I discovered a lot of INCREDIBLE vintage Hawaiian shirts whilst on our travels. Problem is, some of the nicest ones were huuuuuge... You can get both myself and David in this one! Being only $10 (!!!) I couldn't resist adding it to our collection, but I had another idea of what would be in store for it. You know all your gig tshirts that you don't wear coz they're too big for you, but you love 'em too much to part ways? Listen up! Today I'm going to show you how to turn it into the coolest cushion ever. Get in!
This project is really simple, but it takes quite a while to do as there is a lot of hand stitching... You can do it all with your sewing machine, but I like the idea of being able to un-pick the stitching and being able to use it for something else if I get tired of it. Being vintage fabric, it would be a crying shame to cut this baby up!
We'll start by tucking in both of the sleeves. Take your time here as you want them to line up with the body of the shirt as best you can, and for the two sides to be as even as possible. As you see I'm going to be stitching this shirt on the outside, but if I was using a tee and being less precious about the material I would flip it inside out. skip the folding and just pin it together where I was going to stitch, then trim off the excess fabric. Your call!
Once you have your sides pinned up, fold the base of the top inside itself (or follow the same instructions if you're using the t-shirt). Fold the bottom in as much or as little as you like, bearing in mind this is how deep your final cushion is going to be.
Now it's all pinned, stitch around all three sides leaving the shirt neck open. When you're done set it aside and get ready to make your inner cushion...
If you don't have a cushion that will fit inside your shirt, you're going to have to make one that's custom fitted. oOoh! Sounds intense, right? Don't worry, you've got it covered. You're going to make the simplest cushion there is; the fold over cushion!
The simplest way to explain this process is with the diagrams above...
You're going to need fabric that is tall and wide enough to fit your shirt. The hight of your material wont be changing; we will be measuring with the width.
Multiply the width of your shirt by 3 (so you have three sections the width of your shirt), then add an extra half to be able to fold the cushion closed and to allow the cushion to be plump.
Hem the two ends of the material which are going to fold closed; the sides are fine raw as they will be hidden inside.
You're going to sew it inside out, so lay the material flat so the pattern is hidden. Fold the material in so it is the right width for your shirt plus a few extra inches for plump-ness. You should have the fabric overlapping where it meets by a few inches - this is how it will stay shut. Pin it all down and run it through your sewing machine.
When you're done, stuff the cushion full of ... stuffing! Here I've used a polyester soft toy stuffing, but you can use the stuffing from an old pillow too. When it's nice and full it should sit closed nicely with the overlapping material folded over itself. If you've cut it too tightly and it wont hold closed by itself, you can always add a few cheeky velcro coins :) It's going to be hidden so don't worry!
Pop it into your Hawaiian shirt cover by un-buttoning the shirt, or carefully push it through the neck hole in your t shirt and smush it out so it sits comfortably in its new home!
Hooray! You've done it! But wait, you used your cheap fabric remnants to make the cushion cover and it doesn't quite go with your awesome new soft furnishing? No problemo!
Add in a cravat! Hee hee :)
Pick out a piece of fabric that will match the top and you can pop it inside the neck hiding the cheapo stuff that doesn't work. This will save you a fortune in material as you wont even need a fat quarter of the stuff - just enough to cover the unsightly cushion material. If you're feeling thorough or are worried it'll come out, pop a few stitches around it to hold it in place. This is a great tip as it means you can use vintage fabric scraps to brighten it up :) Winner!
Fabulous work darling!
You'll save a fortune in new cushions AND you've got a great excuse to keep buying those gig t shirts. You're welcome ;)
What clothing would you like to turn into something new?
If you have any tips on how to embellish these we'd love to hear them :)
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