Have you ever gone through your kid’s clothes that they have outgrown and couldn’t bear to get rid of something? That is how I felt recently too. This shirt of my boys has always been one of my favorites, they have all worn it and I really wasn’t ready to let it go. I still can’t believe they are all too big to wear it. Sniff sniff… I wanted to do something with it so I could keep it around and the idea to make a pillow cover out of it came to me. It has the perfect colors for a fall pillow. I thought it would make a pretty cute plaid pumpkin pillow so I set out to find a pumpkin image that I liked. I wanted something a little abstract looking. This is what we came up with.
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For this project you will need:
- Used plaid button up shirt
- Brown fabric for stem
- Fabric for pillow – I used a dropcloth
- Sewing machine
- Cutting mat, rotary cutter and 24″ ruler – this is optional, you can just use scissors to cut your fabric but this makes cutting fabric so much easier!
- Fusible webbing
- Tear away stabilizer
- Mark B Gone Pen
- 9/32” cable cord for piping
- 14” zipper
The first step is to print off the pumpkin image. I printed it over 2 pieces of paper at 142.1%. It looks like our printer is getting low on toner. 🙂 I taped the two pieces together to make one big image. The printed pumpkin size ends up being 12” wide. Next, you will cut out the individual pieces of the pumpkin. Trace the images on the backing paper of the fusible webbing. You won’t have to worry about reversing the image with this pumpkin, it doesn’t matter which way it faces. Save the original printed pieces for later after you trace them. Cut out the images on the fusible webbing leaving a space around the image, do not cut directly on the line yet, you will do that after you iron it down to the fabric.
Cut your shirt arms off, cut off the cuffs and cut up one of the seams. Spread this fabric out and iron it flat. There is surprisingly a lot of fabric in a sleeve. I got all of my pumpkin pieces out of the sleeves which left the main body of the shirt to make my piping for around the pillow.
The fabric of the shirt that I used did not have a wrong or right side to it. If yours does, you will want to iron these pieces down on the wrong side of the fabric. You can try to line up the plaid lines across the pieces as I tried to do, or just wing it and see how it comes out. 🙂 Using a dry setting, iron the fusible webbing pieces onto your fabric. Now you will cut the pieces again, this time directly on the line.
Cut a 20×20” panel from your dropcloth. Remove the backing paper from the pieces and lay them out on the panel. Use your saved original printed pieces to help you line up how your pumpkin image should look. Using a dry iron, press and lift the iron on the images, do not slide it around because you may shift the images doing it that way. Here’s how mine came out.
I also wanted to add a couples curly vines from the stem, so using a removable pen, we drew a couple right onto the fabric. These pens are great because ink is water soluble so it comes off with water.
After ironing on a tear away stabilizer to the back, I used a satin stitch to sew the vines. This is the same process I used to sew my DIY Fall Leaf pillow. Check out that post for some tips on sewing a satin stitch.
Now was time for the piping. I gotta be honest, I had never done piping before and I was dragging my feet to try it. Mr. Wonderful kept urging me to make a pillow with piping because he thought it looks cool. I knew this was going to be the pillow I would try it with as the plaid would look great around the edges of the pillow. I am not going to go into a tutorial on how to do it but here is the video that I used to learn how to do it. It is really not difficult, just takes a couple extra steps.
I cut my strips for the piping 2″ wide. To make one long continuous strip, place 2 strips at at a 90 degree angle, then sew a diagonal line across where they overlap. Cut off the extra triangle piece of fabric leaving a 1/4″ seam and press the seams open.
I still wanted to add a zipper to this pillow but instead of adding it on the bottom, which had the piping on it, I put it on the back. So for this pillow, I cut a 3”x20” piece and a 18”x20” piece for the back of the pillow. Using the same process as I used for my easy zippered pillow cover, I sewed a zipper into the back of the pillow. The last step was to sew the two 20×20” panels together. This was a little tricky with the piping on it as I felt like I was sewing blind a little bit.
Here is the finished product. I think it turned out great!
I love the fact that every fall when I use this pillow cover, it will remind me of the shirt my boys wore when they were young. If I can’t keep them young at least I can hold onto a piece of their childhood. 🙂 Do you have some favorite items from your kids’ childhoods?