Polo Shirt Memory Pillows

Categories: Gifts, Pillow

What you need to make this project

Home Elegance® Pillow 20″ x 20″
Note that the size of the pillow will depend on the size of the shirt. The shirts used in the example were XXXL

Download Pattern

2/3 Yard of Woven Cotton Fabric
1 Polo Shirt
Matching Thread
Sewing Machine
Poem Tags (optional...See attached printable)
Rotary Cutting Mat, Cutter, and Ruler (recommended) OR scissors

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Home Elegance® Pillow 20″ x 20″


Price: $21.99

Buy 4 and pay only $11.99 each
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Step One



Polo shirts are typically made from knit fabrics, which can be a little tricky to sew with and cut out, so it’s best to arrange your cutting area, so you will move your pieces around as little as possible.

The size of your shirt will determine how large of a pillow you’ll make.  These shirts were size XXXL, so I was able to make 18″ pillows.  Decide what size pillow you’ll make and ADD 1 INCH…so I’ll be cutting mine at 19″ for seam allowances.

Start from the center buttons and measure out half the size you’ll be cutting.  For me that was 9 1/2″.  Mark it.

Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 002   Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 003

Step Two

Cut your shirt from the shoulders to the lower hem with a 19″ width.

Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 008

Step Three

Cut the front and back apart at the shoulders.  Cut the top button off.

Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 010   Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 011

Step Four

Move the front of the shirt aside.  We’ll finish cutting that in a bit.  Fold the BACK piece of the shirt in half, bringing the hem up near the tag.

Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 012

Step Five

Cut at the fold, and cut off the hem.

Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 014

Step Six

The back pieces of our pillow need to be lined, so they can hold their shape at the opening of our pillow, so we’ll line the back with a woven (not stretchy) fabric.  Fold your lining fabric in half, so we can cut out two pieces at once.  Use the back pieces you just cut out as a template to cut out your lining pieces.

Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 015     Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 016

Step Seven

With RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, one lining piece to one of the back pieces along one of the longer edges.  Repeat for both pieces. (In some cases, depending on the shirt, there might not be a right and wrong side to the polo shirt fabric.

Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 018

Step Eight

Stitch with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

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Step Nine

Flip around and iron, so that the lining fabric is a bit below the shirt fabric and will NOT show on the front.

Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 021

Step Ten

Top-stitch about 3/8 inch away from the seam.  (This step is shown using a different shirt.)

Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 030    Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 031

Step Eleven

Now we’re ready to go back to the front of our shirt/pillow.  Finish cutting your front into a 19″ squares, letting as much of the top buttons show as possible.

Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 022  Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 023

Step Twelve

Layer your pieces with your pillow FRONT FACE UP, next your the TOP of your pillow BACK FACE DOWN, then the BOTTOM of your pillow BACK FACE DOWN.   Line up the outer edges.  There will be several inches of overlap between the two back pieces.

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Step Thirteen

Pin well.

Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 025    Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 026

Step Fourteen

Stitch around all four edges with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 028

Step Fifteen

Clip corners.

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Step Sixteen

Now you’re ready to turn your pillow cover right side out and add your pillow.


Polo Shirt Memory Pillow Tutorial

Step Seventeen

If desired add a tag to the back of your pillow.  A printable version of this tag is provided by clicking on the “Download Pattern” button above.  You print directly onto fabric using this tutorial or you can purchase tags.

Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 033   Polo Shirt Memory Pillow 040