Welcome to SewVeryEasy, my name is Laura. And let’s take a shirt and turn it into a pillow. The first thing we need is to make sure the shirt is clean and is pressed. The next thing we’re going to do is cut it apart.
What we need to do is cut off the sleeves and cut right down that side seam so it’s one long piece. In order for this collar to lay flat, we’re going to have to force it down. Because the shoulders have been sewn on a curve, the top is going to be on a curve. Take the back and push it right underneath the front.
Give yourself enough fabric so that the neck is covered and try to keep the shirt as straight as you can. Then you’re going to be able to tuck and pull until that collar and that shoulder is going to be as flat as it can be. Then just pin along that shoulder edge. Don’t worry about what is underneath; just pin that shoulder as flat as you can, and then lift up the collar.
Continue putting pins all the way around that collar edge, right up to those shoulders. And just straighten it as you go along. You’re just going to be able to push and pull that fabric to manipulate it until it’s nice and flat. When you have the pins around the collar and down the shoulder, just put a couple of pins on the edge so that it doesn’t flip forward, because the next thing we need to do is stitch where we’ve put those pins.
Get matching thread and then stitch down that top edge of where the shoulder is, stopping, going around the collar, and then back down the shoulders. After you’ve stitched around, the back will have a little pocket in it because that’s where the fabric is in the back. Just take that inside and push it down and just move the fabric out of the way and do a little bit of stitching here. You’re not going to be able to close it up completely, but that’s okay because the fabric is still nice underneath.
Stitch is comfortable as you can right along the bottom of that collar. That’s just going to hold it down. Then you can fold the collar back down. If you want it really flat, you can stitch just a little bit along the top of this edge.
I’m going to stitch this down because the collar is very very worn and it’s going to wear out very quick. I’m just going to fold the collar down as flat as I can and just stitch right along that top seam. So the collar is as flat as it’s going to be. If you lift up the front of the shirt you’re going to have a little bit of the back.
Now if you have a very heavy shirt, you could trim this off, but if you have a very thin shirt and it’s not going to be heavy, you can leave it. I need to straighten off that back because it’s into a curve and into the front. Most times you’re going to be able to go by the end of the shirt. Just go from one corner to another corner and cut off that little curve.
When you’ve straightened up the back you need to do the same thing and straighten up the edge to the front. Before you cut off that curve, stitch down a little bit here so that this will not flop open. Once that flap has been closed you can square that up. With that edge cut off I now have two straight edges.
I’m going to match up the back with the front and I’m going to sew down that edge. When this has been sewn together, take it to the iron and press it so that seam is going towards the back of the shirt. So what you’ve done is made that shirt into a big tube. You’re going to be able to have the collar close to the top, but when you turn it over you’ll notice that the seam is near the middle of the back.
You now have two straight edges. The next is going to be straighten the sides up. Have the shirt rightside-out because the collar will kind of make the fabric get in the way. Lay the fabric out as flat as you can and then trim the edges straight.
So you have a pillow that is going to have four nice straight edges. Now you need to decide where you want that collar in the shirt. This is going to be adjustable to however you want it. Turn that rightside-out because we’re going to stitch those side seams.
I want my collar to sit inside the pillow a little bit, so I’m going to leave a little space up here. Then the next thing I’m going to do is open a button, because that’s where I’m going to turn it rightside-out. Match up the edges and sew down. If you’ve left that little piece on, make sure that the piece is flat and not twisted up.
Pin your seams and stitch. When the sides have been stitched, you’re going to be able to pull the pillow to the right side. Make sure the points come out nice and press the seams flat. The pillow is actually done, but what we need to do is make a pillow form for the inside.
Chances are you’re not going to have a pillow this exact size so we might need to make one. You’re going to measure your pillow and cut two pieces of fabric the same size. In my case, it’s going to be 19quot; by 22quot;. I have two pieces of leftover fabric 19quot; by 22quot; to match my pillow and I’m going to stitch around the pillow, leaving an opening.
Pull the pillow rightside-out. Now you can get your pillow stuffing and stuff the pillow form. When it’s all stuffed you need to close that opening, but because it’s inside the pillow you can just do a row of stitching to close that up. To stitch that up I like to take the fill and push it out of the way, machine-stitch it, and then push it back.
Now you can open up all of the buttons, even the buttons that go right around to the back, and put the pillow form in. One thing I like to do once I have the pillow into the form is to stuff the corners because the little point of that pillow form is very hard to get into those corners, and I want those corners filled. So I’ll take a handful of batting and just put it right in those corners and have that pillow form take that shape. And when it’s all stuffed and shaped the way you want it, you can do up the buttons.
The shirt pillow is now done. The top has a little bit of fabric up here so that that collar is not sticking up. It looks nice and flat. The buttons run all the way towards the back and then the back runs all the way to the back, so you’re going to have a seam somewhere in the back.
By keeping the buttons on and not stitching them closed, you’re going to be able to take the pillow out whenever you need to and wash it. This is a great project to make. Not only does it look nice, it holds a great memory. Thank you for joining me today on SewVeryEasy and feel free to subscribe and, as always, come on back.
Let’s see what we’re sewing next time in the sewing room.