Turn a Used Sweater into a Pillow Cover


When a favorite sweater doesn’t fit anymore, don’t throw it away, turn it into a pillow cover and enjoy it years longer. That’s exactly what our friend Jennifer did with her baby sweaters.

My Italian Grandma was a prolific knitter. For my 7 siblings and me, both of my parents, and countless others, she knitted sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves, socks, and slippers. I became the keeper of a couple of our childhood sweaters, which I kept for years in my cedar chest, until now…their next lives! So, after brainstorming recently with Shari for project ideas, I rediscovered an inspirational picture of a sweater pillow cover that I plucked from a magazine, and she thought it was pretty cute too.  Here’s how I whipped up a pillow I’ll always cherish!

Materials List:

  • Sweater of your choice
  • Pillow form sized to cover
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine



1. So, I took my little sweater, in this case a cardigan, measured it from side to side, and found a pillow form a little smaller than the sweater to slip inside it.

2. First, I removed the arms (to restyle into their own new lives-see below). I then cut the two sides to straighten them out (removing the arms created uneven sides), and adjusted the length to the size I needed, leaving 1/2″ on both sides and bottom, for seam allowances. My cardigan had buttons, of course, and an adorable little collar which added so much personality I had to leave that!


3. Once cut, having left the buttons buttoned, I turned the sweater inside out, and with ‘right’ sides together, lined up any obvious patterns in the knitted design, and pinned the 3 cut sides.


4. Then, using just a basic straight stitch and leaving a 1/2″ seam allowance, I stitched away. Before turning the sweater right side out, I snipped the excess fabric from the corners, so that once turned, those corners would be much ‘sharper’.

For a more finished look, you might, out of an old t-shirt, make a pillowslip to put on the pillow first, before this sweater cover, to hide the unfinished edge of the pillow form that will be visible at the neck opening.

5. I then unbuttoned my little cutie, turned it right side out, slipped the pillow inside, and buttoned it back up. If your sweater doesn’t have a cute collar, just cut and stitch that side like you would the other sides. Similarly, you can follow these instructions for any adult sized cardigan.


Sometimes I turn the pillow around for a no-button look, or so that I don’t get button prints on my face after my nap! Heehee.  Finito! Adorabile, Nona!


But I couldn’t stop there; another practical yet stylish place for this cozy cover is your heating pad!


And here is that idea for those cute little sweater arms.

Enjoy! Create!


Jennifer is a wonderful friend and associate of Matt & Shari and has worked behind the scenes with us for many years.  We are quite thankful she is back with us again making magic happen!



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