Transform a shirt belonging to someone special into a treasured cushion complete with a hand-stitched label

Shirt cushion

Want to make a special keepsake? Sew a cushion using a loved one’s shirt

You will need

✤ 15 x 20cm rectangle of white cotton fabric
✤ 15 x 10cm rectangle of bonding web
✤ Stranded cotton embroidery thread
in black and a colour to match shirt
✤ 6mm metal eyelet and fixing tool (optional)
✤ Crewel embroidery needle and embroidery scissors
✤ Shirt
✤ Matching sewing thread
✤ 40cm square cushion pad

Making the label

1 Cut the white fabric in half parallel with the long edges. Trace the label (or enlarge on a photocopier to a preferred size) and words on to the right side of one piece of the fabric with
a sharp HB pencil.

Press the bonding web to the wrong side of the fabric that has been drawn on.

Peel off the backing paper.

2 Use two strands of black embroidery thread to embroider the words with backstitch and the dots with French knots.

3 Place the embroidered label face down on a towel to avoid flattening the embroidery. Press
the remaining white fabric on top. Cut out the label.

4 Embroider blanket stitch around the outer edges of the label using two strands of embroidery thread in a colour to match the shirt.

Fix a metal eyelet to the label 1.2cm in from the point with a fixing tool, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Alternatively, pierce a hole through the label 1.2cm in from the point with the tip of a pair of embroidery scissors.

5 Fold a 30cm length of embroidery thread in a colour to match the shirt in half and poke the loop through the eyelet or pierced hole. Pull the ends through the loop to suspend the label.

Making the cushion

1 Fasten the buttons on the shirt. Cut a 42cm square from the front and back of the shirt. Tack across the button stand at the upper and lower edges. Unfasten the buttons.

2 Pin the front and back together with right sides facing and matching the outer edges. Stitch the outer edges, taking a 1cm seam allowance.

Clip the corners and turn right side out. Insert the cushion pad into the shirt and fasten the buttons.

Tie the label to the button on the pocket, if there is one, or to one of the buttons on the button stand.