Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sweaters to Pillows

I am thankful for a great many things.  
One of the things I am thankful for is that I had a classical sewing education.  I started sewing when I was a little girl by hemming the skirt of a dress my mother made for me.  By the time I was in junior high I could make a jumper completely by myself following a pattern.  I was in 4-H and my mom was a master seamstress so I had good training from the start. 
I know you don't need to have this kind of education to use a sewing machine and enjoy making many things.  
What I appreciate is that I can wind bobbins and thread my machine without thinking it a chore.  I can sew clothes from a pattern without having to study the instructions. I can put in zippers, and make button holes.   What I appreciate most is that because I know what I can and can't do, I know what is "right" and what isn't, is that I can cut corners with ease.  

Anyway, I wanted some decorative pillows for the couch and after seeing other people make some out of old sweaters, I took myself over to the Good Will and found two sweaters that go well with my new look in the living room.  What I found is this gorgeous sweater and another very nice one, and name brands to boot.  
I've been putting it off for a couple of weeks so when I brought out the sweater to begin operations this week, I could hardly bring myself to cut them up, they were so nice.  No pilling, no snags, they looked good as new and I could hardly bear to think of cutting them up.  
So, while I knew they would make good looking pillows, it took a phone call to a good friend to remind me that I wouldn't want raggy sweaters to make good pillows. 
So, I just took a deep breath the dived in.  

This sweater is plain on the back.

 First thing is to cut off the sleeves.

Draw a sewing line and pin.

The second sweater was more challenging since it buttoned up the front.

Same pattern on the back.

I was just going to use the back and make a smaller pillow, but I decided today to use the front anyway.
I pinned and sewed the top, where I cut off the top of the sweater.  

Inside out. Ready to sew.

I sewed the sides a little narrower, then hand sewed the bottom, not really sure why, except it seemed easier with the ribbing, leaving an opening.  I sewed the front opening by hand before I stuffed it. 

After stuffing both pillows with long time stored fiberfill, I sewed up the openings by hand.  Here is another case for which I was thankful for my training.  There is a way to sew these openings closed so that you can't see the stitches.  So I took the little extra time to do that.
And they look very nice, if I do say so myself.

Back side of the brown. 

Front side of the brown.

I'm a great one for saving and reusing, but what I am finding is that I have so many things saved, that at nearly 50 years old, I wonder if I will have enough time to use up all the things I've saved.  
For example, this stuffing.  I don't know how long I've had it.  The worst of it is, I had second thoughts about using it, "what if I used it up?, what if I needed it for something else?".  I have got to be one of the worst for saving things for "sometime."  But. I am beginning to get it: I can always buy new if I need it. I want to use up some of this stuff.  I want more space, not more clutter. It just isn't going fast enough.  


Dan & Cyndie said...

what a fabulous idea! & they look gorgeous :)

The J's said...

They look great! And you can't be "the worst" at saving things for Sometime" because I'm sure I am! haha! It isn't going near fast enough here either. I need a sign in front of my face--USE it! That is the problem with my scrapbook stuff, but I have way too much other stuff saved for projects too!