First attempt at a memory pillow

I wasn’t sure if this is the correct category so let me know if it should be elsewhere.

I’ve had a request to make a memory pillow from a pair of friend’s grandfather’s overalls.

Of all the sewing I’ve done, a pillow was never one. I decided to do a practice run with a t-shirt. What I learned is that sewing with t-shirts is a bit tricky due to the stretch factor. Regardless, I’m happy with how this turned out.

If anyone had suggestions on sewing with old t-shirts, I’d appreciate it.


I haven’t done so yet, but I have a bunch set aside for quilt projects. You inspired me to remember that. Did you use a stabilizer on the t-shirts before sewing?

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That’s what I’m thinking, stabilizer.

I second the stabilizer. For stitching and long term durability.

Your pillow turned out great, though!

Nice work! Stabiliser is the best suggestion.

Alternatively, if you don’t have stabiliser, you could try adding a layer of a non stretch fabric as a backing. I made some cushions with a hand knit front and cotton back, and I just stitched the knit onto a square of plain cotton fabric (I did have to go slow and careful), then made the cushion - it stopped the knit moving around too much, and the cushion keeps its shape quite well.


A practice round is always great, and the end result does look nice even if stretch fabric is a bit tricky sometimes

I’ve made a few tshirt quilts and one thing I do is to cut pieces from both the front and back of the shirt then rotate one of the pieces so the stretch is going side to side on one, up and down on the other. That does help to stabilize the stretch. I also use a very narrow zigzag stitch rather than straight since it has a bit of natural give and won’t snap the threads as easily if there is pressure on the fabric.
Stabilizer is a good option but it adds time and money to what can otherwise be a frugal project, these other tricks are helpful in that case.