Ruffled Rosette Pillow Tutorial {from long sleeve t-shirts}

Published January 16, 2012 by mytimewellspent


*This tutorial uses 2 LONG SLEEVE T-shirts*

Let’s get started and I’ll show you how I made this cute swirled ruffle pillow. 


First off, I used my rotary cutter and cut the bottom hem off the t-shirt. 


I measured my pillow insert and figured it was 14” square so I cut my fabric exactly the same. Normally, you would want to add fabric for your seam allowance, but since the fabric is knit and I wanted it to be tight, I cut it to the same dimensions as the pillow.  I also cut it so I left one of the  side seams intact. Less to sew later.  


I then cut off one of the sleeves. 


I cut off the sleeve hem and the seam that runs under the arm so I could open it up and cut some strips for my ruffles. 


I cut as many strips as I could {I got 6 from one sleeve}. I cut each one 2” wide and as long as the sleeve would allow. 


I made my ruffles like I made them here.  High tension, long stitch length. 


Make sure all your pieces are pressed flat. The first thing we will do is make your ruffle. Take your strip of fabric and using a serge stitch or a small zig zag stitch {I use a button hole stitch set on a longer length} finish the two long edges of your ruffle strip. 


Next you will make your ruffle. Using a long stitch and high tension make a baste stitch down the middle of your strip of fabric leaving long threads on each end {do NOT back stitch at either end}. You don’t have to use high tension, but it does some of the work for you and I’m all about less work.


Begin by pulling the top thread on one end and moving the fabric down the thread to create your ruffle. I do half from one end and then use the top thread on the other end and pull it to ruffle up the other half. You want to gather it up to a width of 7”.


All ruffly. cuteness. 


I took my ruffles and laid them out how I wanted them on the pillow. I only used 5 of the ruffles. 


When I pinned them down I simply overlapped the ends of the ruffles. I laid the one on the bottom flat and tucked under the end of the top one. Hopefully you can see that in the picture. 


Looks pretty good from the top. Ruffles hide lots of imperfections. 


I started with the bottom ruffle since the end of it goes under the long middle swirl. 


Make sure you adjust the tension and stitch length back to normal before you stitch the ruffles down.  I used lots of pins to hold the ruffles in place while I stitched them down to the front of the pillow cover. 


All stitched down and lookin’ sweet. 


I then flipped the case with right sides together and stitched the 2 sides together and the third side leaving a 6” opening for the pillow insert. 


Trim your corners at a diagonal. 


Turn right side out and push corners out with something that isn’t too sharp. I like to use a chopstick. Insert your pillow carefully, trying not to pull to hard on the opening {knit fabric with rip easily where it’s been stitched} 


Pin your opening together and use a slip stitch to close your opening.  Here is a good tutorial on how to do a slip stitch. 


All done. I made the pillow cover so that my slip stitch was at the bottom of the pillow.  

I found this at


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