Pretty Pillow Makeover at the Flea Market

Here’s what I did at the Flea Market over the weekend.

IMG_8771.JPGA couple of pretty Japanese-made blouses—complete with piped edges and frog closures—are now a couple of pretty pillows.

Pretty Pillow Makeover on

One was black, with a simple neckline.

Pretty Pillow Makeover on

The other was red, short sleeves, with a pretty stand-up collar.


This collar was too pretty to cut away and relegate to the discard bin.


The lady in the booth next to mine had them. She’d bought a few things at a garage sale and as she paid, the seller picked up these blouses and said “here, you can have these too,” so they didn’t cost her anything.


I had my sewing machine set up and it wasn’t long before she brought the blouses over and asked, “Can you think of something to make out of these?”


I shrugged and suggested “pillows?” I showed her the pillows I’ve made out of toddler shirts and her eyes lit up. Could I make some for her?


In no time she took off through the flea market and found a couple of cotton throw pillows and gave them to me to use as pillow forms.


First I used a hidden stitch to close the openings of the blouses so they wouldn’t gap when filled. I left part of the sleeves showing on the red blouse in order to keep the collar and the side closure.  It was the perfect size for the pillow we found for stuffing. I used one sleeve to fill the neck opening and the bottom was left open, like a pillow case. We didn’t want to mar the pretty fabric finish with stitching.


After I stitched the front closed on the black one, we decided it would look better sideways.


Because the fabric was so “slickery,” the pins slid right out, I decided the only way to be sure my seams didn’t stray was to baste it all the way around. So I did.


I left the hem of the shirt open and had to remake the pillow we were using to fill it since this pillow was more narrow.

First I removed all the polyfill. Then, since manufactured pillows are usually basted together with very long stitches, it was easy to snip the seams with a small pair of scissors and take the pillow apart. I removed the piping around the edges and rebuilt the pillow. Instead of an 18″ square, I ended up with an 18″ x 12″ rectangle.


i restuffed the pillow insert, stitched it closed and crammed it into the new pretty pillow. Then I stitched the hem of the shirt closed as well.


And we ended up with two very pretty pillows. She said she has a day bed they’ll be perfect on.

What would you have done with them?  Made pillows, or cut them up for something else?



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jan
    Aug 12, 2013 @ 12:34:02

    Reblogged this on Historic Route 77 and commented:
    There’s one more week for the Flea Market at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds. Come check it out.



  2. Leslie Howard
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 16:17:00

    YOU are very clever!



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