Wednesday, September 2, 2009

this week's crafternoon:

Business attire for the bedroom?

Converting mens button-downs into soft pillowcases with personality.

skill level: origami-ist to seamstress
cost: Buy a cheap collared shirt at a thrift store or ask your dad, bf, or brother for an old shirt.
%100 cotton is best but whatever is soft and a color you like.
button-down collard shirt
matching thread
straight pins/needle
sewing machine or some time for hand stitching
extra fabric/regular pillow case

step 1:
-start by laying your pillow (standard size is about 26" by 17")on top of the shirt for measurement and placement.

-once you've measured how much you'll have to crop the shirt at the sides, turn shirt inside out. Mark lightly with pencil down each length side of the shirt. Cut the front bottom of the shirt to be almost flush (same length) with the pillow (leave a half inch extra trim). Leave the back bottom of the shirt as is.

-cut the extra side fabric neatly leaving a half inch past the pencil marks.

option 1: to make an extra insert to block the opening of the collar, sew a flap to the sleeve seams from the inside. Make the flap a rectangle that reaches from one sleeve seam to the other. Finish all 4 sides of flap with an over-lock stitch (*1), then pin the flap only half way down the sides. With the pins in place carefully turn the shirt rightside-out to make sure your flap in positioned correctly. The flap should fold half way over to form a seal under the collar hole while not interfering with the shirt form. Turn the shirt back inside-out and stitch the flap into place using the sleeve seams and your pins as a guide. Remember to only stitch half way down your insert.
or: You can bypass option 1 by leaving your pillow in a regular case (one that sorta matches the shirt you're working with) to act as an insert to the shirt-case.

(*1) this stitch whether using your machine or your hand is when the needle goes into the same side every time thus making a looping hem around the edge of the fabric

step 2:
-stitch your sides with the inside-out.
-using the over-lock function on your machine (or doing the stitch by hand) hem the raw edges of your sides and the cut bottom side.
- Pinning right-sides together (*2) fold the extra bottom flap over for the new crease to be flush with the cut edge (about a full inch), and pin. Sew along pinned edge.

(*2) right-sides together is such that the outsides (finished side) of the fabric are sewn together so that when turned right-side out the hem is hidden on the inside (raw sides) of the fabric

step 3:
-finally, sew right-sides together connecting the original bottom seam of the back (not your sewn crease) to the hemmed edge of the shorter bottom side. This should create a bottom to your case (like the bottom of a bag insert) so the pillow fits better and making it look more finished.
-turn your shirt right-side out and pat yourself on the back!

Not a do it yourself-er? Contact me and ask about pricing for the various projects shared on this blog.