Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The One With Stephanie's Sewing Adventures

Hello! While I'm on vacation I thought I'd arrange to have some guest bloggers write posts for you guys! I asked my dear friend Stephanie to share her first sewing project: pillowcases! These look so awesome and I can't wait to make a few of my own - as I've been stashing pillowcase fabric for far too long now. Anyway, I'll let Steph take it from here:

Hello everyone! My name is Stephanie and my lovely friend Michelle asked me to write a blog post about my first sewing adventure. I received a sewing machine (Handpicked By Martha, my future mother-in-law would be proud) for Christmas!
The  first thing my fiancĂ© requested I make was pillowcases for our bed. I thought, yeah, who couldn’t do that? We bought some nice canvas type fabric and a couple weeks later I finally opened my sewing machine. First off, I didn’t realize that you had to spool your own bobbin. I figured the machine came with an assortment of colors but to my disappointment, it didn’t. After digging through the mini spools of thread that I own (mainly to sew buttons on) I managed to spool my own bobbin. The difficult part came when I was trying to thread the string through the base and meet with the other string that comes from the top. I had to watch a few random tutorials online before figuring out what I was doing wrong. Once I got it, I was finally ready to go. 
I started by using a pattern/formula that I found online. It suggested using a main square piece of fabric 1 inch larger than your pillow and two rectangles which were the same length but half the width plus 2.5 inches. For me, using an 18in X 18in, I had a large piece of fabric measuring 19in and two rectangles that were 19in X 11.5in. It called for rounding the corners and hemming all the edges of the fabric with a “zig zag” stitch. My sewing machine has that option but the zig zag was going all over the place and I felt like it was making my edges more uneven than anything. So, halfway through, I switched to a straight stitch which I personally think looks better anyways. I realized while making this first pillow cover that I didn’t have sewing pins; somehow I managed without them and the edges look relatively okay. After hemming the pieces and putting them together I shoved my pillow into its new cover. To my surprise, it didn’t close all the way. I thought hmmm that is weird, I followed the formula. The round corners also turned out to be an issue because I wasn’t able to sew them completely shut. After putting the pillow in its cover, I had to take it back out and sew some portions of it by hand. I was pretty much ready to give up on the second pillow case but instead I decided it would be a good time for a break. 
After running some errands (and buying some sewing pins), I thought to myself, why don’t I just figure out a formula? So, that’s exactly what I did. I decided that the main square didn’t have to be as long so instead of 19in I made it a little over 18in but not quite 18 ¼ in. The two rectangles I also shorted to about the same length and made them a little wider, about 11 ¾ in. I decided not to round the corners and also not hem the edges of every piece but just the two edges of the rectangles that would be facing the outside. I sewed all the pieces together, using pins this time, and viola! A beautiful pillow cover emerged and even shut all the way. The second one took half the time and looks even better than the first. Plus, there was no need to sew any part of it by hand. I was glad that I figured out an alternate way to make the second cover since the first one was a little excessive for me. Now I am ready to sew pillow covers by the hundreds! Okay, no, not really. Two is enough for now. 

Thanks for checking out my sewing adventure!
Special thanks to Michelle for letting me be a guest blogger while she is away on all her fabulous trips! 

I totally love that Steph improvised when the pattern she got didn't work out well. And if you need help threading your sewing machine or anything else, youtube is a great place to get free tutorials just like she did. Try searching whatever your problem is like, "how to thread a sewing machine," or "how to spool a bobbin," or "hemming," etc. I've used the tutorials on there many times!

1 comment:

  1. Oh they turned out awesome! I'm so impressed you stuck with it. I really want to make some now!


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