Thursday, September 19, 2013

Men's Plaid Shirt Pillow Tutorial

I've got a thing for plaid lately and wanted to spruce up the bedroom with a plaid pillow. So, I used one of my husbands old (and too small) plaid shirts to make this sham. We've got a blue and brown theme going in our bedroom so this blue plaid is perfect.

Here's how to make it..

You need:

- A pillow form or old toss pillow
- An old plaid shirt (or some fabric)
- A complimentary fabric (brown)
- 4 buttons
- sewing machine, thread, scissors, ruler, white crayon and pins

I used an old throw pillow that I already had. It measures 14" x 18". Measurements for the fabric pieces will vary depending on the pillow you use. I'd say for a pillow like this, about 3/4 yard of the complimentary (brown) fabric should be plenty.

First I did a rough layout of how I want my pillow to look, using some brown faux suede fabric that I already had, the plaid shirt and some new rustic, woodsy buttons. I want the entire back to be brown, half of the front to be plaid, and half brown. The buttons will be functional and the pillow will be inserted at the button flap.

So I cut the brown fabric to 18.5" wide (1/4 inch seam allowance on each side) by about 23" long, leaving room for overlap and a nice, thick hem.

I cut the back out of the plaid shirt, then cut 18.5" wide by 19" piece. Since the fabric is light, I wanted to double up.

Cut enough length of plaid for a double layer
Here's my doubled up layer. The fold is at the top

Now pin the plaid piece right sides together with the brown piece and stitch. Use the raw end of the plaid fabric, that way the folded end won't have to be hemmed. 

The plaid fabric's fold is at the bottom
Now fold over the free edge of the brown fabric to make a large hem. If you're using a fabric that frays, finish the edge or fold twice. Pin and sew along the inside edge.

Here's the sewn edge, up close...

Now for the buttons. Buttons are tedious, yes. But once they're done it's all downhill. Here's how I put them on. I positioned the buttons on the brown hem where I want them to come through. Then I marked their placement (right and left sides of the button) with a pin. This will be where the buttonholes are sewn.

Place a ruler along the center of the hem area and make sure it's nice and parallel to the edge of the hem. Now mark the buttonholes with a white crayon (or pencil, but I found that a crayon worked better on my fabric).

See how I marked the edges with a vertical tick mark, and a line through the middle. Now remove the pins. 

Make buttonholes at using your machine's buttonhole setting and your marks as a guide. Then mark the plaid fabric where the buttons should line up with the holes, and sew the buttons on (I usually hand sew buttons).

Now, here's how the sham should looks so far. One more step!

Put the buttons through the button holes, turn it inside out and position the sham with seam at the bottoms and the buttons more or less halfway down the middle of the front side.  Pin and sew the side seams.

Unbutton the sham, turn it right side out and then stuff it with the pillow!! That's it.

Thanks for looking!

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