve and will expand if removed, which means you would need to re-roll it and re-tie the batting after laundering the sleeve in order for the batting to again fit into the muslin tube.
We show you how to make ties from the Cuddle to hold the pony tail ends in place. This means that other than a bit of string, no additional elements are needed besides the Cuddle, muslin, and batting.
Land Noodles™ are quite flexible so you can bend them into a support for your head and shoulders or leave them long to weave between your legs. Use one or wrap together two or more. They’d be a wonderful gift to help a pregnant mom get a more comfortable night’s sleep.
Of course, they also make the ultimate weapon for pillow fights… or what’s better known as the Land Noodle Cuddle Clash.
Our Land Noodles™ finish at about 7” in diameter and 60” end-to-end with two approximately 5” pony tails. The loft of the Cuddle will cause the pony tails to vary in length. With a lighter-weight Cuddle you’ll have a deeper tail; with a thicker Cuddle, the tail will be shorter and fluffier. You can adjust the hems at each end if you’d prefer longer tails.
Below are the five Cuddle combinations we used:
From top to bottom: 1) Velvet Soft Cuddle in Teal with Alotta Dots Cuddle in Teal, 2) Paws Cuddle in Graphite/Snow with Luxe Cuddle in Silver, 3) Alotta Dots Cuddle in Kiwi with RKC See Ya Later Cuddle in Mandarin, 4) Cloud Spa Cuddle in Aruba with Let’s Explore Cuddle in Breeze, 5) Baby Giraffe Cuddle in Cappuccino with Chenille Soft Cuddle in Coral.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Walking foot (the Janome Skyline S7 has the awesome AcuFeed Flex™ built-in fabric-feeding system; if you do not have this option, use an Even Feed or Walking foot or similar). We used AcuFeed™ Flex throughout the project.
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: The supplies listed are for ONE Land Noodle™.
- ¾ yard of 58”+ wide Cuddle luxury fleece or similar for the center panel
- ¾ yard of 58”+ wide Cuddle luxury fleece or similar for the pony tail ends and their ties
- 2 yards of 36”+ wide muslin or similar
NOTE: As with the batting, muslin comes in a variety of widths. The required cut is 24” x 64¼”. If you buy a wide muslin (we used a 90” muslin), you’ll need just ¾ yard.
- ONE king size package of extra high loft polyester batting
NOTE: As mentioned above, we used a pre-packaged, king size cut of high loft (12 oz) polyester batting that measured 120” x 120”. This worked perfectly, but there are a lot of choices for batting. The critical measurement is the 120” width, which will fold down to the 60” needed for the body of the noodle. The second measurement can vary, but you want at least 96” for the proper density.
- ONE small ball of string or cotton twine
- Large safety pin
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Measuring tape or yardstick
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
NOTE: Don’t try to press the Cuddle without a pressing cloth, but you can, of course, use an iron on the muslin.
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- From the Cuddle for the center panel, cut ONE 42” wide x 23” high rectangle.
- From the Cuddle for the pony tail ends and their ties, cut the following:
TWO 22” wide x 23” high rectangles
TWO 3½” x 18” strips
- From the muslin, cut ONE 64¼” wide x 24” high panel.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
NOTE: Each Land Noodle™ finishes at over 6’ in length, which makes construction photos challenging. As we’ve done with other very large projects, we made a mini version that can fit within the camera’s frame to better show the steps. The process is the same, the result simply makes a Barbie® Land Noodle™. Also, we’re using the Cloud Spa Cuddle for our mini sample, which is double-sided.
Create the exterior tube
- Because luxury fleece can be quite messy when cut, we recommend both vertical seams as well as the long horizontal seam be done as simple French seams.
- First attach the end panels, placing one end panel at each end of the center panel WRONG sides together, aligning the 23” sides.
- Pin in place. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch both seams.
- Trim back the seam allowance to ¼”.
- Flip the panels so the layers are now RIGHT sides together. Re-pin along the 23” seamed edges.
- Again using a ½” seam allowance, stitch across, encasing the original seam allowance in this new seam.
- You now have a seam that is neat and tidy on both the front…
- … as well as completely finished on the back.
NOTE: If you are new to this technique, we have a full tutorial on French seams as part of our four-part series on machine sewn seam finishes.
- Create a 6½” double-fold hem on each end. To do this, fold back the raw 23” edge ½” and pin in place (you don’t want to press luxury plush as it can be ruined by the heat of an iron).
