I don’t know about you, but I’m completely in love with the chunky cable knit pillows and throws I’ve been seeing everywhere:
This looks so delicious, I want to climb right in and never get out….but, I don’t knit, and the versions I found online were pretty pricey.
Hmmmm….what to do?
I was inspired by Yvonne at Stone Gable Blog to get the same cozy look by covering my old pillows with thrift store sweaters. Yvonne is far more talented (and probably a lot more patient) than I, and she did hers with a sewing machine and added some super-cute fancy details. I got rid of my machine years ago after a few disastrous attempts at sewing, so my very simplified version is done by hand. You can find her full tutorial HERE.
I started out buying a big pile of ivory sweaters from the Rescue Mission. I picked them up on a 50% off day, so I paid $2-$3 each. I looked for sweaters with a cables, ribs and other designs.
I picked up some inexpensive wood and wood-look buttons:
The big pile of loose buttons came in a variety pack for about $5 – so I’ve got plenty to choose from.
Lay your sweater out flat.
Cut the top off the sweater in a straight line at the armpits:
Turn the sweater inside out and close the top with a simple overcast (whip) stitch. Turn it right side out and stuff your pillow inside.
I had a lot of different sized pillows I wanted to cover, so once I had the cut side closed up, I experimented to see which size and shape fit the cover best. I will say this – if you’re trying to cover larger pillows you will have an easier time of it if you look for plus sized or men’s sweaters. The medium sized ladies sweaters only really worked for small rectangular pillows.
Once you’re happy with the fit of the pillow, there are two ways to close it up.
For the pillow in the pic above, the cover was just big enough, so I simply stitched it closed, again using a whip stitch.
If you have the room, you can add buttons or other details on the ribbed trim of the waistband of the sweater. I found it easier to keep everything in place if I secured the edge with some safety pins while I attached the buttons.
In this case, you don’t need to close the edge – the buttons work fine.
Each pillow took 20-30 minutes to make, but if you’re using a sewing machine (or have more than my very primitive sewing skills) I’m sure you could cut the time in half.
I made 4 pillows this morning, and I’m really digging how they look scattered around my living room. Since I have 2 built in window seats in my house, I think I’m going to make at least a few more.
What do you think? Are you ready to tackle your own sweater pillow covers?