Before we left for our 4th of July vacation, my mom asked if I could help her transform a sweater into a pillow. She had found the pillow at a yard sale that she visited with a friend, and her friend loved the sweater!

When I saw the sweater, the first thing I did was seam rip all the stitches that held the bottom hem together. I also seam ripped the sleeves where they came together. This gave us the ability to use the sleeves for a second pillow. By seam ripping the bottom seam, it gave us the ability to see more of the pillow design.

The sweater was a pretty good size so we bought an 18″ square pillow form at Joanns and a bolster pillow.

We cut the main part of the sweater into a 19″ square. When I sew sweater pillows, I use a 1/2″ seam allowance. If you feel the sweater is not tightly woven, then you should iron an interfacing onto the back of the sweater before you cut it apart. IMG_20170703_152526

Place right sides together and pin it A LOT!IMG_20170703_152924

Now sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance straight stitch around the whole pillow. We slightly rounded each of our corners. Remove all the pins, and then zigzag around the edges – this just helps make sure your sweater doesn’t unravel. Unbutton your sweater and turn it inside out. Fit your pillow form inside!


The front of the pillow


The back of the pillow

To do the smaller pillow, I first cut the sleeves off of the remnant of the sweater.IMG_20170703_153725

I cut the sweaters into rectangles. The pillow we bought is 12″ x 16″. IMG_20170703_154948

I then took each piece and zigzagged the center seam of each of them as shown in the picture above. I wanted my seam to lay flat when I sewed the two pieces together. Next I placed them right sides together and did a 1/2″ straight stitch down the center. I then cut the sweater to be 17″ wide x 13″ tall.

I didn’t have enough sweater to make the back from the sweater so I found a coordinating piece of fabric and made an envelop enclosure. (Note to self: I need to write a better tutorial here.) I like a 3″ overlap between the pillows so I cut 2 pieces of fabric:

  • 13″ tall x 6.5″ wide
  • 13″ tall x 18.5″ wide (okay this piece was probably too big but I would rather it be too big than too small)

On the 6.5″ and 18.5″ sides, I turned the fabric over 1/2″ and then over another 1/2″ so I could make the seam.

I placed the two pieces together (so that the smaller section was underneath) on top of the sweater piece and made sure there was a 3″ overlap. Then I sewed around with another 1/2″ seam allowance and then zigzagged the edges.


The front of the pillow


The back of the pillow


Enjoy your upcycled sweaters! Happy sewing!