I had a busy weekend that didn’t include a huge amount of sewing, but I continued to work on anlichan’s birthday present and I started on my Christmas presents. Here’s the first.
Papa S’s parents both died this spring. My grandpa had a huge collection of tshirts and sweatshirts, many of them old favorites, and after his death I decided I wanted to make presents for the family out of his old shirts. I’m making pillows for people using tshirts of their choosing, and then I’ll use whatever’s leftover to make a quilt for the whole family. Hopefully this will all be done by Christmas.
I started with this tshirt, a souvenir from someone’s trip to Switzerland. Grandpa was born in Switzerland and came to America in the 1920s, when he was a little boy. I hardly ever heard him speak German, but he was always very proud of being Swiss. My cousin C picked this tshirt as the one he wanted for his pillow.
I used a 12-inch pillow form. First I ironed the tshirt, then I turned it inside out and laid it flat. Using an orange pencil, I traced a 12-inch square with the Switzerland picture in the center. I added an inch on each side to give myself leeway. I pinned the two sides of the tshirt flat, cut along the orange line, and sewed the two pieces together, leaving an opening at the bottom where I could insert the pillow.
As it turned out, I didn’t need an inch – I’m used to working with quilting fabric, but tshirt fabric has way more give. I turned the fabric inside out again and remeasured, taking off about half an inch to three-quarters of an inch on each side and sewing a new line all the way around.
Once the fabric fit the pillow properly, I hand-sewed the opening at the bottom.
The project was very quick and would’ve been even faster if I hadn’t had to take off extra fabric on the sides. I have now finished one Christmas present! (One down, too many to go.) Pillows like these make a great keepsake. As I’ve mentioned before, pillows are very simple, even for beginning sewers, and using old tshirts is a way to recycle them – or, in this case, preserve them.
Note: I saved the rest of the tshirt, to be used for the quilt I’m making for the family.