February 3, 2014

Make A Sweater Pillow In 30 Minutes

Last year I loved the sweater pillows that Yvonne
at Stone Gable blog made.  I even had some sweaters
ready to go to copy the ones that she made but
 did not get around to making them until now. 

Her tutorial stated that she made two pillows in about an
hour.  I thought it would take me a lot longer than that but
 she was right about the time...it is a quick and easy project...
it only takes about 30 minutes for each sweater pillow cover.

The sweaters that I used for the pillows have already had
their arms cut off to use in making sweater vase covers.

You could buy or make pillow forms for this project.
I found some old pillows from the 1980's in my mom's attic...

...and some pillows and forms in my own attic not being used. 

First I'm going to show you the two pillows that were made
in an hour then I'll show some additional sweater pillows I 
made also since I had a several armless sweaters to use up. 

Put a pillow form inside or on top of a sweater to see if the
sweater will accommodate the size of your pillow.
These sweaters came from the thrift store and were about $2 each.

Measure the width and length of your pillow form. 

Add a couple of inches to each measurement to use as
an inch seam allowance.  If you have a ribbed or finished edge
 don't cut that off...it adds to the uniqueness of the pillow.

Yvonne used chalk to mark where to cut the sweater.
I used straight pins...either way.  My pins don't looks like
they are in a straight line.  The cable knit was kind of curvy.
  Really, the knit stretches to fit the pillow so if you
are off at little one way or another, it looks OK. 

Put right sides of the sweater pillow cover together.
Pin and sew the three cut edges.  
Take out the pins as you come to them.
You could sew the whole pillow cover by hand...you don't have to have a machine.

Here is the first pillow after sewing the three cut
edges together:

Turn the pillow cover right side out.

Put the pillow cover on the pillow form.
Try it on for size to see if you need to take bigger seam
allowances, etc.  I did not like the way that the pillow form
did not fill up the pillow corners of the sewn edges so I 
used rubber bands to make "Turkish corners". 

This pillow-making trick gives gathers to the corners and
makes them rounded instead of pointed. 

To close the fourth side of the pillow I used some buttons
sewn on with just a couple of stitches each since they are 
not functional and won't have stress on them. 
This little tube of white and cream buttons from Hobby Lobby has come in so handy on many occasions. 

The second pillow in the hour used a tank top for a cover.

It actually fit so well width-wise that I only had to cut
the neckline and built in bra off of the tank top.
The  needlepoint panel showed through the knit so I put it to the backside of the pillow. 

That pillow only had one seam to sew. 
It was a tiny bit snug once the pillow was inside to close
the ribbed edge so I pinned it closed ...

...and used a quick hand stitch to finish that edge. 
I used a little stitch on the "good" side and a longer stitch
on the "bad" side.  Even the big stitch barely shows in the knit.

The second pillow got single stitch buttons added on the edge too.

Something that I should I have with that pillow was to sew
the buttons on the edge before stitching it closed so if I 
wanted to use the pillow form before next winter,
 I could have just taken out the running stitch and 
the buttons could have stayed in place for next year. 

Well, those two pillows that I originally made using
 Yvonne's one-hour formula looked a little lonely on the sofa
 so I spent a couple more hours making four more pillows. 

Use the best features of each sweater to highlight on each pillow.
This big chunky knit turned out to be my favorite pillow.

The sweater was cut off under the armpits.  The pillow form
fit well into the body of the sweater width-wise so it only had
 one seam to sew also. The ribbed bottom was closed with
 buttons sewn on.  A sewn tuck was also taken in the ends of
 that ribbed edge to keep the corners from looking too pointed.

This Christmas pillow can have the sweater cover snipped off
in a few seconds come next December.

The "noel" pillow cover had its Turkish corners made
 by wrapping thread instead of rubber bands around 
gathered corners before turning the pillow back
 right side out and stuffing. 

This snug cover had to be hand-stitched closed too...
only takes about 5 minutes. 

The shrug sweater needed the help of another sweater to 
cover the pillow form and not show too much "skin".
  A sweater with just a plain body was used to cover the
 entire pillow first.  The pillow fit the plain sweater well
enough that only one seam was needed.  The ribbed edge
was hand sewn to close the pillow.  

The nubs of the remaining arms of the shrug and part of the
collar were cut off  and sewn shut on the sewing machine.  
The shrug cover was added over the plain cover.
A button was sewn on that fit through the button hole (that
originally had a ribbon tie to go through it) to close it shut.

Also a sweater pillow was made for the recliner in the room
out of a cable knit poncho.  This piece was not a very tight knit
but it was going over a pillow that already had a neutral cover.

Yvonne advised that if you want the knit to be tighter, you can
shrink the sweater by washing it in warm water and drying 
in the dryer...that will make the yarns closer together. 

I centered the pillow under a row of double cable knits
 to find the best place to cut the poncho so the front
 of the pillow would look symmetrical.

The knit covers up the remains of sea shells that not come 
off of the pillow when hot-glued on last summer.

So here is the sofa with its new sweater pillows:

Although the pillows are pretty on the sofa, when 
Tom Kat gets ready for a nap there, the pillows
get piled up in the recliner until nap time is over.

To go with the whites of the sweater pillows, I put an 
arrangement of white spider mums on the coffee table.

Some are in vases normally and some are submerged.

 It is an eye-catching look that 
magnifies the flower underneath the water. 
If you would like to see how the mums were submerged
click on the blog post "How to Submerge Flowers". 

The pillows are thrilled to have sweaters on since we had 
some of the coldest days of the year recently in the
"Deep South Deep Freeze".

As the sun melted snow and ice off of the roof of my house
it was still below freezing temperatures outside.

As the water came off of the roof, it froze 
again on the backside of the bushes ...

...and gave an ice coating on anything on the
 ground like the pinestraw...

...or Halloween spiders and fake pumpkin vines that (oops!)
 must have been stuck behind the bushes instead of someone
not putting them away in the attic where they should be. 

Groundhog Day was yesterday and Phil says more winter 
days ahead so dress those pillows up in sweaters!


  1. They're ALL AWESOME! Each pillow is fabulous, I totally love them...so maybe you should make me some as I don't have a sewing machine or sweaters for that matter, lol! Really fabulous and thanks for the tutorial!

  2. Those are SO cute. Now I want to make some. Hmmmm...Think MyHero would miss a couple of his sweaters? lol You did a fantastic job!!! Wow! Hope you have a great night and stay warm and safe in your weather. xo Daina

  3. Those pillows are so pretty what a wonderful and creative job you did making them all look so different...I love all the buttons, so sweet...and of course the ice cycles they are just so pretty, love them...I love the whole post....

  4. These are all fabulous. Thanks for the tips and ideas and Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  5. Really cute. Hope no one in your area is looking for a cheap white sweater. :)

  6. I just love these...such a perfect winter project!

  7. I love these!! They make the room look so cozy and warm.


  8. Your sweater pillows are just what I need to warm up the look of my home this time of year. Love the updated designs! Your nailhead recliner is pretty great too,

  9. Your sweater pillows look great! You did a great job on them! Have a great day!

  10. The sweater pillows look so cozy!!! Nice tutorial too!

  11. A sweater turned into a pillow? That is quite cool and practical! Recycling is always a go for me, and this is definitely the best way to recycle unused sweater. I’m glad that you’re enjoying your day inside your home. And when you go outside, the beautiful ice formation on the roof and plants will welcome you. It’s just sad that when the ice starts to melt, it could cause damage to the roof. I just hope it will not.

    Amber @ AmericasChoiceRoofers.com

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