Saturday, January 12, 2013

Upcycle: Love Reverse Applique Pillow

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.

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.

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.

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

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  They are talking about me at

I'll be linking to many of these great parties:

Mondays Making the World Cuter Monday – Making the World Cuter Made By You Monday – Skip to My Lou Craftastic Monday – Sew Can Do Making Mondays Marvelous – C.R.A.F.T. Market Yourself Monday – Sumo’s Sweet Stuff Creative Me Monday - The Southern Institute Tuesdays I Made It Without My Hubby – Shanty 2 Chic Sew Cute Tuesdays – Creative Itch Take a Look Tuesdays - Sugar Bee Craft Edition Shwin&Shwin Wednesdays We Did It Wednesdays – Sew Much Ado Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice - Seven Thirty Three Show & Tell – Blue Cricket Design Show Me What Ya Got - Not Just a Housewife Your Whims Wednesdays - My Girlish Whims Thursdays Strut-Your-Stuff – Somewhat Simple Make It, Wear It – The Train to Crazy It’s Stinkin’ Cute – Sew Stinkin’ Cute Show Off Your Stuff – Fireflies and Jellybeans Making It With Allie - What Allie's Making Now Pinspirational Thursdays - The ArtsyGirl Connection Fridays Furniture Feature Friday - Miss Mustard Seed Weekend Wrap Up Party – Tatertots and Jello Feature Yourself Friday – Fingerprints on the Fridge Friday Fun Finds – KojoDesigns Weekends Check Me Out Saturday – A Vision to Remember Show and Tell Saturday – Be Different Act Normal Sunday Scoop – I Heart Naptime Sunday Showcase Party – Under the Table and Dreaming A Pinteresting Party - Tutus & Tea Parties Sunday Roundup - A Rosie Sweet Home

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

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


  4. 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:

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

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

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

  11. 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. This is adorable, thanks for the idea!

    Lindsey @


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