Several months ago I was at a friend's house and complimented her on a cute pillow on her living room couch. It had pretty, metallic detail that really made it the perfect accessory for the space. I was looking for a similar pillow at the time, and after being sticker shocked at stores like Pier One, I was wondering if I would be able to find anything affordable that I liked.
So, I asked her where she found her pillow. "Oh, I made that one--from an Old Navy tank top!"
I think some angels began to descend from heaven singing a hallelujah chorus behind her about then and rays of light were shooting out of her head. Why had I never thought of that?!? I am always repurposing stuff, but it had never occurred to me to use discarded t-shirts to make trendy pillows! Brilliant!
It took me several months to actually get to it, but I finally made my blingy t-shirts into pillows!
Here's what I did:
1. These are the two t-shirts I started with. I actually bought the first thinking I would wear it. And I did--once--but I felt like a clown or a jockey the entire time. It was one of those cases of "the model wore it better."
I found the sequin tank in a bag of discarded clothes a friend was tossing and invited me to rummage through. I grabbed it with a pillow in mind.
2. Once you have your shirt(s), you'll need pillows. I would just take the shirts to the craft store to make sure they are the right size. I decided to go with a square and a round because of the shapes of the shirts I had.
3. For square/rectangle pillows: Carefully measure and cut the dimensions recommended on the pillow form package. Since t-shirt material is stretchy, choose the smaller dimension if a range is given. If you don't have dimensions, just measure and add 1" for each side (so a for a 12"x12" square, cut a 13"x13")
4. For circular pillows, measure the diameter and divide by 2 to get the radius. Add 1/2 inch to that. Cut a string about twice that length, then tie around two pencils so they are exactly the radius+1/2" distance apart with the string taut.
5. Find the center of the garment, and using one pencil as the pivot point on the center, use the other to carefully draw a circle around the garment. (It helps to have someone hold the garment in place as you do this). Add a few pins to hold the two layers together, then cut out the circle through both layers.
6. Turn right sides together, and pin around each shape. If you would like to add a zipper (which I NEVER regret doing), the next 5 steps will walk you through how to.
(I used a separate zipper and fabric to teach this tutorial since a white zipper on white fabric doesn't show up well.)
7. With the pillow pieces laying right sides together, begin pinning the zipper from the top about 1/2 inch from the edge of the pillow pieces. Right sides of the zipper should be facing the right sides of the pillow pieces. The zipper should just be open a few inches.
8. Unzip a few more inches of the zipper.
9. Continue pinning along the edge of each pillow piece, RST.
10. Unzip a few more inches, add pins, and continue this until you are at the end of the zipper.
11. Pin the ends of the zipper below the pull.
Once you are done pinning, use the zipper foot on your sewing machine and sew 1/4 inch seam allowance along the length of each side of the zipper, removing pins as you come to them.
12. Zip up the zipper. Sew around the rest of the pillow, taking your stitches all the way up to the metal base and top of the zipper (but leaving room for the pull to swivel).
*I was pleasantly surprised to learn while doing this project that the sequin fabric was easy to cut and easy to sew! My (not industrial) machine went right over the sequins with no problems!!
Voila! A professional-looking zippered pillow! Now I can easily remove the cover to wash!
So, the next time you clean out your closet, keep this idea in mind! What you don't want to wear any more may look fabulous as a pillow!