How To Make A Pillow Out Of A Shirt

How To Make A Pillow Out Of A Shirt

Hi everyone!  It’s Jann from Newton Custom Interiors again.  Today, I’m going to share another cute pillow idea.  I’ll be showing you how to make a pillow out of a shirt – with some special added details!

Everyone knows how expensive fabric can be.  That’s what is so great about this type of pillow.  You can use a shirt that you already have, or you can go to Goodwill, like I did, and find some great shirts to make your pillows.  The added bonus is that the buttons and buttons holes on the front of the shirt make your closure.  No need to hand-sew or insert a zipper to close your pillow!

Easy way to make a pillow out of a shirt - already has a button closure ready to use for the back!

I loved finding this bright pink men’s shirt at my local Goodwill.  I think I paid $3.00 for it.  It was an XL, so there was a lot of fabric to work with.


Since the fabric was pink, I decided to use some of the extra fabric from the shirt to make fabric flowers for the front side of the pillow.  I love how the flowers add a little whimsy to the pillow!  I’ve included a video in the tutorial that shows how to easily make the flowers.

fabric flowers

How To Make A Pillow Out Of A Shirt

Materials needed:

  • Shirt
  • Pillow form
  • Thread
  • Buttons


  •  Make a paper pattern that is the same size as your pillow form, and lay it on your shirt.  My form was 12″ x 16″, so that’s the size of my pattern.  (I don’t like to add in seam allowances when I make pillows – this makes for a snugger fitting pillow.)pattern on shirt
  • Cut out both layers of fabric.  This will give you the front and back sides of your pillow.back and front
  • Cut out strips of fabric for your flowers.  I had one large flower, and the strip of fabric was cut at 3″ x 21″.  For the two smaller flowers, I cut my fabric strips at 2 1/4″ x 15″.  Here’s my video showing how to make the fabric flowers.

I hope have enjoyed this pillow tutorial!

Easy way to make a pillow out of a shirt - already has a button closure ready to use for the back!

I’ve also made a shirt pillow in which the button closure is on the front of the pillow, instead of the back.

make a shirt pillow

How To Make A Shirt Pillow

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Make your own Hammerhead Shark Pillow Pet Pattern

Make your own Hammerhead Shark Pillow Pet Pattern

How to make your own Pet Pillow Pattern - love this one is a hammerhead shark. What a great idea.

Hi! I’m Stephanie from Swoodson Says and I’m excited to be contributing posts over here. My son is almost 2 and at such a fun age; I love making him unique toys, dress-up accessories,  and softies. Two of my favorites that I’ve blogged about are a DIY Buckle Toy & a giant Floor Book Pillow.

Pillow pets are so popular – we already have one store-bought small one and my son loves to lay on it and read or drag it around by the tail. The selection of animals is pretty small, so I decided to make my own!


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Download the shark pillow pet pattern

You can download the hammerhead shark pillow pet pattern here.  This includes the template for the shark only, all sewing instructions are here for you to refer to.

How to make up your hammerhead shark pillow pet pattern

1. Cut pattern pieces! Eyes  (2 grey, small + 2 ivory felt, large) — Head (1 fleece + 1 minky) — Tail (2 minky, as a mirrored pair) — Body (1 minky + 1 fleece; rectangles 15″ X 15″) — Velcro (3 pairs; 2 inches long each) — Straps (6 fleece rectangles; 4.5″ X 3″)

How to make your own Pet Pillow Pattern - love this one is a hammerhead shark. What a great idea.

2. Pin or clip together the head & tail pieces, right sides together (RST), and sew with a 3/8″ seam allowance around the outside, leaving the bases open. A walking foot is handy to keep the layers together as you sew. Snip curves and turn right-side out. Stuff the tail firmly and the head lightly with poly-fill and baste the openings shut.

Step 3 & 4

3. Fold each rectangle in half length-wise and sew two sides with 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving one short end open. Trim seam allowance and cut corner, turn right side out. Sew Velcro on to the closed end.

Steps 5 6

4. Lay the minky pillow piece right side up and lay the head minky side down on top and centered, pull an inch of the head outside of the pillow edge, and pin. Center the tail on the opposite side, pull an inch outside of the pillow edge and pin. Baste in place along the pillow’s edges, using the extra inch of fabric to keep it straight and guide it under the feed dogs without skewing. (Please ignore that the minky pillow base hasn’t been fully trimmed yet, it was an oversight when I was taking pictures!)

5. Lay the fleece pillow piece right side up and position the three hook-Velcro straps facing up, laying on the inside of the pillow. Place the outer two straps 2″ from each edge and the third strap 8″ from both edges. Position the loop-Velcro straps facing down, laying on the inside of the pillow with the same space. Baste along the edges of each strap. Optional: use tape to keep the end laying straight.

