A few months ago, I came across several amazing ideas online for altering men’s button-downs into tops for women.  With these ideas in mind, I went thrifting and came home with a few good options.  One got turned into a yet-unfinished sleeveless top and the others sat around waiting for me to be inspired. (after the first one didn’t turn out like I wanted, I sort of gave up. Pretty pathetic, huh?)

Another great thrift store find were these two matching pillows.  Great pillows, AWFUL decorations.  They were some sort of canvas painted with sunflowers and other things.  Not really a solid match for our decor.  But they were so nice and didn’t smell and weren’t covered in cat hair and were only 1.50$ each, so I bought them.  After a short month of sitting next to my desk and being moved everytime I wanted to get to something underneath them, I saw one of those button-downs and knew exactly what to do.


Easiest project ever.  And the best part is, you can utilize the existing button structure as an opening to get your pillow in.  (this seems pretty obvious and not that amazing, but it still thrills me)

To make one of your own:

1. Measure from seam to seam on a square pillow (or rectangle, or whatever, you are on your own for the modifications)

2. Take those measurements and add 1/4″-1/2″ for ease (so the buttons won’t pull across the front – and yes, I know that “ease” is a fashion sewing term usually applied to clothes). Then add another 1/2″ for seam allowance.

3. Make sure that the shirt you pick can fit your square measurements, turn it inside out, then measure and cut out.  I know it’s an awful habit, but with stuff like this, when the fabric isn’t too transparent, I draw on the pattern with a sharpie then cut it out.  If it makes you feel better, you can use chalk/fabric pencil and talk about me behind my back.

4. Since the right sides are already together, sew around the square all the way with 1/2″ seams.  Clip the corners, unbutton and turn right side out.

5. Insert your pillow and button up.  Done!

I have a second thrifted pillow to cover, so will have to pick up a coordinating shirt at the thrift store soon.  I will also have to take my husband to the thrift store with me to find some shirt to not cut up, as he mentioned he liked the one I did cut and then proceeded to put on the leftover collar/sleeves combo with the giant square cut out.  I love that man.