Friday, March 21, 2008

Tutorial Friday: Shirt Pillows

Ok, so I'm so excited about this tut! Today we have Jeanette from over at Keep Me In Stitches doing our tutorial. She has also posted this in her blog so you can get it either place!

Have you ever had an article of clothing that you loved, but for some
reason could no longer wear, and you just couldn’t bring yourself to
get rid of it?

That is exactly how I felt about this pair of
pajamas. They were given to me by one of B’s co-workers when I was on
bed rest with the twins. She wrote a sweet little note saying that they
were the perfect pajamas because they were cotton, so I could be cool,
and they had buttons which would allow easy access for nursing.


I fell in love with the sweet print and I did indeed wear these pajamas
to nurse my twins, and then again a year later when their little
brother was born. I nursed all three of my babies in these jammies.
They have been spit up on, slobbered on, had snotty noses and dirty
little hands wiped on them. And they hold a lot of happy memories.

pajamas are so old and worn out that they are literally falling to
pieces, I have had to stitch them back together and now nine years
later, they are beyond their usefulness, but they have been in my
drawer, unused for the last year because I loved them so much, I
couldn’t bear to throw them away.

Then I had an idea…they would
make such a darling little pillow to go on my bed. That way every time
I looked at the little pillow, it would bring back all those happy

I started by blind stitching along the edge of the button front, we don’t want any stuffing squishing out between button holes.

I then lay the top out on my sewing table and checked for any holes
that I would have to work around. There was a hole at the end of each
pleat, so I had to make my pillow shape end just before the end of the

Flip your top inside out so that your right sides are together, then
simply measure and cut a rectangle out of the useable parts of the top.


If you have ever had any doubts about how sharp these rotary cutters
are... I cut the petals right off of this poor sweet little flower
button darn it. The rest are all salvaged and resting comfortably in my
little botton jar. (Insert by Robyn: They're also sharp enough to cut a little boy's finger 1/4 of the way through his fingernail)

Pin your pieces together and head for the sewing machine. Because of
the delicacy of my poor worn out fabric, I did a slightly larger than
1/4 “ seam allowance, then also zig zagged the edges for added strength.

forget to leave a hole for turning right side out! Because I thought it
would be difficult to sew through some of the thicker pleats, I made my
hole over toward a corner; I normally don’t like to do that.

Clip your corners, and then flip your little pillow shape inside out. We are almost done!

your pillow form so that it isn’t all wrinkly when you get it done. Pay
special attention to the open areas to iron your seam allowance, it
makes it much easier to have a straight seam when you blind stitch the
opening closed.

Stuff with the stuffing of choice, I like
polyester fiber fill for pillows. Remember to smooth it out as you go
so your little pillow isn’t lumpy and deformed when you are done. (Fig


Last but not lease, blind stitch your opening closed. Take your time
and do it neatly. A sloppy “blind” seam can totally ruin an otherwise
beautiful pillow. Take small stitches and make sure that you aren’t
leaving any puckers behind.

A little tip, I always leave the
space where I am blind stitching a little under stuffed, then when I
get down to where I only have about ¾’ left I take a pencil and use the
eraser end to gently push a little more filling through the hole and
into the under stuffed space. Leaving understuffed until the blind
stitching is nearly done makes it much easier to blind stitch and makes
my seam much easier to disguise. It also makes it a lot easier on your
hands; you don’t get such a bad cramp trying to hold that seam closed
while you sew.

And that’s it, you are all done. You have taken something treasured and turned it into a keepsake.


Ps, look at the left side of my pillow, half on one pleat is completely
gone, I had to sew one big tear back together and this is how it had to
be. I am weird though I don't think this detracts from my pillow at
all, I think it just adds that much more character =0)

There are so many things you can convert into pillows.
Your daughter’s darling little infant dresses
Your son’s overalls with a gingham button down shirt sewn inside (I would love to try this).
Your old pajamas obviously LOL
Wool Sweaters

Give it a try and please send me pictures if you try it, I would love to see your darling pillows!

A little bit about Jeanette: She and I have been friends for.... about 2 1/2 years now. We met on an old message board forEVER ago, that I have since left, but she is so cool! She has 3 kids, 2 of which are twins. She is an AWESOME quilter and scrapbooker (even if the scrap supplies have sat on the shelf for the last 4 yrs).

I can't wait to try this tut. I have the PERFECT shirts and a PERFECT place for them! Hopefully I'll get a chance today, but if not, you'll see a shirt pillow from me soon!

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