Sunday, February 24, 2013

#24: Pillow Case

So I have an oversized moon chair. It's super comfy to curl up in, but when I'm trying to sit straight ahead in it, it's way too deep and I end up leaning back at an awkward angle. The simple solution? A pillow to give some more support for my back.

I had an old white pillow that worked well, and I kept a plain black pillowcase around it so it wouldn't stand out as so white and pillow-y.

Plain black pillowcase

Unfortunately, one too many washes and this pillowcase was literally falling to shreds.


There are many places to buy pillowcases, but I was ASTOUNDED at some of the prices for a single pillowcase. Some of the ones I found at Bed Bath and Beyond were around $17. SEVENTEEN DOLLARS?!?!?! For a pillowcase? That's ridiculous!

So I decided instead to make my own. I found this size 2X black shirt for less than $2 and thought it would be perfect to upcycle because it was big enough, had a nice, smooth texture,....

Before: Big black t-shirt

....and had a big ol' hole in the shoulder!

Holey shirts need love too!

This shirt seemed destined for scraps, but with some simple tweaks, I'm going to give it a practical use in my home.

First, I pinned the old pillowcase to the shirt to measure the dimensions needed to fit the pillow (I also used a tape measure just to make sure).

Sizing it up!

The shirt had lines on the outside which were less visible on the inside of the shirt. I wanted to make the outside of the pillowcase less line-y, so I kept the shirt right-side-in as I pinned and sewed straight down the side of the shirt. I conveniently used one of the lines on the shirt as a guide to keep my seam straight.

Straight line seam

I did this with both sides, then cut off the excess fabric and sleeves. I also sewed a straight seam across the top of the collar and cut off the entire collar, shoulders, and that lovely hole.

Now I had 3 sides sewn with right angle corners and one short side left open.


I took the open side and flipped the edges out toward the lined side of the material, pinned it down, and sewed a new thin hem just to make everything even.

Sewing a new hem

Next, I grabbed some black Velcro strips and cut them in half long-ways. I only had the kind with the sticky back, so I removed the adhesive strip and stuck the strips side by side near the edge of the new hem to make one long, thin strip of Velcro. I put the scratchy hook strip across one side, and the soft loop strip across the other side of the pillowcase opening.

Sticky Velcro along the hem

Then I sewed on the Velcro along the edges of the strips. (If you sew with sticky-back Velcro, make sure to thoroughly clean your needle afterward or it may be sticky and gooey.)

Sewing on the Velcro strips

Lastly, I flipped the new pillowcase inside out, put the pillow inside, and pressed the Velcro sides together to close the pillowcase.

Seal it up!

My pillow case looked good as new, and the fabric was extra soft.

After- new pillow case
It made me want to get cozy in my fluffiest robe and take a nap!

Because everyone sleeps perfectly like this ;)

Even though this wasn't a fancy re-do, it was a good way to upcycle an old shirt. Just think of all the old t-shirts you have from camp, or that play you were in, or that one time you ran a marathon, or that boy band you loved, or that free t-shirt you were stoked to catch at that concert, or that high school club t-shirt with your name on it, or that super huge middle school shirt all of your friends signed like it was a yearbook. Rather than just exercising or sleeping in them, using them as a shammy, or letting them get eaten by moths in the back of your closet, this is something you can do with those old shirts to give them new usefulness and keep the fond memories around!

T-shirt pillowcases are washable, can be swapped out on throw pillows for the occasion (ugly Christmas sweater pillowcase anyone?), can be made into any shape, and work well on throw-pillows, play-pillows, or even when you travel and want to carry a little bit of home with you (or if you don't trust the hotel pillowcases). The possibilities are endless!

I enjoyed making this, but I am super eager to complete my current project that can only be described as odd   weird  *different*. Hopefully I'll find time soon to sit down and crank that one out. We'll see how it goes!

Until next time, blessings.

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