Friday, October 21, 2011

Sweater Pillow Tutorial

After showing the first sweater pillow I created, I got several emails asking for a tutorial.  Not that I needed a reason to make a second pillow...these pillows are soft and cuddly and perfect for the cooling weather.

goodwill sweater pillow tutorial diy

Allow me to introduce you to my Goodwill sweater. This colorful guy was tired of seeing the back of closets - with his busy patterns and unique color scheme he had little hope of making it out of that closet. Until I found him.  I recognized the greens and blues and yellows and creams that are right at home in my living room color scheme. Better yet I recognized the tans and oranges as a hint of fall that I've been looking for.  So that, my friends, is how this sweater made it home with me.

sweater upcycle pillow diy

As with all fabric I bring home from Goodwill, I washed him in hot water.  Washing and drying the sweater allows for some felting to occur. I prefer the slightly felted look - it ensures the sweater is close-knit and won't gape and show the stuffing or pillow insert. It also gives me peace of mind that the yarn won't unravel. 

sweater pillow tutorial diy

After he was dry (I put him in the dryer for a little bit and then allowed him to finish air drying), I took off the arms. I did this because the size of my pillow was going to force me to go slightly above the body of the sweater and past the arm area.

sweater upcycle pillow diy

The arms are sewed on with a long piece of yarn. It's easy to determine which yarn once you squint put on your glasses and get a good look. Using a seam ripper, I worked my way around both arm openings.

pillow upcycle knit sweater diy

Don't worry if you lose track of which yarn is the yarn you are ripping. I just skipped that section and started up again when I found a spot that was obvious.  Once you are ready to go back and work on the skipped section, it's easy to rediscover the yarn used to sew both pieces together.  You can see how I skipped a small section in the photo below.

goodwill sweater pillow upcycle diy

With the arms off, you're left with a lovely sweater vest that you may just decide to keep as it. Kidding!  But ripping out the seams, you ensure that the yarns are not going to ravel because you are keeping the knitting and its hems intact at this point.

sweater pillow tutorial diy

Now it's time to determine the size of your pillow. I wanted a 15x15 pillow which unfortunately meant that I would have to cut off some of the sides and go up into the arm area. If your sweater is larger than mine, you could just close up the bottom and the top of the sweater and call it a day!

sweater pillow tutorial diy

I used a couple pins to keep the sweater together and mark the path I was sewing along. I then changed my stitch length to the smallest length possible. I did this to ensure that I caught every single piece of yarn so that unraveling wouldn't be a problem.

sweater pillow upcycle diy

If you look very closely at the photo below, you'll see the white stitching running horizontally across the sweater. I chose to put in two lengths of stitches running parallel to each other to provide extra protection against unraveling.  Once that is done, cut your sweater.

diy cable knit pillow tutorial

Once you've completed your pillow, fluff and enjoy!

diy knit pillow tutorial

You can see my pillow needs some much needed cuddling to get the stuffing in all the right places.

diy knit pillow tutorial

My living room is slowly becoming ready for the colder months. I just need to incorporate some darker, more saturated colors (I'm thinking a hunter green and/or navy blue to darken up the color pallet) and a knitted throw.

diy knit sweater pillow tutorial

Last night this little guy was my go-to-pillow while watching television. He makes a much  better pillow than sweater, don't you think?

knit sweater pillow upcycle diy

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Jo-Anna@APrettyLife said...

You did a great job! Your pillow is really pretty!

Rebbie said...

Great instructions and pictures! You have inspired me to try this soon.

Tanya said...

That is a cute pillow! Man, I need to learn to sew.

Mindy said...

I've got some cable knit sweaters in my closet that are too small - I should TOTALLY do this!!!

Starsunflower Studio said...

Oh I love it! So darn cute. Thanks for sharing the tutorial, I definitely have some sweaters I could do this with. :)

The Prudent Homemaker said...

Very pretty! It looks great!

Ashley said...

Thanks!! It really is pretty easy!! The hardest part would be de-arming it!

Lindsay said...

Yay, I am so glad you showed the rest of us how to make it! Love how simple it is! Thanks so much!

SV said...

Love the colors in your pillow. Lovin' the fact that it's an upcycle project. So cute!

Simply Jessabells said...

Thanks so much for putting this up. I have a sweater that I have been saving to make a pillow cover with but wasn't quite sure how to cut it and sew it without it unraveling. I think some sage green throw blankets would look good.


Michele said...

This is a great idea! I love it. I have soo many sweaters that I could do this too also. Thanks!

Here is my latest creation:

I'm free of the abuse said...

Isn't it funny how the homely sweater became a beautiful pillow? Thanks for sharing this! Loved it!

Carmen said...

This is adorable and simple. I especially love the the combination of the two fabrics. Would love it if you would link this up to our Rockin' link party going on now at RoCa and Company. Here is the link: Come and show off what you got. Hope to see you there...

Remember...YOU ROCK!!

Carmen @ RoCa and Company

Farah said...

looks beautiful and so much comfortable and cozy for coming season... Lovely... thanks for sharing your idea...
Happy if you come to see me at
with love from

Sarah said...

Love this..feeling very inspired!
Come by and visit me at:

Jenny @ Simcoe Street said...

It looks beautiful! Great job!


Crafty Brooklyn Army Wife said...

This came out great!! TFS!! Stopping by from TGC linky party and your newest follower.

This is what I shared this week:

Amber @ Defrump Me said...

Sooo cute! I think it's time I made some new pillows.

Candy said...

Beautiful pillow. I have some left over sweater from my pumpkin project and wanted to make a pillow. This is a huge help! Thanks!

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