Repurposed Shirt Pillow Cover

Welcome to a new and an easy tutorial on how to make a repurposed shirt pillow cover from a men’s button-up shirt. This is a fun, fast project and the only sewing skill you need is the ability to sew a straight line! Actually, if it’s not exactly straight it doesn’t even matter. Pillow covers are very forgiving. Most flaws or imperfections go unnoticed after the cover is stuffed with an insert.

I raided my husband’s closet and chose two blue shirts he hasn’t worn in forever. Another great source is your local thrift store. Many times there are racks and racks of button-up shirts for just a few dollars each. Begin by placing the shirt on a flat surface and straighten it out as best you can. Make sure it’s buttoned up.

The next step is to make a template or pattern. I have tried many different ways to cut out patterns and the easiest by far is to simply trace a template. This method eliminates the need to pin the pattern to the fabric.

Most men’s shirts measure about 22-24 inches across the chest. In order to leave yourself a little wiggle room, the biggest pillow cover you should attempt is 18 inch. I have found that the two best sizes are 18 x 18 and 12 x 16. Poly inserts in both sizes are readily available at discount and craft stores. To make the template, use cardboard or poster board and cut out a square that measures 19 in. x 19 in. This will allow for a 1 in. seam allowance on all four sides. Place the template on the shirt taking care to center the buttons. Trace around the template and cut out. Helpful Hint: make sure to place the template high enough so the pocket isn’t cut off!

You will have 2 squares measuring 19 x 19. Place the squares right sides together and pin.

Sew a straight line around all 4 sides. Remove the pins and finish the raw edges with a serger or pinking shears. 

Unbutton the front of the pillow cover, turn and press. It’s best to leave the front buttoned until after the sides have been sewn. It’s very easy to unbutton it even while it’s inside-out.

Thank you for stopping by…and for listening. I’m working on a post that will help you make pillow covers just like the pros! See you soon…