Ain’t she a beaut?

I got a sewing machine for Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Mom and Dad! Ain’t she a beaut?

Beaut |

I recently took a sewing class at Lill Street Studio and loved it. My friend Caitlyn let me borrow her sewing machine for a few weeks after the class and it only solidified the fact that I reeeeeeeeally wanted one of my own.

My mom is a whiz on the sewing machine. So anytime I wanted to sew myself a scrunchie, she was there to thread the machine and fix my mistakes. Even with her help, the last time I tried to sew something was in high school when I wanted to make some pajama shorts. I sewed the leg hole shut. Three times. I never finished the shorts.

But after 12 years of running away from the sewing machine, I’m ready to face it head on.

I started this blog to encourage you that you are creative, so act that way! And to hopefully inspire you to tackle something handmade, even if it scares you. Now it’s my turn. This sewing machine scares me because I have no clue what the heck I’m doing. So you should know that anything I post about sewing is experimental and meant to show you that if I can do it, you can do it! So get out that machine you’ve had stashed in your closet for too many years without touching because we’ve got work to do!

I decided my first project needed to be something very very simple. And what’s simpler than 4 straight lines?

Pillows |

One afternoon later, I have two lovely new pillows brightening up our living room. I generally followed these instructions, and here’s how it went down:

First I chose fabric. Lucky for me, my talented interior designer mom let me raid her fabric sample collection over Thanksgiving. So I pulled out a few contrasting patterns and a soft velvet. I cut them down to fit the two pillow inserts I have. (And in the process realized that cutting square corners is probably the hardest part of sewing.)

pillow fabrics |

I already had two pillow inserts to work with. One from an IKEA pillow that I got home and kicked myself for buying. And another insert that I had from a past never-realized project.

pillow inserts |

Once I had the pieces cut, I pinned them right sides together with openings on the bottom.

pinning pillows |

After sewing around the edge with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, I trimmed off some excess fabric, turned the pillow covers right side out, and ironed around the seams. (Take a hint from me, and don’t sew with velvet the first time you pull out your machine. It was a nightmare and I changed the fabrics for Pillow #2 so that I wouldn’t have to use the velvet again.)

ironing pillow covers |

Stuffing in the pillows was so satisfying! The only thing left to do was handsew the openings closed while watching The West Wing. You won’t get to see any photos of my handsewing. I still need to learn how to make those stitches invisible…

sewing the pillows closed |

It took me about the same amount of time to sew the pillows closed as it did for CJ and the gang to get President Bartlett’s poll ratings up 9 points. So I’d say it was a successful day all around.

handmade pillows |