Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tufted Sweater Pillow: a tutorial

I finally found a large enough sweater to do this with! No cables but, I'll just have to make do. This is a super simple project that doesn't require a lot of sewing experience. It's just a couple of stitches by machine, and the rest by hand! It's also an awesome way to upcycle a sweater that may have otherwise been thrown out. I was thrilled to find this and one other at a local thrift store. 

I love the contrast of the charcoal knitting with the bright pops of color of my bedspread. With cold weather (maybe?) coming soon, this will make a great snugly addition to my bedroom. 


XL Sweater


Embroidery Floss

Embroidery Needle


Start by determining the dimensions of your pillow case. 

Pillow insert dimensions  + 1 inch all around seam allowance

i.e. My pillow insert was 18" x 18" so my case dimensions were 20" x 20"

Cut two panels from your sweater to your pre-determined dimensions

Sew as shown below, leaving a large gap one one side.

Cut out the extra fabric at all four corners.

Turn the case right side out and insert the pillow.

Pin together the gap as shown below:

Secret stitch all the way down.

Now for the "tufting". Cut a long piece of embroider floss (about 36"), and thread through your needle. Tie the thread to the eye of the needle. Tie the other end to your button.

Poke the needle through the center of the pillow. To get the needle to the other side, lay your pillow on a flat surface and press down on top of the needle with the palm of your hand. 

Reach under and pull through to the other side. Luckily, embroidery needles aren't very sharp so you shouldn't get poked. 

Pull tight so that you get the tufted effect. Grab your other button and weave the thread through. Now, repeat this process a few more times so that the buttons are strongly in place. When your done, separate the thread into two and tie off behind one of the buttons. 

Hope your weekend was great, and your week to come even better (: 



Happy in red said...

Very cute recycling!!

Belinda | Myurbey said...

good idea:) if I paired the buttons before filling this pillow with dacron

chels said...

I love this idea! I love upcycling old sweaters. I've used them to make purses but I never thought of making a pillow. Thanks for sharing!

Abby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abby said...

Great idea! I will have to try this because the winters here in the midwest get a little chilly. Amazing tutorial as always!


Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims said...

love this project!! I totally want to try now. the button make it look so cute, I love the tuffed effect. thanks for showing how to do it!! I'm pinning it now :)

Stephanie said...

Hey, I happened to find your blog on and wow you are so talented! I love to sew, but I have such a long way to go! Amazing, I can't wait to try out some of the things you have on your blog.

Adele said...

I love this - so easy and cute. Thanks for sharing (:

Rachel Sayumi Porter said...

OH! That is sooo cute! You are so talented.

come enter my giveaway,ends tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

So cute! Wish I could sew! I envy your talent :)

Cheap Pillows said...

In the new era Decorative Throws are the new home make-over for everywhere including living rooms and bedrooms

Erin said...

Love this! Great, great idea!

Unknown said...

do you have the link or a tutorial for the "secret stitch"

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled on your blog while looking for Halloween costumes. You have an AMAZING blog here and so many sewing tutorials! I've been browsing the site page by page in the office today (when I really should be doing some work). Thanks for sharing your crafts and I look forward to trying out some of your tutorials soon!

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