November 03, 2010

Skirt to Pillow by Suzannah from Adventures in Dressmaking

Today's guest is Suzannah from Adventures in Dressmaking (pictured below with her fiancee).  She has some mad sewing skills.  She cranks out clothing like a factory.  She can also do a mean Anthro or J Crew knock-off.  Today she's got a thorough tutorial on turning a skirt into a pillow.  It's always fun to find a way to use something you would have gotten rid of.  Welcome, Suzannah!

Hello, readers at I Am Momma!  I'm Suzannah from Adventures in Dressmaking, where I share my sewing, crafty, and decor projects with you in the form of tutorials and interactive posts.  I love vintage and retro style, as well as cute contemporary looks--my fave stores are Anthropologie and J.Crew, but I love to sew, so I make a lot of my own clothes based on inspirations!

I've been sewing since I was a kid, sewing on my own since I was 16 or so, and I like to DIY whenever I can.  So I want to share with you today a tutorial on how to reuse a skirt into a cute throw pillow for your couch or bed!  Up-cycle that old wardrobe garment into something new.

Here's the tutorial:

Start with a skirt with enough length and fullness, depending on your pillow size.  I got this one for $2.34 or something on clearance at JC Penney about 5 years ago, and hardly wore it, so it's time for it to become a pillow.  I recommend using a pleated skirt because they have a lot of fabric, and are rectangular.
  •  Salvage as much of the skirt as you can.  On this one, I'm cutting off just below the yoke.

  •  Trim around the pockets and zipper, if applicable.

  •  Take apart the side seams.
  •  Now you have two skirt pieces.  Some pleated skirts have sewn-down pleats, so if yours does, take out the stitches on them (mine didn't).
  •  I was able to save the lining and zipper from my skirt, to use on some other project.
  •  Now press flat the pleats flat.

 Now you have two flat pieces of usable fabric from your skirt.

  •  Measure your pillow (or, just read the measurements at the package).  You'll want to make a pillow cover with a finished size of at least 1/2" wider and 1/2" longer than the pillow so it's not too tight.

You may have to cut off the hem to get enough fabric (it's easier to include the bottom of the skirt if the thickness of the original hem is cut off).

  • Depending on the size of your pillow form, you may be able to use only the front or back of your skirt, like I did.  I had to trim some of mine off.

If your pillow is small, you'll be able to fold a skirt piece in half and cut it to the right size.

  • Put in your zipper on following the instructions on the package.  I'm using an invisible zipper.  If you can, use a zipper that's at least the length of the open side of your pillow.

  •  Zip the zipper at least half way and sew the side seams.  Keep it flat so the zipper stays along the edge.

  •  Trim your corners so you can turn the pillowcase right side out smoothly.

  •  Trim off the excess of the zipper.
  • Press the side seams to one side.

 All done!!


Thanks for the tutorial, Suzannah!

One more thing before you go.  Kari at UCreate is doing something fun I wanted to tell you about.  She's having an Online Holiday Boutique from Nov 29th - Dec 4th.  Each shop will be offering a discount to her readers.  If you have an Etsy shop and want to be involved click HERE to find out how.  If you want to shop in your PJs when the boutique begins, don't worry.  I'll remind you about it when it starts.

Thanks for reading!  Have a fabulous day!


  1. How cute! What a great idea!

  2. What a good idea! I do this with old sweaters and they look like Pottery Barn Knock-offs. So fun!

  3. I love the finished pillow! I have no vision and was dubious about how that skirt would look as a pillow. Thank goodness for creative people!

  4. I like the new pattern for the pillow :)

    Just Better Together

  5. Really liking the refashionista week! On another note...your boys need this!!!

  6. I like it. I love that whole idea of "harvesting" fabric. I didn't need a pillow though, so I made this:

  7. That is a great idea. My sister and I ran across a dress on clearance and had the thought "what about a pillow". Take a look at how it turned out.

  8. You all make it look so easy! I love all of your GREAT ideas! It's had me rethinking my whole wardrobe and adding a little more decor touches to my home!!! Thank you for sharing your creativity!

  9. I have the same flipping skirt and never wore it. I live in Spain and even dragged it from the States with me. Eeks, we're gonna have the same pillow!


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