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.


Linking up to:


The Girl Creative
Keeping It Simple


Inspired By Fridays at The Inspired Room

This entry was posted in Crafting, Decorating and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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.


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

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