Monday, March 14, 2011

Swirled Ruffle Pillow {from a t-shirt} Tutorial

The other day I was in Target with my daughter and we were oohing and aahing over all the pretty throw pillows they have. Of course the thrifty side of me immediately thinks “I could totally make that for soooo much less”.

So that’s what I did.

ruffle pillow
This was the pillow we saw that we both really liked, but I wasn’t going to pay $20 for it. $20 isn’t a terrible price, but I knew I had a couple of pillow forms at home so I would only need to make the cover.

IMG_2544We wandered on over to the clothing section and I found these two long sleeve t-shirts on clearance for $5 each. I picked 2 that matched her bedding perfectly {in XXL}. $10

I am using the green one for this pillow. I’ll show you the purple one tomorrow.

Let’s get started and I’ll show you how I made this cute swirled ruffle pillow.

First off, I used my rotary cutter and cut the bottom hem off the t-shirt.

I measured my pillow insert and figured it was 14” square so I cut my fabric exactly the same. Normally, you would want to add fabric for your seam allowance, but since the fabric is knit and I wanted it to be tight, I cut it to the same dimensions as the pillow.  I also cut it so I left one of the  side seams intact. Less to sew later. 

I then cut off one of the sleeves.

I cut off the sleeve hem and the seam that runs under the arm so I could open it up and cut some strips for my ruffles.

IMG_2567I cut as many strips as I could {I got 6 from one sleeve}. I cut each one 2” wide and as long as the sleeve would allow.

IMG_2570I made my ruffles like I made them here.  High tension, long stitch length.

IMG_2571All ruffly. cuteness.

IMG_2576I took my ruffles and laid them out how I wanted them on the pillow. I only used 5 of the ruffles.

IMG_2578When I pinned them down I simply overlapped the ends of the ruffles. I laid the one on the bottom flat and tucked under the end of the top one. Hopefully you can see that in the picture.

IMG_2579Looks pretty good from the top. Ruffles hide lots of imperfections.

IMG_2580I started with the bottom ruffle since the end of it goes under the long middle swirl.

IMG_2584Make sure you adjust the tension and stitch length back to normal before you stitch the ruffles down.  I used lots of pins to hold the ruffles in place while I stitched them down to the front of the pillow cover.

IMG_2586All stitched down and lookin’ sweet.

IMG_2589I then flipped the case with right sides together and stitched the 2 sides together and the third side leaving a 6” opening for the pillow insert.

IMG_2592Trim your corners at a diagonal.

IMG_2593Turn right side out and push corners out with something that isn’t too sharp. I like to use a chopstick. Insert your pillow carefully, trying not to pull to hard on the opening {knit fabric with rip easily where it’s been stitched}

IMG_2595Pin your opening together and use a slip stitch to close your opening.  Here is a good tutorial on how to do a slip stitch.

IMG_2603All done. I made the pillow cover so that my slip stitch was at the bottom of the pillow.  It makes me feel better since it never looks completely perfect.

My daughter loves it and I think it turned out pretty cute. I’ll show you the purple one tomorrow. It’s a little different, but still ruffled.

If you would like to see the tutorial for the Ruffled Rosette Pillow, it can be found here.

this post is linked to: Tutorial Tuesday, Tutorials and Tips Tuesday, Dittle Dattle, Creation Corner, Today’s Creative Blog, Spring Fling, Somewhat Simple, Frugalicious Friday, Crazy Domestic                                     



  1. T11 wants to know if you can make it look like a skull. He's not into frilly.

  2. Oh I LOVE this! AWESOME!!!

  3. Very cute and creative one ... I must give a try one... Thanks for sharing and waiting for the purple one...
    Happy spring time
    Hope you like to pay a visit to my new spring arrangement saved in a cloche

  4. Ohhhhh sim, ficou maravilhosa essa idéia!
    K Dolly

  5. Soo cute! Love the color. I've been wanting to make some ruffle pillows, I'm too cheap to spend $20 for a new one when I know I can make it for less! Found you through AtoZ link party!

    Blog Giveaway -Ends 3/31

  6. Love it! I dont think Ive ever bought a $20 pillow(for much the same reason you state...I can make one for less) but I do have my eye on 2 pillows at Target that couldnt be re-created by me:)
    Great job! Love it all.

  7. Cute, cute, cute! Ruffles on anything make my heart melt. The pillow is beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  8. oooooh i luv it, I have old tees I can use for this project.
    Thanks for the great step by step tut.
    wow that is pretty do you seal it with anything?
    would luv for you to add it to our linking party this week.

  9. Adorable! I've seen these at Target myself and I think I like yours even better!

  10. Goodness! That's so darling. I've still yet to perfect any sort of ruffle, but seeing your pillow makes me want to try again!

  11. This is fabulous and your tutorial is wonderful. Stopping by and following via Frugalicious Friday.

  12. omgoodness!

    you did a super job AND with t-shirts! clever girl. i love pillows with ruffles.

    thanks so much for linking up with the SPRING FLING!
    have a super weekend.


  13. That is WONDERFUL! I absolutely Love it! Now if only I could sew that good! :) lol

  14. That is adorable!!! I love it. I like yours better than the inspiration pillow!

  15. Too cute! I am thinking these could be made into a great wallhanging for a girls room, too! Just staple the back fabric onto a board of some sort....hmmm......gotta go crafting now. bye!

  16. Eu amei essa idéia, e já fiz uma pra mim, fiz uma postagem em meu blog e mencionei o seu blog lá vinha conferir!

  17. THANK YOU for this tutorial... not just for making it, but for putting all the necessary details in it! I see so many frustrating "tutorials" that say things like, "make the ruffles and sew them on" without explaining further. Well, DUH! Yours is so much better! So again, thank you!!!

  18. This is fabulous and your tutorial is wonderful. Stopping by and following via Frugalicious Friday.


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