Last month, I was sifting through my closet to see what I could purge before the new year. I had often passed up my college sweatshirt for the Salvation Army pile, but this time I felt like something had to be done. But I couldn’t bring myself to give it away.

I still had my fabric scissors from the Upholstered Piano Bench project, so I decided to try and make a pillow. I love my alma mater (California Baptist University), and I wanted to make something my kids could enjoy and maybe inspire them to go to college, too 🙂


Cut All the Places

Every way I looked at it, I could only see a square-ish or rectangle-ish shape featuring the lettering. So I began cutting the appendages and bottom to see it more clearly in case I cut off too much on the first attempt.

Next major cut was below the neckline as straight as possible, through both the front and back pieces of the sweatshirt. I could have used a piece of masking tape or something to make a straight line, but I’m not that meticulous, and it will be sewn over anyway.  Made another cut below the lettering about the same distance apart as the top cut.

Inside Out

To make a pillow with the seams inside, I turned the pieces inside out and hand-sewed through both pieces, approximately 2 centimeters apart (i just eye-balled it). It took me 40 minutes to hand-sew it all the way around (about 60 inches total).

If you can use a sewing machine:

  1. You probably already know how to make a simple pillow.
  2. This would be a SUPER FAST project for you.

Stuff It

When I turned the fabric right side out, the stitches had turned out just like I hoped they would… those lines… those corners! I left a few inches open on the right side for stuffing.

You can buy a bag of Poly-Fil synthetic filling, or goose down feathers, but I opted to take apart a worn pillow this time and save some money. As loose as this pillow became through washing, the stuffing held up perfectly, and made this smaller size DIY pillow firm enough to sit up nicely. Even though I had to sew up the last few inches from the outside and make an outside stitch, it’s barely noticeable.

Finished Product

I am so happy I can still love on my sweatshirt, share it with my family, and remember how grateful I am to have attended one of the best schools in Southern California. Go Lancers!

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