Creating Memories of Dad

Sadly, my father passed away when I was pregnant with my first child. Obviously heartbroken, I was determined to help my children experience as much of their grandfather as I could summon. One undeniable fact about him: my dad had great style.


Whatever the occasion, he was prepared and dressed appropriately. So when I found out I was expecting a son, I chose five favorites from my dad’s dress shirt collection. I didn’t know exactly how I was going to utilize them, but I knew I had to have a touch of my dad’s style in the baby’s nursery. A pillow case turned out to be the best use for those stylish threads.

I am a novice seamstress, so typically I see a picture or get an idea in my head, and just figure it out as I go. Thankfully, this is one of the easiest projects I’ve tackled.

how to sew pillows from mens shirts

Simply buy a pillow form, remove the shirt's pocket, cut the shirt into two squares—making sure to leave a 2-inch border around the pillow for sewing. Next you turn the squares inside out and sew three sides together. Turn the pillow case over, insert the pillow form, and sew the final side. (More detailed pillowcase sewing tutorials can be found on the web.) I am in the process of embellishing the light blue pillow with ribbons. Many fun details can be added should a simply-patterned shirt be chosen.

A couple of tips about this project:

  • Leaving the button seam as a detail allows for a washable slipcover!
  • Resew the pocket onto the front to place sweet notes in for your child.

Fast forward a bit… I am now expecting my third son and I love having a keepsake of my father’s style for each of my boys. When I see the pillows, it reminds me to talk about my sweet dad. I intend someday to put memories of him in that front pocket, and to encourage my kids with something my dad would love about them.

I will also admit that I am looking forward to the day I bring home a baby girl and I get to make her a little dress out of one of Dad’s shirts. Until then, I will cherish every tickle match that occurs on the fabric of those treasured pillows.

Posted on March 5, 2015 and filed under Building Your Family.