Memory Pillows from T-Shirts

Unlike a memory pilloimg_20170212_213719_452w made from a button front dress shirt, a memory pillow made from a t-shirt will require some additional planning and prep work:

  • Let the size of the main graphic help you determine overall pillow size.
    12″, 14″ or 16″ are the most common sizes; however, pillow forms in sizes up to
    24″ x 24″ are available at the big box craft stores.
  • Determine your desired closure method before making the first cut in the t-shirt:  hand stitched closed, envelope style or zipper.
  • Launder the t-shirt without fabric softener before cutting.
  • Fuse lightweight interfacing to the back of the pillow front.  Back is optional.
  • Fuse 1/2″ strip of lightweight interfacing to the “closure” edge of the back if planning to sew closed by hand or insert a zipper.

Construction Hints:

  • Use polyester or cotton-covered polyester thread and a universal/ball point needle.
  • Use a lightning stitch (or tiny, long zig zag – W=1.0 and L= 2.5) to avoid puckers.
  • Loosen the foot pressure a notch or two if your machine offers that option.
  • A walking foot or tricot foot can also help with smooth seams.

Directions a hand-stitched closed pillow:

  • Determine size finished size of pillow. Cut interfaced t-shirt front & back sections to this measurement plus 1/2″ seam allowance (or desired measurements for envelope closure).
  • Sew on any decorations, patches or special labels as desired.
  • Pin front and back sections together.  Along the closure edge, place a pin 3″ in from either side.  This will mark your starting and stopping points.
  • Sew around 3-1/2 sides of the pillow, backstitching at beginning and ending of seam.
  • Clip corners, trim loose threads and turn right side out.  Press.
  • Insert pillow form.
  • Sew opening closed using an almost invisible ladder stitch.