Kids and t-shirts go together like peanut butter and jelly; they also outgrow their favorite t-shirts like clockwork. The good news is that too-small t-shirts and sewing machines like the handy Juki HZL F300 also make a great pair when you turn favorite garments into throw pillows.

Check out all the different ways you can use Juki sewing machines to turn old t-shirts into fun items that preserve memories and make great gifts for kids and moms alike.

Making a T-Shirt Pillow is Sew Easy

If there ever was an easy project for recycling fabric with sewing machines, a t-shirt pillow is it. Follow these quick steps and put together a great keepsake in mere minutes. Required materials include:

  • T-Shirt
  • Fabric shears
  • Straight pins
  • Matching (or contrasting) cotton thread
  • Pillow stuffing or a pillow form

Step 1 - Lay the t-shirt on a flat surface and smooth out the wrinkles. Cut off the sides of the shirt through both layers of fabric, then cut off the top part with the collar. Trim carefully around any printed design you want to use as the center of the pillow, leaving about an inch on the sides for a seam allowance. Leave the hemmed edge uncut. If using a pillow form, cut the shirt to fit the pillow cover with enough excess to allow for a half-inch seam allowance.  

Step 2 - Match the front of the cut t-shirt to the back and pin the sides and top together. Pinning is very important since t-shirt material tends to otherwise stretch and shift.

Step 3 - Using your Juki HZL F300, sew around the three pinned sides with at least a half-inch seam allowance. Sew slowly, keeping the fabric taut without stretching it to avoid puckers and bumps. Then turn the fabric right side out and stitch a second row about ¼-inch from the edge of the seam to protect it from stretching.

Step 4 - Stuff the pillow as full as you want it or put in the pillow form.

Step 5 - Tuck in the bottom edges of the pillow and sew them closed using your Juki sewing machine. The finished hem folds in to make a nice, sturdy seam. If the length you cut is too long, trim it to the desired length, tuck it in, and stitch the pillow closed.

Different Types of T-Shirt Pillows To Make

The printed design on the front of an outgrown t-shirt makes a great focal point for a basic square or rectangular t-shirt pillow. With a little extra attention and some imagination, you can use your Juki HZL F300 to make more unique pillows as well:

  • T-Shirt Shaped Pillow - Rather than cutting out the printed design, turn the shirt inside out and sew the neck and armholes closed. Turn right side out again, stuff the t-shirt, and close the bottom.
  • Tied Bottom Pillow - An attractive alternative to sewing the bottom closed is to tie it closed with some ribbon and make a big bow.
  • Quilted Pillow - Make a quilt square using the fabric from various t-shirts. Use the quilt square as the pillow top then stuff and close as usual.

When kids or grandkids outgrown t-shirts start to pile up, crafty sewist can turn the special ones into something heartfelt and unique with their sewing machines. Using high-quality Juki sewing machines like the Juki HZL F300, you can turn any favorite shirt into an heirloom keepsake!

Juki Exceed HZL F300 Home Deco Computerized Sewing Machine

Sewing Machines