Here’s a recycled-garment pillow project, I call the Lumberjack Pillow. It’s a great beginner sewing project.


Cutting Instructions:
  • Unbutton shirt and turn wrong-side out.
  • Working from the wrong side, button the lowest three to four buttons. Secure placket lower edge with double sided basting tape.
  • Follow manufacturer’s directions to apply tape.
  • Edgestitch the lower center front placket.

Note from Nancy: Our plaid flannel shirt had a back pleat. To avoid puckering, we topstitched the entire back pleat closed. 

  • Center pillow form inside shirt. (Notice the shirt is still wrong side out.)

  • Button the shirt completely.
  • Pin shirt parallel to the pillow form edges along the right, left, and bottom edges.
  • Pin through the sleeve, closing the armhole area.

  • Cut along the marked chalk line.

  • Keep the pins in place.
  • Mark the pinned line with a marking pen.

  • Use a straight stitch and 1″ seam allowance to sew right, left, and bottom edges.

  • Try the shirt on the pillow form.
Note from Nancy: Fine tune the fit of the shirt around the pillow form. A loose shirt may look sloppy and it is quite easy to turn the shirt wrong side out to remark/stitch a tighter fit.
  • Cut a 13” x 10” square of contrasting fabric to fill neckline area. Press under ½” along the 13” sides.

Note from Nancy: If the flannel shirt size is XL, it may be necessary to use a larger rectangle of fabric to cover the opening in the shirt. 

  • Pin the midpoint of one 13” side to the center back of the neckline seam where the collar is attached to the shirt.
  • Continue to pin approximately 3” from each side of the center back.
  • Edgestitch the rectangle to the shirt where pinned along the collar or neckband seam line.
  • Trim excess seam allowance from pillow sides and lower edge.

  • Fold the seam allowance to create a “wrapped corner” at the lowered edges. Stitch in place.

  • Turn the shirt right side out.
  • Insert the pillow form.
  • Button the shirt and tuck the contrasting fabric in place.
  • Use an invisible hand sewing stitch to secure the contrasting fabric along the shoulder and center front.
Ta-dah! The pillow is finished!

Additional Inspiration—Pillow Tutorials

From Indygo Junction: Pocket Pillow

From June Tailor: Charming Circles Pillow

From Baby Lock Sewing: Pillow Projects
Simply type Pillow into their search bar to find pdf directions to these and many more pillow projects. 

From PellonPillow Projects
Find these and many more pillow projects on the Pellon Projects website

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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