Crafts,  knitting

A Sweater Vest + Knitting Practice = Pillow

A million years ago, when I had a corporate job and wore heels with nylons and had to get up at oh’ dark hundred, I had a sweater vest. I loved to layer it with a pantsuit and a while collared shirt. Fashion mavens, watch out.

Turns out, I don’t miss heels, pantsuits or getting up at oh’ dark hundred, but I still do like layering. Clearly, I have my priorities. 😉

Somewhere along the way of having babies and owning a business with a “business casual” policy (emphasis on the casual), I realized that styles had changed and this vest wasn’t working with my long waist. However, I loved the colors and couldn’t get rid of it. Again, priorities.

pillow8Half a million years ago (and by that I mean 8 months ago) I wanted to learn how to knit the raspberry stitch. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’ll call it a beginning knitter’s delusion. It took me forever (8 months), partly because my rows were so long and oh yeah, I’m a beginner. Plus, I would often forget where I was in the process and reverse the order of the stitches. I finally decided that I had totally mastered this stitch it was time to move on. My finished product was a little wonky, but it was “finished” darn it! Now, what was I going to do with it?

You see where this is going, right?


If I combined my sweater vest with my knitting practice, I could make a pillow! Never mind that I’ve never actually made a pillow like this. How hard could it be? Famous last words.

So off I trotted to the craft store to pick up some pillow filler. I considered buying a pillow form, but that would be tricky considering the wonkiness of my knitted piece. So, I decided to wing it with the filler.


After that, things got crazy in suburbia. I cut the top off of the sweater. *gasp* Not kidding, I did feel a little bad about that.


In case you’re wondering, this probably isn’t going to be a how-to post. This might be a how-NOT-to post. The jury’s still out.

After that, my plan was simply to sew the knitted piece onto the sweater. But as I sat there for a crazy long time thinking about it, I realized that my knitting was designed to be a little loose and the pillow filler might poke out. That’s when I came up with the brilliant solution of sewing the knitted piece to the back of the sweater so that I would have a liner of sorts. That introduced all sorts of complications that my limited experience with sewing was not prepared to handle.

So, I sat there for an even more ridiculous amount of time thinking about sewing things inside out, right side out, what thread to use, etc. I basically decided that I would have to hand-stitch the entire thing and that I’d need to use regular thread since yarn would be too thick for my sweater vest.

So, I started stitching the knitted piece to the outside of the back of the sweater.

pillow13When that was finished, I had to stitch the back (sweater vest/knitted piece combo) to the front.

Aren’t my stitches pretty? (sarcasm alert) I also happened to have a sweet 4-year-old boy “helping” me with this part. I’d poke the needle through and he’d pull it all the way out. It’s a really efficient way of sewing (more sarcasm). He thought it was the greatest thing ever! It looks like a hot mess, but it held! That’s the most important thing, right? Right?


When I was finished, I turned the whole piece right side out and using the gap I had left, filled the entire pillow with the pillow filler. I then used my superiorly fantastic sewing skills to stitch the hole closed. I think it would have looked a little better if my 4-year-old helped me with this part instead of pretending to be Power Ranger, but what are you going to do?

I think this is a good example of how even if you haven’t done something before or aren’t good at something, you should still give it a try. You might surprise yourself.



Honestly, this is the best view of the pillow, but I’m biased. 🙂



After it was finished and before I took pictures, my son did a test for me. It was the “use the pillow as a sword, a landing spot for falling objects and as a club with which to hit your sister” test. I’m happy to say that the pillow stayed sewed together. Although, it may have picked up a few extra lumps.


Yes, it’s kind of a funny size…kind of like a lumbar pillow.

Yes, it’s not perfectly square (or rectangle in this case). I contemplated not even showing you the finished product because it didn’t turn out perfect.


Then I reconsidered because I finished this wacky project and finally finishing something I started 8 months ago makes me happy. No, it’s not perfect, but it makes me pretty happy.


Oh, and if there’s a next pillow…well, it will be even better! Have you had any perfectly imperfect projects lately?


Here are some other posts you might enjoy! 

Skinny Jeans Embellished with Embroidery Thread

Add a Hidden Pocket to a Scarf

DIY Embroidered T-Shirt – Nevertheless She Persisted

Leather Map from Old Boots


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