Upcycle: Love Reverse Applique Pillow

Love Reverse Applique Pillow Collage

I’d always pretty much considered Valentine’s Day an adult holiday until I had kids.  Now I appreciate the sweetness and fun of a day (or month!) to immerse ourselves in everything hearts & love & affection.  I’ve had this plan to upcycle an old sleeveless sweater into a pillow and today I’m sharing what I’ve transformed it into – a “love” reverse applique sweater pillow.


Love Reverse Applique Collage

This is a pretty easy project, and I’ll share a couple of ways you could make it even quicker!

1.  Gather supplies:  I recently bought a 12 x 16 lumbar pillow at JoAnn’s during a nice sale and used a coupon for an additional 25% off.  The sweater is a white cable knit sleeveless sweater that I’ve had in my “to be refashioned/upcycled” drawer since it got a stain on the back I couldn’t get out.  Some red felted wool I had (yet another project with lovely felt from my Package Pal Ellen!).

2.  Sketch out your design.  I used a scrap of duck cloth and this will also serve as the stabilizer for the applique.  You could also print out a font you like, but I wanted this to be in my handwriting.  Hubby Dave even commented that he liked that it was my writing!  Go over the final design with a sharpie or dark marker so the next step will be easier.

3.  Trace the design in reverse.  Make a sandwich with the sweater right side down, then the felt, and finally the design with reversed side up.  Pin in place.  You could iron some interfacing between the felt and the design here as well to further stabilize your stitching.

4.  Working slowly from the backside where the design is showing, stitch around the lines of the design.

5.  Cut away the sweater close to the lines of the stitching.  You could go back over with a zig-zag or other stitch, but I liked the look of the rough edges.


Love Pillow Collage

6.  Measure the pillow – just want to double check the measurements.

7.  Prepare the back.  I decided to make a button closure for the back and used the bottom edge for the buttonholes.  Sew buttonholes at even intervals.  For the side with the buttons I finished the cut edge using my serger, but you could zig-zag or turn the edges just as easily.  Iron a strip of medium weight interfacing to stabilize the edge and support the stitching for the buttons.  Make sure the pieces are cut to overlap on the back – I made mine overlap 1.5″; the width of the ribbed edge of the sweater.  Or if you want to make it easier, use the front of a button down shirt and skip buttonholes and the rest!

8.  Lay out the pillow cover.  First place the designed piece right side up and then the piece you want outside    right side down and then the inside piece.  Pin and sew.  Finish edges as you like; I serged mine.
Love Reverse Applique Pillow Back

9.  Turn right side out and add buttons.  Stuff the pillow form in, button up and enjoy!


Love Reverse Applique Pillow Collage
Arden liked it and asked if it was for her.  I think after February it can have an everyday home on the little bench in her room.
This project was featured on:

I Heart Nap Time



12 Responses to Upcycle: Love Reverse Applique Pillow

  1. tossedsaladlife January 13, 2013 at 4:52 AM #

    This turned out so nicely. The pillow looks amazing. I like the upcycled nature of the project.

  2. JQ Ruetten January 14, 2013 at 3:20 AM #

    I love your pillow and wish I was brave enough to try to make it! Found you via Sundae Scoop Link at I Heart Nap Time.

    Hope you are able to stop by my blog sometime.

    Julia from

  3. ShockinglyDomestic January 14, 2013 at 4:47 AM #

    You are very talented it looks so professional. Great work!


  4. Alisha @ Crafty Brooklyn Army Wife January 14, 2013 at 3:32 PM #

    I love how this came out!! Stopping by from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff linky party and your newest follower. Here is what I shared this week: http://craftybrooklynarmywife.blogspot.ca/2013/01/fun-fur-boa-scarf.html

  5. Sherry Clarke January 14, 2013 at 5:05 PM #

    This is my favorite take on the sweater pillow yet! I love what you did…:)

  6. Sarah January 14, 2013 at 6:15 PM #

    Upcycle projects are so much fun and I love the reverse applique technique. It gives it character. If you get a chance come link up at my Pin Party.


  7. Katrine January 14, 2013 at 8:05 PM #

    I love it! The contrast with the red and white with the sweater is so cute! I found you from Sumo’s sweet stuff.

  8. Maria January 15, 2013 at 12:42 AM #

    Oh wow this is GORGEOUS!!!!! I love everything about it! I love the sweater, the “Love” font, and the red buttons, too! Beautiful! I’m pinning this!!!!

  9. Stella Marie January 15, 2013 at 1:21 AM #

    I love that this is made from a sweater! So cool! Pinning this!!

  10. b January 15, 2013 at 10:26 PM #

    Pinning this! Found you via take a look tuesday….. this looks really nice.

  11. Ana Lopes January 16, 2013 at 11:12 AM #

    This is perfect for Valentine’s Day! Love it!Thanks so much for sharing the great tutorial! Would love to have you visit me sometime.
    Have a fabulous day!

    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft

  12. Lindsey Ralls January 16, 2013 at 11:22 AM #

    This is adorable, thanks for the idea!

    Lindsey @ http://the-dailyme.blogspot.com

Site by Spunmonkey