Memory Shirt Cushion

Memory Shirt Cushion

This is such a simple but thoughtful project. It would be ideal to make from a shirt of a loved one that is no longer with us, or a favourite shirt that holds memories, or just as love token if you’re having to spend time away from a loved one.

What you will need

  • Cushion insert (I used a 16” for this project)
  • Shirt
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Safety pin
  • Chalk
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Pins (or clips)
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Iron

As I was using a 16” square cushion I needed to make my cushion pieces 16.5” to include a seam allowance. Place the shirt on a flat surface, and from the top of the shoulder, measure down and mark 16.5”. Repeat this on the other side. Draw a line across to join the two markings.

Now you need to find the centre of the shirt, you can do this by folding the shirt in half. With this shirt the halfway centre was in line with the buttons. Now that you have the centre of the shirt, you can mark 8 & ¼ inch on each side of the centre. Do this across the bottom line and the top, just under the collar. Draw straight lines from the bottom to the top. You should now have a square. Pin the back and front of the shirt together so it doesn’t move, and cut along the lines (Do not dispose of the off cut). You will end up with a piece that looks like this.

As you have a “gap” at the top of your shirt where the neck is, we need to make a panel to cover the cushion insert. To do this, measure the widest part of the collar and decide how long you would like your panel to be. I wanted my panel to be 20cm wide by 20cm long, so my piece of fabric needed to be 22cm square. Use the off cut of the shirt to cut out this piece. I used the sleeve for this part.

We now need to create a hem on all 4 sides of the square to stop it from fraying. The easiest way to do this is to use your iron. Fold over your fabric to create a ¼ inch fold and iron flat. Fold the hem over on itself again and press in place. Do this for all 4 sides. Depending on the fabric you might prefer to pin these down for the next step if you prefer, however pressing might be enough to keep the hem in place.

Using your sewing machine, sew the hem down on all 4 sides.

Next you need to attach the panel to the shirt. I found it easier to open it up to access the back. Position the panel so it is in the centre of the shirt. Place it so the right side is flat against the collar, and the edge of the hem is along the base of the collar. Pin in place and sew. You now have your panel on.

Button the shirt back up and turn inside out. Pin/peg the side and base together and sew all 3 sides with a straight stitch. When making cushions, I like to backstitch the corners (by using the reverse function on your machine) to make them stronger.

Undo the buttons and turn the right way around. Give it one last press with your iron to flatten the sides. Fill your case with the cushion and do the buttons back up. Use the panel at the nape of the neck to cover the top part by placing it over the cushion and tucking it in.

Your cushion is now complete. You can gift/use it as it is or you can personalise it by adding iron on vinyl (as in my the picture), embroidery, badges, a tie….anything you like!

Do you enjoy upcycling clothes? How about trying out upcycled Bucket Hat?

I absolutely love seeing what you’ve created, so if you do make this (or any other items from my website) don’t forget to tag me over on my social media pages 

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