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.

shirt

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

Instructions:

  •  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!

Materials:

Opt In Image

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.

Finished

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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Make Pom Pom Pillows | So Sew Easy

Make Pom Pom Pillows | So Sew Easy


Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs. Love the idea of using a velvet too.

I dare you to say it out loud and only say it once. “Pom Pom Pillows, Pom Pom Pillows” Darn, I enjoyed wandering around the house chanting Pom Pom Pillows nearly as much as I enjoyed making them.

These were a breeze to make and yet they look pretty nice I think.  I always love the look of damask style prints, and wanted some smaller accent throw pillows (cushions for the UK readers) to go in the bedroom.  Black and red are my husband’s favorite colors together, and I think this combination looks classy but a little sexy at the same time 😉  A small black and white accent pillow goes with anything and can tone down some other wild colors.

Materials:

  • Luxury look fabrics, cotton damask prints, satins, velvet, silk !
  • Pom Pom trim 
  • Snap tape
  • A little light interfacing for the snap tape opening
  • Zipper foot

I got my trim and tape from Pacific Trimming.  [Special offer – 10% off for So Sew Easy readers at Pacific Trimming – use code SoSewEasy.]

How to make Pom Pom Pillows

[Please excuse the dodgy photos in this post.  Trying to take photos of simple black and white seemed more than my camera could cope with!]

Pin the pom pom trim to the right side of your pillow cover front, matching the edge of the trim with the raw edge of the fabric.  The pom poms face in towards the center.  You’ll need to curve the trim a little to wrap it around the corners, but better to curve it round than to fold it I found, or you’ll end up with your pom poms a bit bunched up.

Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs. Love the idea of using a velvet too.

Simply overlap a little at the start and finish, trimming off any extra pom pom to make them even.

Baste the trim in place within the seam allowance.  I found this was a better approach rather than have the trim move about between the layers later on.  You can baste with your regular presser foot.

Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs. Love the idea of using a velvet too.

Set the front aside for now and let’s work on the back.  I made mine with a snap tape closure across the back so I could get my insert out for washing the cover.  It’s very easy to do and creates an easy to use cover without fiddling with zips.  I have an earlier tutorial on how to add in snap tape to a pillow back – find it here.

How to sew snap tape to make a pillow back so you can remove the cover for washing.

Once the back is completed, you can simply trim the back a little if needed to match the front and them place them right sides together, matching up corners and raw edges.  Pin in place.  Because the pillow back already has an opening with the snap tape, we don’t need to leave any kind of gap for turning and can sew around all 4 sides.

Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs. Love the idea of using a velvet too.

However, because of the little pom poms, to get up close, you’ll need to use a zipper foot.  Sew slowly so that you can feel the edge of the tape as you go with your finger.  This tape has pretty little scallops along the edge and I wanted to show those so I tried to sew just inside that edge.  Because the edge of the trim is even with the edge of the fabric, I could just line up my presser foot, set the needle and sew knowing it would be even all the way around.

Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs. Love the idea of using a velvet too.

Rather than pivot and make a square at the corners, I did curve the seam to match the curve in the trim.  Once it was sewn on all sides, I used my overcasting stitch to neaten the seams and prevent fraying.  It’s my favorite way to neaten seams that aren’t really going to show – read more about overcasting here.

Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs. Love the idea of using a velvet too.

Open up the snap tape across the back, turn the cover the right way and add your insert.

And that basically is all there is to it!  One very nice looking Pom Pom Pillow with just a few straight lines of sewing.  It really is all in the nice fabric you choose and the pretty trim.

Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs. Love the idea of using a velvet too.
Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs. Love the idea of using a velvet too.

I made a second one with another black and white damask style print and added in a ruched band of the first fabric just to co-ordinate the two together.  Again, a few lines of straight stitching, a little gathering and it was only minutes to make this one too.

Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs. Love the idea of using a velvet too.

So if you are looking to sew up some throw pillows, try adding some pom pom trim for a very quick and easy way to make them look a little more fancy with not much effort.  Want to add a little extra interest with some texture to your pillows like the ruched panel?  Check out my review of the Sewing Texture Class for some fabric inspiration!

