Martha Stewart Living Television
Using a seam ripper, remove any shirt pockets.
Determine the size of the pillow by laying the buttoned-up shirt out flat and measuring the width. The larger the shirt, the more options you will have.
Cut a paper pattern 1/4 inch larger than the pillow on all sides. (For example, a 16-inch square pillow will need a 16 1/2 inch square pillowcase.) To make a pillow with a decorative flange, simply add the desired flange size to your pattern on all sides. Using a roll cutter, cut down the center of the pattern, stopping and starting about 1/2 inch from the top and bottom.
Place the pattern over the placket so that the buttons poke out through the center cut. Slide the pattern up and down until the buttons are centered from top to bottom.
Using the roll cutter, follow the pattern, and cut out the front and back pieces of the shirt. Pin the pieces right sides together. Sew the front and back together, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance. (There's no need to leave a space for turning, since you will turn through the placket opening.)
Turn the pillowcase out, and press. The front of your shirt should now be the front of the pillow. If you're making a flange, topstitch a border around the edge of the already turned and pressed pillowcase. Insert pillow.
One shirt with a button placket
Seam ripper (optional)
Paper, for making pattern
With this project, you can transform a button-down shirt with a torn sleeve or stained collar into a decorative throw pillow. Just create a square paper pattern, cut out the shirt material, sew the pieces together, and insert the pillow filling.