Last 2 steps

6. Lay the pillow bottom and pillow top RST making sure to keep all straps, head, and tail tucked inside. Pin or clip around the edges, leaving a 3-4 inch gap open to turn the pillow. Sew with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Trim off the excess from the head & tail bases, clip corners.


7. Carefully turn right side out, stuff, and ladder stitch the opening closed. Hand or machine sew the grey smaller eye on to the ivory larger eye and then hand-stitch the eyeball on to the head, centering over the fleece/minky seam.

How to make your own Pet Pillow Pattern - love this one is a hammerhead shark. What a great idea.

Trim any basting threads that have snuck out and enjoy! Your very own custom pillow pet!

How to make your own Pet Pillow - love this one is a hammerhead shark. What a great idea.

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How to Sew a Tiny Hem with the Rolled Hem Foot

How to Sew a Tiny Hem with the Rolled Hem Foot

When working with lightweight or even sheer fabrics, the best way to finish an edge is often with a rolled hem foot: faster than hand-sewing and a lot easier, if you know how to do it.

What? You don’t?  No worries!

Let me share with you my best tips and in no time you’ll be sewing a perfect rolled hem: I can see so many fluttering dresses, silk scarves, napkins (and so on) featuring this couture hem in your future 😉

rolled hem foot

Wait! I don’t have a rolled hem foot: where can I find one for my machine?

You can try with your sewing machine dealer, if you’re so lucky to have one in the neighborhood. If not, check your manual and see if there is an online shop (or just google *your machine brand* + spare parts online).

You can save some money and get an universal kind of foot. Be sure to choose the right shank version: most of the home sewing machines use a snap-on low shank, but some Singer have a slanted shank (double check in your manual!)

Check out a generic universal rolled hem foot here on Amazon:

Depending on your fabric weight, choose an appropriate rolled hem foot: smaller funnel width goes with lighter fabric, and vice-versa.

Note: you can use a wider rolled foot hem on a lightweight/sheer fabric but you’ll have a hard time squeezing it in a narrower foot a medium weight fabric so, if you want to buy your first one, I’d better choose one with a funnel 1/8″ wide (or more)!

Rolled hem foot anatomy

rolled hem foot

The rolled hem foot coolest feature is the funnel you see on the front side: it’s here, where the magic happens!

Your fabric will roll up into it and go out in the back, running through the groove, carved in the bottom of the foot… almost unbelievable!

Let’s start with the basics

Here is a step-by-step for you, filled with my suggestions for better results:

1) To get the hem started, you’d better press (or finger press, depending on your fabric) the double crease for the first couple of inches: this will help you guiding it through the funnel.

To do that, press the hem toward the wrong side of the fabric, keeping it of consistent width, just a smidge less than the finished hem width (matching the groove below the foot).

rolled hem foot

Repeat, pressing it another time toward the wrong side. Put a pin on it to keep it in place. 2) To the sewing machine: lay your fabric on the needle plate, wrong side up.

Lower the presser foot and do a couple of stitches, using the hand wheel. Remove the pin.

Needle down, raise the presser foot and use your tweezers to feed the creased fabric into the funnel, as it is. Lower the presser foot again and start sewing slowly (use a straight stitch, setting length = 2).

rolled hem foot

Note that you’re sewing ON THE WRONG SIDE of the fabric, so the bobbin thread will show on the right side: keep it in mind when choosing its color and when testing the balance of the seam (it’s important that your bobbin-side of the seam looks perfect, not like the one below – intentionally bad-looking!)

rolled hem foot

3) Go on sewing and keep feeding the fabric into the funnel, holding it in tension, but without pulling it.

Feed the fabric keeping a consistent hem allowance (double of your foot hem width – see picture 3 in step 2)

Important tip: sew at a slow pace, working small portions (3-4″) each time; stop, re-fold the fabric checking it’s 2x hem width, sew, repeat!

Tip # 2: use both hands to guide your fabric: the right hand will keep the seam allowance raw edge at the right distance, while the left one will guide the fabric so it goes straight under the foot!

Now you may think it looks easy (and it is… just need some practice to get it perfect) but, if you’ve ever tried sewing with one of those rolled hem feet, you may have a few questions coming in mind: let’s go deeper and try to answer to some of them!

Rolled hem on a curve/on bias – problems and solutions

Fabric behaves in a totally different way when cut on the bias. While sometimes is exactly what we want, you’ll rapidly learn that on rolled hems it’s really annoying!

Remember that even a garment that isn’t cut on bias may have problematic rolled hems: any curved hem will be, ultimately, cut on the bias!

There is a cool tip I’ve learned a while ago and that will save your children from learning a few “nice” words (been there…).

Here is the suggestion: first of all, using your regular foot, sew a straight seam almost where the final fold of the fabric will sit, to stabilize the bias so you don’t get the fabric rippling.

Snap your narrow hem foot on, sew the hem and, when you’re done, rip the stabilizing first seam away if it’s visible (you’ll be using a blending thread color, hopefully, I used this fuchsia so it showed to you!)

Serger Pepper 4 So Sew Easy - Rolled Hem Foot tutorial - rolled hem on a curve or bias

Intersecting another seam

When sewing a hem in round, most of the times you will need to intersect at least one side seam: please don’t try to squeeze it into the funnel!

Instead, do the following:

  • Stop (needle down) when you reach the hem
  • lift the foot and take the fabric out of the funnel, while keeping the fabric creased
  • put the foot down again and sew over the side seam bulk, controlling the fabric so you sew just on the fold (as you did until that point)
  • when you’re gone over it, re-slip the fabric into the funnel (use your tweezers or a needle to help yourself) and re-start sewing.

… that’s it 😉

6 more little tips…

… that come into my mind when I hear “rolled hem foot”

  1. Tweezers are your new BFF: get a pair of them if you still don’t have them!
  2. Start your seam holding the thread tails, to avoid the fabric being eaten from the needle throat. If all else fails, add a piece of toilet paper between the fabric and the needle throat and sew over it (gently rip it away after you’ve finished sewing)
  3. Press the whole hem on the right side of the garment after sewing it.
  4. Sheers not behaving? Spray starch is the answer!
  5. Avoid too-fraying edges (trim them right before, using a rotary cutter or sharp scissors)
  6. Try using a rolled hem foot paired with a blind-hem stitch… and expect something cool! (Check first your foot can accommodate wide stitches by turning the hand wheel… by hand!)

Now it’s your turn: do you ever use a rolled hem foot? Do you like it? I’d love to hear from you!

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Quick and Simple Spring / Easter Baby Bibs

Quick and Simple Spring / Easter Baby Bibs

Next in the seasonal baby bib series, I created some quick Easter and Spring designs.

As I mentioned in the Valentine’s post, if you don’t have a baby to sew for, these silhouettes can be used for a multitude of other projects! They would be cute on a t-shirt too!

To make your own Spring or Easter baby bib, you will need:

  • The Pattern (link below)
  • a couple of large scraps of fabric
  • a couple of small scraps of fabric (for the appliques)
  • matching thread
  • freezer paper (optional – If you have never used freezer paper before, check out my freezer paper tips!)
  • Heat N Bond Lite
  • scissors
  • sewing machine


How to sew a Spring / Easter baby bib

[Note: for more photos of each of the steps, check out the Christmas bib tutorial too!]

  1. Cut two of the baby bib (mirrored). Note: seam allowance is not included in the pattern. Cut around the pattern, including your desired seam allowance. I used about 1/4 inch.
  2. Choose your applique and your desired fabric You will choose either the bunny or the flower. Cut directly on the line. Do not include a seam allowance, as the design will be appliqued on. Trace the design to your Heat N Bond (or freezer paper) and apply to the reverse of the fabric.  Cut out around the pattern you drew.
  3. Remove paper backing from the Heat N Bond and iron it to the front of the bib, using the included instructions.  If using freezer paper, remove the paper and either apply a fabric adhesive or not, you decide.
  4. Applique the silhouette (I hand-sewed a blanket stitch around the edges of mine but you can also use your machine for this step.)Easter Spring Baby Bib - flower applique Easter Spring Baby Bib - bunny applique
  5. With right sides together, sew around the edges of the bib, leaving a small gap on one side to turn. Easter Spring Baby Bib - inside out
  6. Clip the fabric along the curves (Be careful not to clip through the seam.)
  7. Turn rightside and press. Easter Spring Baby Bib - bunny right side
  8. Topstitch all the way around the bib, making sure to complete the seam where you turned the bib.
  9. Install the snap (I used snaps for my bibs because I had them on hand but you could also sew velcro onto the bib to use as a closure instead.)

Easter Spring Baby Bib - bunny Easter Spring Baby Bib - flower

Like I mentioned above, the silhouettes can be used for a variety of projects. I would love to see what you make from them. Come by and share your projects on the Felt With Love Designs Facebook page or tag me on Instagram (@feltwithlovedesigns)!

Easter Spring Baby Bib - finished

For more fun, kid-friendly projects, head over to Felt With Love Designs. I recently designed a fun seal softie that would make an awesome baby toy and an adorable girly robot softie!

If you are interested in more baby-related projects, I frequently pin fun (mostly free) patterns and projects to my sewing for baby Pinterest board. You also might like the round-up of free diaper bag patterns!

So adorable!  Pattern and tutorial for these Spring or Easter Baby Bibs.

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Hi! I’m Alicia from Felt With Love Designs where my husband, Patrick, and I write about all of our crafty and artistic endeavors. Patrick is the artist behind our designs. I create all our patterns and designs based on his sketches and bring them to life with a needle and thread.

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