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Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs. Love the idea of using a velvet too.
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Sashiko Quilting Tutorial: How to Make a Japanese Embroidery Cushion

Sashiko Quilting Tutorial: How to Make a Japanese Embroidery Cushion


sashiko quilting tutorial

Hello! I’m Rin from Sew in Love and owner of Hana Patterns. I’m back with another free sewing pattern for you, inspired by my Japanese heritage. You can make this embroidered pillow to add a touch of ethnic and bohemian style to your home.

What’s Sashiko?

Sashiko is a type of traditional Japanese embroidery. It started out as a way to strengthen cotton and linen fabrics, but these days, we enjoy its repetitive patterns for decoration. Once you get started, sashiko embroidery is a really calming and relaxing activity. I love how my sashiko pillow enhances my other handmade pillows to bring a boho vibe to my living room (see my room tour here). Let’s get started!

MATERIALS

I’ve designed this sashiko embroidery pattern so it can be be adapted to any pillow size. But for your reference, my pillow is 50cm x 50cm (20″ x 20″).

For the embroidered panel:

  • 55cm x 55cm (22″ x 22″) of dark natural fabric (eg. linen, hemp, organic cotton)
  • Contrasting embroidery thread and needle

To complete the pillow:

  • 55cm x 55cm (22″ x 22″) of fabric for the back of the cushion (I used a gingham check fabric for contrast)
  • 45cm (17.5″) Zipper

SASHIKO QUILTING TUTORIAL

Step 1: Draw the Guidelines

Draw a square at the centre of your fabric, which is 5cm (2″) smaller than the finished pillow size. For my 55cm x 55cm  (22″x22″) pillow, I drew a 50cm x 50cm (20″x20″) square (see Image A). Draw vertical guidelines as per Image A, at 1/2, 1/4 and then 1/12 of the width. Then, draw horizontal guidelines, at 1/2 and then 1/6 of the vertical length.

sashiko quilting tutorial

Step 2: Draw the Pattern

Draw the sashiko pattern, as shown in Image B in RED. I used yellow chalk on my black linen fabric to make it really stand out.

Step 3: Start Stitching

Now that the hard part is over, it’s time for the fun to begin! Image C shows the lines to embroider in BLUE. A simple running stitch is all you need to do sashiko embroidery. I started with the outer square border, followed by the vertical and horizontal lines, all in white thread. The diagonal lines were stitched using two different shades of blue thread. The only rule to try to follow is to keep the stitches slightly longer than the gaps between the stitches. The ideal ratio is 3:2, so that means the gap between stitches should be 1/3 of the length of the stitches themselves.

sashiko quilting tutorial
sashiko quilting tutorial

Step 4: Finish the Pillow

Stitch the pillow together and attach the zipper as you would with any standard pillow. And that’s it! Admire your beautiful stitches and the unique pillow you’ve just created.

If you’re curious about Japanese style sewing and patterns, come on over to my blog, Sew in Love or browse my Japanese inspired fashion sewing patterns at Hana Patterns.  You can also see my Boho Kimono and Baby Kimono Onesie tutorials right here on this site!

sashiko quilting tutorial


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Hi, I’m Rin from Sew in Love. I love sewing for fashion, home and baby. My blog is all about living a modern and chic handmade lifestyle. I’d love to have you join me on my creative journey at:



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Recycling Old Placemats – Doing Your Part To Reduce Waste

Recycling Old Placemats – Doing Your Part To Reduce Waste


recycling old placemats

At home, I have eight ugly, crackly, and wavy old-looking vinyl placemats that I keep using every day. Sadly, they have become an eyesore in my kitchen. However, as you all know, I hate throwing things away –so I thought I’d breathe new life into them. In this article, I thought I’d show you how to go about recycling old placemats.

Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed these placemats and they’ve served us well. Before we were living in a rather dark apartment and the dash of red brought a bit of color into an otherwise somber place. I have had these placemats for 11 years. Now, it’s time to change.

