Textiles, Apparel and Fashion Playlist

Pillow Talk

I spent last Monday, President’s Day, conducting a “sewing” workshop for the 4H kids in our county.  This workshop is an annual affair that I look forward to each year.  In year’s past we’ve introduced the kids to the basics of sewing by making pajama pants and a simple quilt. 

Last year the kids made a couple of projects redesigning t-shirts using simple hand sewing skills.  That workshop was such a hit with the kids (We literally had trouble getting the kids to leave when their parents came to pick them up!) that we decided to do something similar again.  This year the kids made pillows from t-shirts.  The process requires basic measuring and cutting.  The pillow is constructed by tying simple knots.  The kids had a great time designing and creating their pillows.  It was another successful day!

Here’s a summary of the steps in case you’d like to try it with your students.

cards and t-shirt photos 001

  1. Lay the T-shirt flat and measure and mark the widest point between the sleeves.  Measure and mark that same distance down toward the hem on both sides to make a square.  Cut the square through both layers of the T-shirt. 
  2. Cut 2-inch squares from each corner through both layers.
  3. Cut fringe 2 1/2-inches long by 1/2-inch wide through both layers into each edge around the perimeter.
  4. Use a double knot to tie each piece of fringe from the top layer of fabric to the corresponding piece beneath it.                                                                                   T-shirt pillow step 2 
  5. Work your way around the perimeter of the pillow until you have about three or four fringe pieces remaining.
  6. Fill the pillow through that hole with polyester fiberfill or other stuffing material of your choice.
  7. Tie the remaining fringe to close up the pillow.

T-shirt pillow completed

The possibilities for using T-shirts in simple sewing and design projects are endless.  For more ideas check out these two great books.

Generation T Beyond Generation T

Megan Nicolay, the author of the Generation T books has some great projects on her website at http://www.generation-t.com/.