- Fold back an additional 6” and pin in place again, reusing the original pins so you have just a single set of pins.
- Topstitch the hem in place close to the inner fold.
- Repeat to create a matching hem in the opposite end.
- Stitch the flat sewn panel into a tube with a long, horizontal French seam. As above, first fold the panel WRONG sides together. Make sure you match up your end panel seam lines. Pin in place.
- Stitch this long horizontal seam, using a ½” seam allowance. Trim back this seam allowance to ¼”.
- Turn the tube through one open end so it is now wrong side out. Flatten the tube along the seam; your layers are now RIGHT sides together. Stitch along the seam, again using a ½” seam allowance, encasing the original seam allowance in this new seam.
- Your inside seams are all nicely finished.
- Turn the tube right side out and set aside.
Make the ties
- Find the two 3½” x 18” strips.
- Fold each strip in half so it is now 1¾” x 18”.
- Pin in place across each end and down the 18” side. Leave a 3” opening at the center of the 18” side.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch across both ends and down the long side. Remember to pivot at the corners and to lock the seam at either side of the 3” opening.
- Turn each tie right side out through the 3” opening. Gently push out the corners. A long knitting needle, chopstick or point turner works well for this.
- Fold in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Thread a hand sewing needle with matching thread and hand stitch the opening closed.
- Set aside the two ties.
Create the muslin sleeve
- Along each 24” side of the muslin panel, fold back the raw edge ¾” and press in place.
- Tuck under the raw edge ¼”, folding it back on itself, and press again.
- This creates a narrow casing. Pin the folds in place.
- Topstitch along the inner fold.
- Fold the muslin panel in half, right sides together, aligning the long raw edges. Pin in place from casing seam to casing seam. You don’t stitch all the way to the end or you’d close up the openings and it would no longer be a casing!
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch from casing seam to casing seam,
- You now have muslin tube with a casing at each end.
- Turn the tube right side out though one open end.
Roll the batting center
- Find the large batting cut and your ball of string.
- We recommend having a helper for this step if at all possible. It will help insure the roll is an even density from end to end.
- Remember, our pre-cut was a square: 120” x 120”. Your cut could be a bit shorter – as much as 120” x 96”.
- Fold the batting in half so it is 60” in width.
- Fold in half again so it is approximately 60” in length. When folded twice, our batting was 60” x 60”.
- Starting at the bottom, roll up the batting into a tight tube. It’s like rolling up a sleeping bag, and as mentioned, is easier to do with a second pair of hands. You want the finished diameter of your rolled batting to be about 7”.
- Use the string to wrap the tube from end to end in order to hold it tight. Tie a knot in the string at each end to hold the roll; you’ll remove the string as you insert the batting into the muslin sleeve.
Insert the batting into the sleeve
- Insert the batting roll into one end of the sleeve.
- Gather the entire muslin case onto the end of the batting roll. This is similar to how you’d pull on a pair of tights.
- A little bit at a time, pull the end of the sleeve over the batting, snipping and removing the string as you insert the roll into the sleeve. Continue pushing in the batting, pulling up the sleeve, and removing the string until you get to the other end.
- There should be approximately 2” of casing extending beyond the batting roll at each end.
- We’re not gonna lie, it takes some elbow grease to get the casing on, and as mentioned above, that is the reason we recommend not removing the muslin sleeve to launder it unless you feel it is absolutely necessary as you’d have to re-roll, re-wrap, and re-insert using that aforementioned elbow grease!
- Find the string again and the large safety pin. Pull off an approximate one yard length.
- Fold the string into a double strand and attach the safety pin to one end.
- Insert the string into the casing.
- Pull the string all the way through.
- Hold on to both ends and cinch up the end of the sleeve until it lays flat against the end of the batting roll.
- Tie the ends of the string into a double knot to secure and trim the excess.
- Repeat to cinch closed the opposite casing.
Insert the sleeve into the exterior wrap
- Find the finished exterior wrap.
- Slide the batting filled muslin sleeve into the wrap. You’ll need to slightly compress the roll as you slip it into place.
- Center the roll so the amount of fabric extending beyond the roll is even on both sides. You want your pony tails to be the same size.
- Find the two ties.
- Wrap a tie around each end and knot to secure. The Cuddle ties will give you a soft knot. If you want a tighter wrap, use the same string you used above for the muslin sleeve or an actual pony tail hair band. Secure the ends first with one of these options, then cover with the Cuddle tie.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild