Here’s a recycled-garment pillow project that we 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.


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.

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

  • Try the shirt on the pillow form.
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.


 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!


Happy Sewing,

Team Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC.

Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC

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