Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Repurposing a T-Shirt into a Round Pillow Cover

IMG_2213I made my son a new pillow for his room by taking an old pillow’s form and recovering it with t-shirts!

The original pillow had a zipper closure, but I did not want to duplicate that, so I’ll show you an alternative way to close the pillow.

I started with this old, pink pillow that had seen better days. It was probably an antique or something…


…but I picked it apart anyway so I could use the pieces to make a pattern.


I traced the round front onto scrap paper three times (realized later I only needed to do this twice!) IMG_2190

Then I cut out the circles I’d traced.


I pinned one circle to the t-shirt fabric and cut it out.


I folded two of them up by about 1/3 of their size and cut two of this shape from the remaining part of the t-shirt.


I started making the sides of the pillow (if you just used two round shapes, the pillow would be flat, so you need to make a piece for the sides).

I measured the existing piece from the original pink pillow and found it was 2 1/2” tall, including seam allowance. I needed to calculate the circumference of the pillow, so I used the formula

2(3.14)(radius) = C

to determine the length of fabric I would need and started cutting 2 1/2” strips.


I sewed these strips together into one long strip (I needed about 40” of 2 1/2” wide fabric).IMG_2200

In the meantime, I wanted to do an appliqué of a rhino to match the fabric I used to make pillow shams and to recover the rocking chair for his room. I cut the rhino out of another t-shirt.


Then I pinned the appliqué onto the pillow’s front using lots of pins so it wouldn’t move. I didn’t interface it, which would’ve made it easier to sew knit fabric onto another knit fabric.IMG_2196

Then I sewed around the rhino (I set the tension on the machine to 3 and used a slightly longer running stitch.)


At this point, I started working on the back of the pillow. The original pillow cover had a zipper. I didn’t want to fool with a zipper, so I just did an envelope closure. I took the two partial circles of fabric and hemmed the straight edge of each. I put a ribbon onto the edge that would be in the front just for decoration.


Next, I lined up these two back edges so they made a full circle and overlapped by about 1 1/2”. Make sure both right sides are facing the same direction. (This is a picture of the wrong sides of the pillow’s back).


Pin these pieces in place at the sides and the middle. Next you’ll take your side strip of fabric and pin it to the diameter of the back of the circle.


After sewing all around the diameter of the circle, you’ll want to leave the ends of the long side fabric piece loosely hanging.


Now, pin the side of the fabric to the front of the pillow with right sides together.


Here’s a picture of how the wrong side of the pillow should look all pinned together:


Now for those edges that you left hanging…pin them together before you sew the front edge’s seam.


Sew the front edge’s seam and then you can go back and sew these tabs as close as possible to the edge seams.


Flip the pillow right sides out and press the seams.


Here’s the finished front:


This is what the back should look like:


All set with a brand-new pillow! There really isn’t enough home decor featuring rhinos out there!


1 comment:

  1. I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good. This is a great article thanks for sharing this information. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post.


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