Making Pillows with Old T-Shirts

I have been making pillowcases for 16″ square pillows. I used some of my sons’ old t-shirts, as they are for their beds. I am not totally happy with the result, so I am calling it a prototype. So far, I made two identical pillowcases that are as follow:


The front made of 4 squares and 4 rectangles. One of the square was already made of two rectangles–the sleeve of a sweater. You know, the ones made of a t-shirt with long sleeves added to it.


The back made of 4 squares of equal measurements. I did not use a zipper or buttons  as it would have lessen their comfort quality. 


A close up of the front: I sew stripes over the joining lines with a zig zag stitch in the middle. These pictures where taken after the pillowcases where washed in the washing machine. Therefore, the stripes are no longer laying flat.


A close up of the back that may not seem straight because of the pillow insert. I made a decorative stitch with my sewing machine (feather stitch) over the sewing line of the top flap.

Working with small pieces of stretchy fabric is one thing (like I did for my Tea in the Rose Garden mug rugs). Working with big pieces is much less easy. The idea of adding stripes came to my mind after ripping decorative stitches I tried to add to the joining lines. Let me tell you that making decorative stitches with the sewing machine on such fabrics creates a mess. I added a layer of batting before doing so because I thought it would efficiently stabilise the fabric. Not so. And let me add that ripping thoses stitches left an even bigger mess. Translation: lots of holes. In an effort to salvage the two pillowcases, I added the stripes. It worked well in the end because there are no more holes visible and they add a “young and carefree” effect. In any cases, I am happy to report that Raphaël and Gabriel love them and are totally happy with how they look.

That was a happy ending. Ouf!


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Other posts about sewing:


Lavender Sachet


White Clutch Tutorial


Black Clutch Tutorial


Infinity Scarf

14 thoughts on “Making Pillows with Old T-Shirts

    • Oh yes, they are, as the fabric went through so many washing. That’s why my sons now rest their heads on them instead of their regular pillows. 🙂 Thank you for your visit!

  1. Cute pillows – what a great way to upcycle and use old t-shirts. I have some I was going to donate – maybe I will try this out. I like the decorative stitching detail, too.

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