Thursday, March 20, 2008

Shirt Pillows

This is a tutorial I made for an appearance as a guest creator on Robyn's "Craft With Me" Blog, hope you enjoy it.

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.

These 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 memories.

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 pleats.

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.

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.

Don’t 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!

Iron 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 7)

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!


Robyn said...

Yay! It's posted!