Simple Pillow Covers from Sweaters

comments (0) November 8th, 2012     

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PureHOMEandBODY PureHOMEandBODY, member
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Dress up your couch with pillow covers made from reclaimed sweaters.
Choose a sweater that coordinates with your decor and choose what type of cover youll make.  This sweater will have an envelope type opening that overlaps
Place your pillow form inside the sweater to make sure it will fit. Trace your stitching lines with a ruler and chalk.
I surged my pillow edges on this one. Since knit fabric stretches, its better to have the cover fit snugly or youll get a sloppy looking pillow. After you stitch, turn the pillow inside out and make sure you are happy with the corners. Taking extra time to finish the corners squarely will make your pillow look professional. The knit fabric is pretty forgiving. Just make sure your envelope opening is how youd like it before sewing. Youll want to make sure to catch the edges of the envelope flaps inside your seams.
Pillow #2 was made with a cashmere sweater, Pure Luxury on your couch! Fit your pillow inside the sweater to make sure it fits. My pillow forms had curved corners so I made sure to follow this line on my finished pillow. If you want square corners from a rounded edge pillow form, you could fill in the corners with extra batting after the pillow is assembled.
I wanted to have the raw edges of the sweater exposed on this pillow so I kept wrong sides together when I stitched around the perimeter. Trim your seams at least 1/2 inch, leaving one end open
Trim the 3 sides of your pillow, leaving extra fabric on the opening side until after its sewn.  This next step will be the hardest part as you stitch the pillow closed as close to the pillow edge as possible to you have a snug fitting pillow. Trim the final side after its been sewn.
Heres my finished cashmere pillow, I gently pulled the cut edges so theyd curl softly and not show the rough edge as much.
Here are my four pillows.  Have fun working with what youve got!  Be creative and work with the line and pattern of your sweater to make funky pillows. 
Dress up your couch with pillow covers made from reclaimed sweaters.

Dress up your couch with pillow covers made from reclaimed sweaters.

Do you have some old sweaters that are knit with beautiful yarns but they're a little stretched out or the style is just outdated?  You can reclaim those sweaters and easily transform them into cozy pillow covers for your couch or bed. I even made one pillow from a cashmere sweater and left the edges rough and curled - Pure Luxury!

First, make sure your sweater is cleaned and dried completely.  Decide what type of cover you'll make.  An envelope type opening will give  you the flexibility of a removable cover that can be washed. These come together very easily and are a perfect project for beginning sewers since the lines are pretty straight.  It will probably take you more time to decide what sweaters to use for your project. Each pillow I covered took about 20 minutes from start to finish, super-satisfying!

1.  Lay your sweater on a hard, flat surface.

2. Insert the pillow you will cover to make sure the sweater will fit.

3. Trace your stitching lines with a ruler and chalk

4.  Sew over your stitching lines with a regular sewing machine or serger. If your sweater is stretching, it might help to place it between two pieces of tear away stabilizer.  Go slow and make sure your presser foot doesn't catch on the yarns.  Big, bulky knits might be best for intermediate or advanced sewers. Real stretchy sweaters can be a challenge too for beginners.  For the easiest cover, choose a sturdy, firm knit that doesn't pull out of shape easily.

5. Insert your pillow form again before trimming to make sure your are happy with the fit. Re-stitch any areas that need to be tucked or tightened.  A snug fitting cover will look more professional than a sloppy one with uneven corners.

6. Trim your  pillow edges after your are happy with the fit. Insert your pillow and enjoy!

This is a great way to refurbish your old sweaters and give life to an old couch. Some of my toss pillows from my original couch were so flat that I used two of them to make one new covered pillow.  I found 2 pillow forms from a local thrift store.  I have a steam fresh cycle on my washing machine and I tossed the pillows in there along with 4 drops of Young LIving's Purification essential oil blend to freshen the fibers without chemicals.

You could take your design a step further and embellish your pillows with extra yarns, buttons and fabric.  If you are going to hand stitch your pillow closed, unravel yarns from the sleeve or neck and use this with a tapestry needle to sew the edge closed. The yarns will blend in nicely with the sweater knit and be more durable than just thread.

posted in: , recycling, upcycling, pillows, sweaters

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