A friend of my loss her granfather about a year ago, and her mother wanted me to take some of his old shirts and make pillows. She already had the material to make the pillows, but didn't have the time and patience to make them herself. So she asked me to make them for her daughter. She wanted three small throw pillows and two standard pillows. They were fairly simple to make, but held a lot of meaning.
* button down shirt/ robe
* pattern paper (old Christmas paper)
*14 inch zipper
Step 1: Pattern
The three small pillow inserts were 16 x 16. So because of the zipper (and for wiggle room) the pattern is a 16 1/2 x 17 inch rectangle. The zipper seam is on the 17 inch side. For a sense of symmetry I folded the rectangle in half leaving 1/2 an inch on one side. Then I placed the fold on the shirt placket, pinned and cut. Remember to turn inside out, right sides together.
On one of the 16 inch sides make a mark 2 inches from the bottom, and sew with a 1/4 seam allowance. Open the seam and press the seam along the both sides with a 1/4 seam allowance. This is where the zipper goes. Flip the fabric right sides up and pin the zipper in between the folds. With a zipper foot sew the zipper down.
Step 2: Throw Pillows
She didn't want to be able to open the placket on the shirt, so I sewed it down along the existing seam. Unzip the zipper about halfway down and pin the three remaining sides. Sew with a 1/4 seam allowance around the pillow. Clip the corners and flip inside out and insert the pillow.
Step 3: Standard Pillows
She also gave me a robe and a flannel shirt to make 2 standard sized pillows. The pillows were 20 x 26 inches so I made a 21 x 27 inch pattern for more or less seam allowance.
I got lucky with the placement of the first pillow. I used the existing trim of the robe to make the open edge of the pillow. With the second pillow I had to get creative with the placement of the pattern. I basically folded the pattern in half and cut out what I could of each, the shirt and robe. I sewed three sides of the pillow and added the trim from the robe to the edge of the pollow. Make surw to clip the corners. I cut an 1/2 inch halo around the trim, and sewed the ends together. I didn't really mesure the trim I just folded it over and placed it on the open end of the pillow and left room for seam allowance. Then I sewed that to the open edge of the pillow and top stitched that. I thought that was a nice way to tie in both pillows.
Overall the person who I made the pillows for really loved them, and was really happy. (: