Monday, November 7, 2011

Re-purposing An Old Sweater

My daughter recently cleaned out her closets and bagged a bunch of clothes that no longer fit her, or clothes she no longer wanted to wear. I was planning on just taking the bag to Goodwill and dumping it, but curiosity got the better of me and I opened up the bag to inspect the clothes inside. I was saddened to see really nice clothes, barely worn, in my daughter's current size in the bag! Normally this would really upset me, but this day I knew I needed to just breathe and accept it….my daughter is a teenager and no longer wants to wear the clothes “I” pick out. I felt horrible just giving all these adorable clothes away, and passing them down to my other daughter was just not an option with the huge age gap. So, what did I do? I started cutting up a beautiful shirt and turned it into an adorable dress for my baby girl! I could kick myself for not taking pictures of that process, but I will post a finished photo of the dress soon.
Meanwhile, I am thinking, what else can I re-purpose? Then I went through my bag of old clothes for Goodwill and find a nice sweater. It was older and a little worn, but in good shape otherwise. I looked at it for a while and then it came to me….a pillow cover! I had a set of older pillows I bought at a discount store a few years ago. I never really liked the pillow covers on them, but being that they were down pillows, I just could part with them. I knew what I really needed was a better cover…and this sweater would do the trick!
Step 1: First, I needed to make sure my sweater was going to be big enough to cover the down pillow. Here's the down pillow with the old cover.
Step 2: I placed the old pillow cover on to the sweater and pinned them together.

Step 3: I carefully cut around the pillow, leaving about a 1/2" of additional sweater material for the seam allowance. My sweater had a line pattern, so I did my best to follow the lines to avoid an uneven look on my finished pillowcase.

Step 4: Place the sweater pieces, right sides facing, around the outside of 3 sides of the square with about 1/2" seam. Leave one side open for inserting the zipper.

Step 5: For me this step was salvaging the old zipper from the other pillowcase. If you are doing this too be careful removing the zipper anddo not let the zipper slide get near the ends of the zipper and become detached. In fact, if possible I highly recommend that you sew the ends of the zipper on either side together to prevent the slide from coming off all together! They are very hard to get back on!
 Step 6: Once you have your zipper ready, use your zipper foot to insert the zipper on the open side of your fabric. If you are unsure how to insert a zipper you can find a good tutorial at
Step 7: At this point I turned my pillow case inside out and sewed the corners of the unfinished side just up to the zipper to give it a more finished look.

Here is it all done! It is a nice addition to the other comfy pillows on my couch!
Hmmm...what to re-purpose next? Ideas?

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