At some point, we all go through the painful process of cleaning out our closets and discarding things that are no longer in fashion or that no longer fit. Often there are garments that we have a sentimental attachment to and it breaks our heart to get rid of them. Well, if you have a little skill and creative flair, you can re-purpose some of your favorite garments and turn them into colorful and cozy pillows and cushions.
The easiest garments to convert into a pillow are old shirts. Cut off the sleeves, turn the shirt inside out and sew the openings for the sleeve holes and collar closed using a sewing machine. Turn the shirt right-side out once again. Stuff the shirt pillow with batting or insert a pillow form, then hand-sew the opening at the bottom. You can embellish your new pillow with ribbons, buttons or colorful patches to dress it up a bit. You can use the cut-off sleeves to make bolster cushions. Just stuff the sleeve and use a gather stitch to sew each end of the cushion closed.
You can upcycle old wool sweaters to make felted pillows. The trick to felting sweaters is to expose them to extreme changes in temperature through several wash and dry cycles. Wash them in very hot water and rinse them in cold. Add a few sturdy fabrics into the wash cycle with the sweaters to help create friction which will further enhance the felting process. Old jeans are a good choice to use for roughing up the sweaters. Once you have the sweater felted to your satisfaction, cut it into to rectangles and sew it into a pocket using a sewing machine. Stuff it and then hand-sew the last opening closed. You can use several old sweaters to make a throw blanket for your sofa by sewing several squares together.
If you have several small garments that you just do not want to part with, cut them into small patchwork pieces and turn them into quilt squares that can be made into pillows, cushions and blankets. Each patch will be a reminder of something special, but you will be saving valuable closet space for other things instead of storing clothes that you don’t wear and seldom see.