Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Don't be afraid!

Of this. I used to sweat a little at the thought of actually sewing something. Then I realized there were things I just had to sew if I wanted to make them myself -- like pillows. Hemming tape doesn't quite do the job on these. DANG IT.

So years ago I bought that little Shark sewing machine and it is AMAZING. At the time, it was only $20, now it's about $30. It is tiny but does a BIG job. It's still tickin' after years of use.

Since I moved our son's toys upstairs to our loft, I've been trying to make that space even more cozy for him. I wanted a bean bag for him to lounge on but the cheapest I found was $35 and it was not cute.

So it hit me -- I'll make my own! The beads for bean bags are extraordinarily expensive, so I decided on a huge floor pillow instead:
I bought a yard of flannel and a yard of broadcloth for a total of $8, sewed up three and a half sides, stuffed in a large pillow form we already had, then stuffed about six bags of stuffing inside to fill it up.

I channeled the eighth grade sewing student in me and sewed up the last section using the loop-hook-latch stitch:
Ummm...I made up that stitch. I'm sure you real sewers (sowers? seuers? huh?) out there are recoiling in horror. But no one will ever notice it but me, so I decided to let go -- serenity now and all.

It is EXACTLY what I wanted in there. My son LOOOOVES it. It's so stinkin' comfy. I never thought in a million years I would think Thomas the Train was cute, but there they are...all caute: That project was sew easy, (Oh, I HAD to!), I decided to keep going, and made a couple pillows for our recliners in this space: Finding fabric to go with the wall color and purpley/maroonish/burgundyish recliners (WHAT were we thinking?) was a feat, but I finally found one I looove that goes with the whole "library" theme I started in here years ago:
Make that "library meets Thomas the Train" theme now. :)

To recap -- it really is easy. (I don't say that unless it's true!) Take your fabric, good sides touching each other:
Then sew around all three sides, and some of the fourth side. Then turn it right side out, stuff it and sew up the rest by hand.

I am not kidding when I say it took about three minutes to sew the smaller pillows -- it takes WAY longer just to stuff them!

All in all, the big floor pillow was $24 including the stuffing and fabric. The smaller pillows were $12 for the fabric, and the stuffing I had. Don't be sceeered ladies! It's really not hard to do -- and you can make any pillow you want out of just about any fabric. Awwww yeah....

P.S. I found a Shark machine here you can purchase at the store. Try Target as well -- that's where I got mine years ago.

52 comments:

  1. I love my lil Shark machine! I bought mine on Black Friday at Target in 2007 for $10.00.

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  2. Well, aren't you clever. Your pillows look great. What is special about a Shark machine? It is like a regular sewing machine?

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  3. Yep, it's just tiny and CHEAP! It's a miniature sewing machine. The Shark is just the brand I have, but I'm sure there are others out there.

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  4. I sewed a pillow for my daughter's naptime at school and my loop-hook-latch stitch looked EXACTLY the same!

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  5. No way? It seriously works that well? Wow - i'm amazed and now will be on the hunt for one. :)

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  6. So cute Sarah! ;)

    The library pillow fabric is awesome.
    Love the colors!

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  7. Gosh, girl...these look fabulous..Good Job!

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  8. Hehe, your sewing terms did make me giggle! Good job, girlfriend! You go to town with that little shark!

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  9. You did a great job Sarah!

    We have 2 blue recliners and the colors I'm trying to transition to do not go with blue! But the thing is your two recliners would go good in here!

    Debbie J.

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  10. Wow... and I've been looking at a $400 machine... maybe I need to save $390 and get a Shark instead??

    Di
    The Blue Ridge Gal

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  11. Look at you go! Those are wonderful!!!

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  12. Love it.
    My hubby bought me a sewing machine for Christmas. I really need to do things other than pillows and hemming curtains.
    I love your pillows. They are PERFECT!!!

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  13. I think you did a great job! Thanks for sharing your projects. I like to make all of my throw pillows - mostly because I'm too cheap to pay so much when I *know* I can do it myself!

    Have a wonderful day!

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  14. The wall color that is inside the trim behind the recliners - what is it?
    I can't tell if it's a goldish or brown color but I love it & want to give it a try over at my nest.

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  15. I am loving the cuteness of that sewing machine! And even better? The PRICE. Granted, I got mine for the cheapest of all (FREE), when I inherited my Gramma's last sewing machine. It's made of coated cast iron, and still works like a charm.
    And yeah, it's electric, not a push peddle! Tee-hee...

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  16. Good job! I have a sewing machine and a serger, but rarely use either. Maybe it's time to dust them off and start one of the many projects lying about the house!

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  17. Once you get used to sewing- it opens so many doors. The possibilities are endless!

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  18. Wow, It works that well for so little money? Making pillows is a wonderful, easy project for beginning sewists. You can save a bundle and really perk up your room with a little splash of color. Love the pillows on your recliners!

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  19. It's called a blanket stitch, but I think "pillow stitch" would be more appropriate, no?

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  20. Ok, I have to admit, I am one of those that is SCARED of sewing. Lol... I was given a nice sewing machine years ago and have never used it- because it looks so intimidating and hard to use!

    But your little sharky looks ok... Maybe I should grab one of those for myself! Thanks for the tip! Who knew that such a cheap machine could be such a work horse, huh?!?

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  21. Okay I just adore that sewing machine and all the things you made with it. You are so so crafty. I have a sewing machine and am just flipping to use it. I am sewing dumb:)
    deezie

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  22. Sarah--1st time commenting, but longtime lurker. Thanks so much for this post. I have seen so much stuff lately that requires sewing and just didn't think that a sewing machine was in our budget. Now, I know exactly what to ask for for my birthday in May. Thanks!