I did think of tossing them, but they’re vinyl and therefore not recyclable where I live. This gave me pause, I can’t help feeling guilty about filling up some far off landfill with silly plastic items. I am not the sort of women to complain about an issue on social media and do nothing real about it. I value action and there’s no better place to make a change than in your own home, no matter how small.

So here is my way of using that hideous pile of placemats without throwing them out (with the bonus of reducing my out-of-control fabric stash). I have used cotton and linen canvas fabric. It is the perfect hardy textile for the kitchen. Please check out the fabric recommendations from Fabric.com below for something similar you might like. There’s a terrific print from one of my favorites, Marimekko.

I have made a sort of pillowcase to cover the old placemats. Like this, I can take the old placemats in and out to be able to wash them.

Materials

  • Old placemats
  • Fabric (canvas, cotton twill, upholstery, waxed cotton or any fabric that is used to make cushions or cover a sofa) depending on how many are you planning to cover. You can estimate about 1/2 yard per placemat but best to measure as detailed below.
  • Thread to match

Tools

Fabric Recommendations from Amazon

Covering Or Recycling Old Placemats

Ah yes, we are going to cover the placemats. We are going to use the placemats as a stabilizer so you will not need to use fusible interfacing for this project.

Step One:

The first thing to do is to take your fabric and wash it in hot water and dry it in the dryer until it is almost dry, then iron with a very hot iron. This will shrink the fabric and you will be able to easily wash the placemats.

Not washing the fabric before using in a sewing project is one of the most important mistakes to avoid when cutting fabric. Please read the linked article to learn the other 4 big mistakes.

I found that my fabric, due to its composition 80% cotton and 20% linen, shrank by 4 inches. This is a lot of you are making something that is supposed to fit snugly on something or someone.

Step Two:

Measure your placemats horizontally and vertically and add 1/2″ around the whole rectangle.

recycling old placemats

Step Three:

Take this large rectangle and mark and fold it in the middle. Then to each half, add 1/2″ in the center.

recycling old placemats

Step Four:

You should have three rectangles now. If your placemats have curved corners you can use a coin to shape the corners.

recycling old placemats

Trace all these rectangles and cut the fabric.

Step Five:

Fold the sides that will become the center back of the placemats by 1/2″.

recycling old placemats

Pin the front and the backs print sides together.

Pin the front and back together. Line them up then turn the center sides, zigzag the edge then topstitch. Zigzag at 1/8″ all around the placemats.

recycling old placemats
recycling old placemats

Sew around with a small to medium stitch at 1/8″.

recycling old placemats

Turn the placemat inside out and top stitch around it at 1/8″

recycling old placemats

If the vinyl placemats are too hard to insert, you can trim them about 1/4″ more like I have done here.

recycling old placemats
recycling old placemats
recycling old placemats

It is said that the fashion industry is in the top ten most polluting industries in the world. Largely due to the two dollar t-shirts and mass production of ready-to-wear garments, many items are often worn for less than three months. Let’s do our bit to repurpose the things we have around us, both to limit waste, beautify our surroundings and save the planet.

We talk more about this in a past article about Why Millenials Should Learn to Sew. You may want to check it out.

So we’ve finished the project. Below is my kitchen table where we spend most of our meals. This is exactly how I set the table for every meal of the week with the exception when we have guests over that we use our dining room. It’s not fancy, but there is no TV or phones. The flowers are changed and in their place, the food will be served.

P.S. Yes the table is set for left-handed people 🙂

Need to do more recycling? Have a look at these fantastic ideas.

Or, if you have too many t-shirts…

What do you think about recycling old placemats? I think it’s a simple, fun way to practice your skills and beautify your home.

While I was making them I came up with two other ways to do it. I made six placemats, but I have two more to go. What would you do differently? Leave your ideas as a comment or better send me the pictures of you recycling old placemats and I will add it to this post. Until next time, Happy Sewing!

recycling old placemats
recycling old placemats

For Berneice who has cork placemats

Thanks for your comment Berneice, I hope the drawing below gives you an idea of what to do in case the placemats do not bend. The view is seen from below. I would not make the bottom side too think. perhaps single layer if you are using canvas or any other think fabric. Let me know if this works for you.


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