Friday, April 16, 2010

T-shirt Recon: Ruffly Gathered Pillow

Today, I saw the inside of my sewing room for the first time in weeks. Feeling nauseous will somehow sap every ounce of energy right out of a body, and I just haven't had the gumption for much of anything. In fact, if you see my husband, thank him for feeding our family lately because I've barely even been cooking--let alone sewing! But the projects are piling up, and I so hate telling someone I can do something, and then NOT doing it. So, this morning I chose to work on Connie's pillow. Connie J6 is my internet buddy who sends me fun stuff like fabric and notions, and I make things for her in return.
Today, it was this...
I cut a rectangle out of the front of the shirt. I used all the logo that I could, but the collar got in the way of the top arrow.
Then I cut out the largest rectangle that I could from the back of the shirt:
I laid the logo rectangle onto what might have been a body pillow case at one time--this fabric remnant was free in a batch of stuff that was given to me. You'll need 2 of these. This is the size of your pillow. Since t-shirt fabric is stretchy, you'll want a non-stretchy material so that your pillow will keep its form.
Pin and baste stitch the logo rectangle to one of the white squares. You could use any kind of fusing to put it together, but I didn't have any of that on hand and it costs money, which I hate to spend! So I sewed it together:
Run gathering stitches evenly across the large rectangle. Gather it up and pin it to fit the second white rectangle:
Baste stitch the edges in place:
I ran 3 lines of stitches down this piece once the gathers were all smoothed out. This will keep it in place when you add the ruffles. If you didn't make evenly spaced gathering stitches, don't worry! It doesn't really matter. Here's where you sew a straight line anywhere you want a ruffle, and remove those gathering stitches if you need to (if you're covering them with a ruffle, why bother?). Cut ruffle strips, one to two inches wide, out of the sleeve of the shirt:
Sew a gathering stitch down the middle of all three: Gather them up to fit your pillow. Pin in place, then sew in place. It doesn't have to be perfect, since it's such a scrunchy look.
A tip I found handy: It'll look nicer to take your gathering stitches out of your ruffle strips. To make this easier, try putting the gathering stitch just a smidgen to one side of the center of the strip. That way, you can sew down the middle of the strip when you attach it to the pillow without sewing over the gathering stitch, which will make that stitch harder to remove.
Pin the rectangles together, right sides facing, making sure all pink edges are outside of the hem:
Sew three sides of the pillow, leaving 4 or 5 inches on one side open for turning. Make sure you're sewing inside all the previous construction stitches:
Clip corners and trim edges: Turn outside-in and stuff with polyfill, or your pillow stuffing of choice. You could even use fabric scraps, if you save them (as I do, but since this project is for someone else I went the more professional route and used polyfill): I was very tempted to use my sewing machine to close the opening, but I knew that hand-stitching it would look a lot better. So, again, because this is for someone else, I took the time and did a better job (that's how I approach all my sewing, in case you were wondering!): Make sure you carefully stuff it so that it's not lumpy and floppy.

I'm very happy with how this turned out! I sure hope ConnieJ6 is, too.
TOTAL COST: one old T-shirt and some fabric scraps. So, in most cases, FREE!


Ellie Mae said...

Love the pillows and that they are made out of recycled t-shirts.

Lisa said...

How pretty! The gathering and ruffles add so much texture! And that must be so soft to lay on! Beautiful!

Emily said...

THis is so cute! I have SO many t-shirts and am always looking for ways to recycle. THANKS!

Melody said...

Thanks! Yes, it's very soft. And just another way to be eco-friendly!

Jenni R. said...

What a great idea! I've just made a scarf from a t-shirt with similar gathering technique, so I've excited to have another use for my old T's! It's beautiful!

Andrea @ said...

Oh how I love this pillow. That would look amazing on my daughter's bed! In fact, a whole bunch of these would look amazing on her bed!

Sydney said...

I love this idea. Thanks so much for sharing it!