Shannon Berrey

From shirt to sofa

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

When Maris was home for fall break, she told me she would love a few more pillows for her bed. She dove into my stash of fabrics where I also like to stockpile keep everything from pretty old shower curtains to vintage bedspreads to old jeans and special t-shirts. I like to refer to it, not as 'hoarding', but, as a 'keeper of special mementos'.    

And the backside.

She actually uncovered this t-shirt from a line that I used to sell at my store years ago. It's a shirt made by Cat Studio that displays a fun bedazzled map of NC. She asked me if I could make her a pillow out it.   
Hmmmmm........I llke the way she thinks.

Normally, I would just cut it into a square and sew it up. But, this shirt is super thin and you would probably be able to see the stuffing through the cotton. Also, the overall printed design is fairly small which would result in a tiny pillow. And lastly, and the biggest factor-- the design comes up above the neckline making a square that encompassed the whole design, impossible. I decided to cut out the design and adhere it to another fabric creating a bigger, sturdier pillow.

I cut out the front of the shirt and then cut out a piece of Ultrahold Heat and Bond in the same shape, but a hair smaller. This gave the thin fabric not only a bit of a stabilizer, but it allows it to be fused to the backing fabric. It also makes cutting the stretchy thin fabric a breeze.


I laid it, sticky side up, to the back side of the t-shirt and following the directions, ironed it in place. It's hard to see, but if you look closely, you can see the edge of the paper fusing at the edge of the fabric.

I flipped it over and with a ruler, I drew a rectangle around the design.  

I knew that this would cut out a bit of the top of the design, but that was OK. The top line was as close to the bottom of the neckline as possible. I then cut out the rectangle which ended up being 12"x 16".

After a bit of picture exchanging with Maris, we decided to go with a denim background. And by that I mean - back it with an old pair of Jack's jeans. I have been saving these jeans that he hardly wore {big ole growth spurt} because they were in perfect condition and I really liked the color and distress of the denim.  I cut them off at about 24" from the hem.

I cut up each leg, along the seam. This left me with 2 rectangle pieces of denim with a seam that ran down the middle.


I pulled off the back paper of the Heat and Bond and flipped the design over to center it on one piece of the denim. I decided to place the jean seam horizontally, but either way works.

Then I drew a line on the left side that allowed an equal border on both sides. I cut through both pieces of denim following this line. 


I ironed the fabric onto the denim. The Heat and Bond fuses it to the denim. 

I wanted to add a little extra to it, so I took it to the sewing machine and selected a decorative stitch that I ran around the edge.

I put right sides together and stitched around the edge, leaving the bottom open for turning.

Then I flipped it inside out, stuffed it, and then sewed up the opening with a needle and thread. It ended up being 18" x 16".


And remember the cute design on the back shoulder?

We couldn't leave it out!

I bonded it to the back bottom corner, using the same process as above. It's a sweet potato holding a Pepsi in one hand and a Krispy Kreme donut in the's a North Carolina thang, you wouldn't understand. 

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Shannon Berrey Bio
I'm an artist, interior designer, wife and mom. Join me here as I share projects, ramblings, and inspirations.
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