Sunday, April 13, 2008

Craft tutorial and Free Pattern - Recycle a man's shirt to a pillow

This is the first of my e-patterns so be gentle with me. Please provide feedback/comments on how this patterns works for you.
The pattern is designed to recycle a mans button front cotton shirt into a Tooth Fairy Pillow. The design is super easy and so fast you should be able to finish in an hour or less. I got my shirt from my Grandfather's estate but you could also get a shirt from a second hand store. I chose mine with a nice multicolour stripe that would work well with the lovely bit of ric rac I have. The cushion back has a pocket of putting the lost tooth in.

You will need:
Man sized button front cotton shirt with pocket.
Decorations for pillow front - wide ric rac, button.
Cushion Insert (40cm by 40cm - about 15 and 3/4 inches )
Sewing machine and thread to match the shirt colour.

Draw up a pattern on paper of a square measuring 42cm square.
Cut the shirt front and the shirt back apart along the side seams as close to the seam as possible. Leave the shirt front buttoned up. If there are any pockets on the front, carefully unpick them and hold onto one to re-attach to the cushion back as a tooth pocket.
Line up the paper pattern against the shirt front alligning the buttons about 1/3 of the way along one side. Be sure to evenly space the buttons and not put any in the direct line of cutting. Pin and cut the panel. This becomes the cushion back. On the back , I have reattached on a pocket from the shirt front but on a 90 degree angle to the line of buttons. This is the tooth pocket.

From the shirt back, pin and cut a pattern panel. This will be the pillow front. With right sides together, pin the two sections together and sew completely around the edge. This is okay since to turn the pillow cover through all you have to do is undo the buttons. The basic cushion is now formed. Just put in the insert.
To decorate, I have sewn a line of 1cm wide ric rac along two of the shirts own design lines so that the form a diagonal cross. I have then cut a 4.5 cm circle of fabric from the shirt leftovers and made a suffolk puff (you could use a yo yo maker). I have secured this with a lovely art deco style rose button. The pillow is now ready. My daughter uses hers on her bead to store her lost teeth. A bigger back pocket could make this into a place to store pyjamas. Make and enjoy!

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