The Scavenger Hunt That Lead to a Pillow Shirt

In the summer of 2012, I emailed my mom, grandmother and aunts to ask if I could scour their fabric piles to get materials to practice with. Fabric can be expensive and I needed to practice putting in an invisible zipper and adding lining to a garment when the pattern didn’t call for a lining. I sensed that I might ‘ruin’ a few projects before creating something wearable.

Those scavenged materials ended up becoming a dress, a blouse, and 2 skirts (which I like to call my ‘granny minis’). Each represented something that I learned in the process. Often, I was learning about how to find a pattern that fits my body in the way I want it to rather than necessarily learning a particular technique.

The first of these projects was a McCall’s 6123 blouse. The fashion fabric needed a lining. In the interest of only using material that I had on hand, I lined it with an old sheet.





One of my next goals is to figure out how to make the seams match perfectly when I am sewing an invisible zipper. If you look closely at the back fo the blouse, you will see that lines do not match up. I wasn’t too bothered by this because it’s not noticeable unless you look closely.


Need to work on lining up the seam in the back. This often happens when I’m sewing an invisible zipper.

I love this bright fabric: it came from my grandmother’s pile and was leftover from some throw pillows. Why does it excite me that I have a blouse made from the same fabric as a pillow? Probably because both were handmade.


This shirt pairs well with jeans and sandals on a temperate day. For this project, I added lining and practiced sewing an encased, invisible zipper. After finishing, I realized that I might have preferred wearing this as a summer dress rather than a shirt. However, I have loved wearing it because I made it from a scrap pile and the colors are so bright and happy.

2 thoughts on “The Scavenger Hunt That Lead to a Pillow Shirt

    1. Michelle Post author

      Thank you! I enjoy that fabric. I’m thinking of trying another shirt like this but putting a zipper in that seam to make it a nursing shirt.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *