I Should Feel Guilty

But I don’t.

Okay, maybe a feel a little guilty about buying a perfectly serviceable button-down shirt at Salvation Army and then rending it to pieces for my own amusement.

But I think it turned out well.

I just loved this pattern of stripes too much to condemn the shirt to a lifetime of wash-and-wear drudgery. If love is a crime, I plead guilty.

I made the larger pillow (12″x22″) from the shirt placket, sans pockets. The original buttons were a little too yellowish, so I swapped them out for these 80 centers from Hobby Lobby. At the last minute, I decided to throw on a pre-gathered white ruffle I’d had sitting around for ages. I like its effect but I failed to adjust my intended seam allowance, so the pillow looks way overstuffed. Note the straining buttons. I may rip into the pillow form and pull out some of the “meat” so it doesn’t look so portly.

Aided and abetted by my accomplice, Kona Cotton, I cut the applique and the backs of these two pillows (12″x16″) entirely from the shirt sleeves. The “X” applique was another last-minute decision but one I’m very happy with.  And yes, I’ve come to terms with the fact that any patchwork I do will always have a slight margin of error. Acceptance is key.

If I have a “sewing nemesis,” the invisible zipper is he. I’ve studied the instruction sheet for every zipper I ever bought, as well as every online tutorial I could find and learned one thing: I am a miserable failure. But I just didn’t want to do an envelope enclosure on these pillows, so I made another attempt (or two).

Exhibit A:

This mess was the product of a hour of basting, ripping, sewing, resewing, pinning and swearing. If I was a cartoon, you would have seen an angry black squiggle over my head.

It wasn’t until I found this video tutorial that I finally braved up enough to disregard all the conventional wisdom about basting the seam before adding the zipper.

Eureka! Thank you, British sewing lady. Extra steps are for suckers.

Exhibit B:

I’m not exactly sure where in my home these little darlings will end up.

But I like to think I saved them from a lifetime of ignominious despair hanging in someone’s closet. It helps me sleep at night.

Abigail


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About The Chatelaine

The Dragonslayer's Wife. Mother of two Knights of The Realm. Keeper of the castle. Dame of The Order of Goldfish. Empress of Errands. Mistress of Leftovers. Writer betimes. Luckiest woman in the world.
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13 Responses to I Should Feel Guilty

  1. This is a truly wonderful transformation. So creative and clever!

  2. Guilty. No! Artistic. Yes! That’s a whole new pillow style I see there. I’d keep going with the concept. I think the pillows are original and look just great — and wonderful for repurposing otherwise unused shirts. Hope you’ll stop by and see is if you have time. Jane F.

  3. Marcy says:

    Wow these are beautiful – I can’t decide which one I like best! I too have great difficulty with the hidden zippers – I’m going to watch that video! Thanks for sharing! ~Marcy

  4. Kimberlee says:

    I love those pillows!! Your piece work on the x is just fine. You can’t even tell they don’t completly match up until the close-up you posted (much better than my matching corner, LOL)!

  5. Aimee says:

    i’m in love! these are absolutely wonderful, particularly love the “x” pillows.

  6. Marti says:

    I like those! Don’t feel guilty, at least you didn’t use a shirt out of the closet! You found one with great colors too.

  7. robyn says:

    WOW! I KNOW I’m going to have to get my sewing machine out and try that! TOO CUTE! GREAT BARGAIN IDEA! So glad I saw the link on keeping it simple!

  8. ReneeO says:

    These are fantastic! Maybe you should look through my closet for some project resources; I’ll be happy to share.

  9. Hi, I stopped over from SNS and had to tell you how much I love your pillows. I may have to try this. I may even steal some out of hubby’s closet! I’m sure he has some that don’t fit anymore 😉

  10. Andrea says:

    I think you gave that shirt a much better life by turning it into pillows. So chic and sophisticated I think. I will be trying that idea out for sure. Don’t think my husband will miss a few shirts .Andrea in Ireland

  11. Annette says:

    Great pillows! No need to feel guilty…. you are putting them to a great use

  12. These pillows are great! I always go to Salvation Army and buy men’s button-down shirts for projects – from covering easter eggs to wrapping presents. I think it’s just providing a new life for them. 🙂

    Found you from Frugal Friday.

    xoxo,
    Kimberly

  13. Loving these! You did a beautiful job…I really need to learn to sew!
    Oh, and your poor chandelier! That is crazy! LOL!
    Londen

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