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  23. I wish I knew how to sew. I always say that when I see a sewing post, but never go and learn. One of these days...

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  24. Thanks so, so much for the recommendation! I am having problems with my machine. I don't sew much, but I need something. I saw those machines at Walmart but I wasn't sure if they would hold up.

    All of the projects you have made are great. Thanks!

    Jen

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  25. Great job! They look great! I have sewing projects to do, I am just not good at getting them out and doing them!

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  26. Hmmm, so maybe I should stop taking 2 hours to sew a tiny pillow by hand? Is that what you're saying?

    I have a big sewing machine (it was my moms) but I don't know how to thread it...and then the tension gets goofy, and then, and then... I'll have to go check out one of these Sharks. That could be a good plan.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  27. How exciting!!

    I was a seamstress before I got into this whole home dec thing, so I love using my machine to create new things. Great job!

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  28. oh girl! i'm so impressed! i'm dreadfully afraid of my sewing machine. maybe i'll try your project... maybe...

    watching y and r RIGHT now...;-)

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  29. I bought 3 pillows about 9 months ago for about $15 each and after about 6 months they were falling apart.
    I decided I would sew my own because pillows are expensive I couldn't find any I liked for less that $40 each.
    6 pillows cost me $40.00, for fabric, piping & tread, I reused the stuffing from old pillows I had laying around.
    It was a really easy & fun project!

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  30. They look great! I'll have to try that. I had no idea there were miniature sewing machines. How cute~

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  31. They look great! I'll have to get over my fright of my sweing machine. :)

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  32. Mine is a really small portable that I've had for about 30 yrs. and I can't begin to imagine how many pillows drapes and even clothes have been made on it. I couldn't live without it. Hugs, Marty

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  33. I'm getting more courageous, thanks to your inspiration. Today I started a blog, agoodhouseisneverdone.blogspot.com and tomorrow I may pull out that hand me down sewing machine that mocks me. I think I can, I think i can!

    Thanks again for your inspiration! Come visit me anytime!

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  34. Girl, you are an inspiration! I just love the pillows! I have a sewing machine sitting upstairs in my loft that I have just been too scared to use. But seriously, I need to break it out!
    Carrie

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  35. Hooray for you, both for having the courage to try and for encouraging others. I love sewing home decor, I am by no means a perfectionist, but I get the job done. Good for you for picking a fabric your little guy will love. By the way, if it gets dirty, just carefully snip the hand sewing open, unstuff and wash, then restuff and restitch. Easy peasy.

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  36. I am so proud of you breaking out your sewing machine...good girl. See it's not so bad. :-)

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  37. You didn't fail to crack me up again.

    I have to tell you, my mother bought each of my oldest daughter (6 an 7 years) this machine! They struggle, but like to attempt making "pockets."

    I'm just so amazed that you can pull off the work you do on it. They do work and all, but I even struggle with them. You'd kick butt on a big machine!

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  38. Oh Sarah, thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been wondering if I could get a cheap and easy to use sewing maching for just that purpose, pillows! I wasn't sure how well they worked, or how durable they were. This is exactly what I needed to know!! Yay!!!

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  39. I have one of those little sewing machines myself and it works great! I love mine too! Does everything I need it to do!
    Love the pillows!
    Nicole

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  40. Been lurking and coming out of hiding....great job on the pillows. Sewing isn't that bad once you get used to it. BTW, your hoop-loop-latch stitch sure looks like a blanket stitch to me. Don't be impressed that I know that. My grandmother was a quilter. I picked up terms watching her. Never actually doing the quilting just watching.

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  41. Love the fabric you used on your recliners! We have a similar colored sectional in our family room, so it's great to see what it looks like all together. I may just have to copy this project!

    I am in the process of making-over my home one can of spray paint at a time. You have been an awesome inspiration to me, so I have given you a blogging award. You can find it here: http://karaskitchencreations.blogspot.com/2009/03/bbq-sauce-for-meatballs-and-award.html

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  42. looks good! i want to make some pillows too! since i just got a machine for christmas... i posted pics of my new shelf, let me know what you think! =) -sav

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  43. Pillows are the best thing in the world to sew I think! Yours turned out great! Have a great weekend!

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  44. I am not sceered, I am not sceered, I am not sceered! Ok really I am :[ I think I need my Mommy for this.

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  45. I just happened upon your blog. Super super cute! I recently came to the same realization. I have to start sewing if I want certain things. (like pillows) I'm sweating bullets. It's been years. I have a machine in the basement. My mother is the only one that uses it. once a year. wish me luck... :D

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  46. I would love to start sewing again! Can you tell me where to get one? thanks girl!!

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  47. I've been wanting to do some sewing & I think I may actually give it a try. Thanks for the inspiration :) By the way...love the plaid pillows.

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  48. I can't believe that little sewing machine works. I bought a tiny one like that once and it worked for about a stitch and a half. I ended up buying a regular machine, and I guess I'm glad I did because it turns out I LOVE sewing. Love it.

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  49. I really need to get my machine back out and start using it again! Ironically, hubby knows how to use upholstering machines and helps me with threading my machine and tensions, etc. lol

    Couple of tips/thoughts! Although bean bag "chair" beans may be expensive to buy, you can find cheap ready made bags at Walmart - less than $10 sometimes. Just gut it to get the beans for stuffing your own creation!

    Same thing with anything that needs fluff - I'll buy cheap pillows from Big Lots, etc. for less than I'd pay for a bag of "stuffing" and use that in my projects.

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