How to Upcycle a Jacket into a Pillow

A couple of months ago, I found a great silk/cotton blend fabric. I immediately thought of the December home cushion. Red fabric would be great for the holidays. This fabric is not sold as yardage. I was saving and it was actually a jacket. This jacket was beautiful and very well made but outdated in every respect. It is very fashionable to wear old clothes and reuse fabric to make something new and exciting. With a size of 10, there was a good amount of cloth to reuse. This jacket also has 4 beautiful buttons. For $4, I knew I could turn this into a beautiful home pillow that looked like $40!

Noticeable: Please read the entire tutorial before starting the project.

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Materials needed to recycle the jacket into a pillow

Supplies to recycle your jacket into a pillow

  • outdated jacket
  • big wood button
  • woven tape
  • Mettler Silky Finish Cotton Thread 40 Weight
  • Schemtz needle is suitable for your fabric
  • needle texture
  • fabric scissors
  • Rotary cutter and ruler
  • tape measure
  • pins

Steps to recycle a jacket and turn it into a pillow


Start by cutting off the sleeves. Cut close to the seam to keep as much fabric as possible.


Remove the lining, shoulder pads, and anything else that isn’t worth saving. I kept the buttons attached because I decided to keep them in place.

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This is what I have so far.


Next, undo the bottom hem. This gave me another inch of fabric to play with. Do you like left-handed Kai sewing scissors?

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Now cut along the dotted lines in the image below. You will have three large pieces.



Measure between the holes on the butt. This is the largest I can make for the front of the pillow without cutting it. I’m at 16 1/2″ so my pillow will be 15 1/2″ square finished.


Using a rotary cutter and ruler, cut the backing piece into a 16 1/2 inch square. I like to use a large square ruler for this part. If the fabric you’re working with has a lot of stretch, use fusible interfacing, such as the Pellon Shape Flex, to secure it in before trimming. Sit aside. This will later become the front of the pillow.


To create the back of the pillow, take the two remaining pieces (which make up the front of the sleeve) and the button together. If your jacket doesn’t have buttons, don’t worry!


Secure the two pieces together with pins and stitch using BERNINA Walking Foot #50 and Straight Stitch #1. This fabric is thick so I increased the stitch length to 3mm.


Trim this piece to a 16 1/2″ square. I liked the pockets so I kept them intact.


Another option with my jacket to my pillow is to add the extra button inside the jacket. Instead of sewing the pieces together as previously shown, I decided to make a buttoned back pillow that would allow me to easily insert and remove a pillow form. This way the cushion cover can be stored flat when not in use. One button is already set so all I have to do is make another buttonhole and sew on a second button. Easy with Bernina! If your jacket already has two buttons, you’re all set!

First, mark the buttonhole position with a temporary marker. I put a 4″ mark above the button. On my device, I ran into the Buttonhole and looked through all the different buttonholes. Who knew there were so many! The #54 and #55 buttonholes are similar to those on the jacket. I used the help symbol (question mark) on the Screen the device to learn more about each buttonhole.Love the help icon!The difference between the two is a buttonhole.#54 has a normal bartack and #55 has a horizontal bartack.I decided to make the Buttonhole #55.

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Now, go to the Information menu and select the Buttonhole Length icon. Put the button on the screen and use the multifunction key to adjust the size. The on-screen metering feature is fast and cool! Stitch the buttonhole and carefully cut the slit for the opening.


Next, sew on the button. On the machine, in the Buttonhole software, select Button Sew-on #60. Change the presser foot to the Sew-on button on foot #18.


On the canvas, mark the button. Next, attach the sewing button to foot #18. Position the button under the foot using the rubber knobs on either side of the holes. Using the handwheel, lower the needle making sure it doesn’t push the button. Bring the needle up and lower it back into the other hole. Once it looks good, stitch!

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The central arc of the front of the pillow

With the sleeves of the jacket, I made two tubes of fabric. First, open each sleeve at the seam. Then cut the sleeves to 4″ by 20″. Fold each of the right sides together lengthwise and pin. Stitch the length allowing for a 3/8″ drop, leaving the short ends open. Turn right outside.


Press the tubes flat with a line on the bottom. Now the tubes are the ties! Get the square of fabric you laid aside earlier from the back of the jacket. Pin a tie on each side so that it is even and centered. Secure the ties with a firm stitch along the raw edge with Walking Foot #50.

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woven tape

Place two pieces of woven tape over the front of the pillow, one above it and the other about 1 inch below the laces. Or measure the distance from the raw edge as shown below. Play with tape mode and what sounds fun to you! Pin the tape in place. I tied up temporarily to get her out of the way.


Now attach Edgestitch Foot #10/10C/10D. On the machine screen, select Straight Stitch #1. This fabric is thick, so I changed the stitch length to 2.75mm.


Align the foot with the center blade facing the bar. Lower the needle and check its position. I changed the needle position to -3 so the stitches wouldn’t land in the pink line on the woven tape. stitch. Do the same with the other side of the tape.




bow and button

Using a temporary marker, draw a line in the middle of the front of the pillow. Cut one of the ties so that the cut edge lands along the marked line. It doesn’t matter which tie.

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Take the other tie and fold it back with the folded edge tied up against the raw edge of the cut tie.

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Create a circle by placing the end of the tie on the fold. install in place.


Attach reverse style feet #1/1C/1D. Select Zig Zag Stitch #2 and increase the width of the Stitch to 9 mm. With the very thick layers, I changed the pressure foot pressure to 30.

Recycle a Sweater into a Pillow - Repurpose

Mark the center on the sole of the foot where the two edges meet (the raw edge and the folded edge). Stitch together!

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Looks good!


Lay the circle flat so that it is centered and even with the ties. Using a Perle cotton thread and a fabric needle, stitch the large button down the center all the way through the seams to secure the button and bow.

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stitch together

Time to tie the front to the back! Put the right and front back sides together. pin. My pillow has a button closure under the back panel so I don’t need to leave an opening to turn the pillow right side out. If you need to leave an opening along the edge, be sure to stop about 6″-8″ from the starting point.

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Attach walking foot #50. Select straight stitch #1 and change the stitch length to 3 mm. I kept my foot pressure at 30. There are some really thick layers here.


Stitch with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Do not sew on pins!

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Trim excess fabric from the corners to reduce bulk.

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Flip it right side out and use the pointer tool for the corners. Journalism. Here’s the front side!

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Here it is the backside! I’m glad I kept the pockets on the back. Great place to hide my emergency chocolate!

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pillow shape

All that remains is to add a pillow shape. I love making pillow shapes using muslin and feathers. I make the pillow shape larger than the pillowcase 1 inch because I really like my pillow stuffed. Also, I use feathers from used pillows that I find when saving. The feather pillows get a little messy but it’s worth it! Feathers make a big difference in look and feel.

advice: Weather permitting, do this part outside.

Insert the pillow form. Next, fill the corners with polyfill to get full and beautiful corners. Button at the back or sew the opening to close it. Now find the perfect spot for your new jacket from jacket to pillow! I am so glad I was able to reuse this beautiful cloth!

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