Monday, August 18, 2014

T-Shirt Pillows

Every so often, a shirt comes around that is just too great to be stored in the closet. You might try to wear it as frequently as possible to share the awesomeness with the world. After all that sharing with the world, eventually it starts to wear out. That, my friends, is a sad, sad day. This is a story of two such shirts.

Behold the awesomeness that is this pink Elvis t-shirt that was a Birthday gift from my best friend, and this Golden Girls shirt my Gram gave me as a Christmas present. I have had a slight obsession with both Elvis and the Golden Girls since high school, if not before. Yup. I’m so hipster I liked these things before it was cool to ironically like them. Adjusts unnecessary glasses and sips PBR.

They’re both made of very thin material and were starting to get a little worn over the years. I was worried that a hole would develop and it might be lost forever. The best course of action was obviously to turn these great t-shirts into great pillows.

You Will Need:

Nerdtastic t-shirts
Chalk or Pencil
Sewing machine (or needle/ thread/ perseverance)
Straight pins
Embroidery floss (optional)

Square Pillow

Lay your t-shirt flat and decide how much of the main image you want to be featured on your pillow. Take a deep breath and thank the inanimate object that has been worn so many times and started so many conversations. Tentatively, hesitantly, and mournfully cut the sleeves and collar from the shirt. Have second thoughts. Decide to continue and tell yourself you’re giving it new life. Cut up the side seams of the shirt and across the shoulder seems, separating the shirt into two pieces, front and back.

Turn halves inside-out, use the ruler and chalk or pencil to draw a square on the shirt featuring the design as desired. Pin the two sides together inside your lines. Carefully cut out your square.

Use your sewing machine to stitch around the edges leaving about 3-4” open at the bottom of the pillow. Remove the pins and turn it right side out. Stuff your pillow A little fuller than you think it should be; the filling will flatten out over time. You can also use a pencil to help get the stuffing all the way into the corners. Once it’s full, use a slip stitch to sew up the last few open inches. You can stop there OR you can add tassels. And when you have the option to add tassels, why wouldn't you?

To make the tassels, don't listen to me. I kind of just messed with embroidery floss until it worked. Seriously. Each one is slightly different. Since I can't be trusted when it comes to tassels, this tutorial will be much more useful. When they're finished, just run a few stitches through the center of the tassel into the corners of the pillow.

Circle Pillow

The circle pillow shares a lot of steps with the square pillow but you have to be extra careful not to tug the fabric while machine sewing the edges or you'll end up with a lumpy circle. T-shirt material is notoriously difficult because it is so stretchy. I used a lamp shade as a guide for a perfect circle because I'm a classy, classy lady. Don't forget to leave a few inches open to turn right side out and stuff. Afterwards, stitch it up and you're all done.

Any favorite t-shirts laying around that need a makeover? Do you know how to make a good tassel? I'd love to know!


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