Monday, June 27, 2011

Learning to sew…again

Hello there! Hope you had a wonderful weekend! We started the Fourth festivities a little early and had a blast – I LOVE this week every year. :)

As you may or may not know…if you have read this blog for two minutes…you know we just got a new sofa in the family room. And it’s created a snowball in the space (and the rest of the house, but more on that later) – but it’s the kind of snowball I LOVE.

It’s the “this part is soooo much better so now that needs to be addressed” effect. I know you know what I’m sayin’. If you’re like me anyway. Which many of you are. (I’m sorry.)

One of my favorite parts of the new sofa – it’s deep. Plenty of booty space. And almost as important – plenty of pillow space. I’m a chick, what can I say? I love me some pillows.

My pet peeve with our last sofa was that the pillows ended up on the floor every. single. time. the Bub and hubby would sit down. (Can someone please tell me WHY this phenomenon occurs?)

But now there’s plenty of room for tush and pillows, so I’m one happy Momma.

I wanted to find a couple new pillows that worked with the ones we already had and our rug:

image

(You can see more on my FAQ page about the rug!)

I was at the “fancy” mall for a bit this weekend and checked into Pottery Barn. They had this striped cover on clearance:

image

And I brought it home but it was too bland. It was super cute but too much red with our other pillows.

I checked out Target and found this cutie:

target brown and blue pillow

The opposite side was blue, which worked great with the rug, but it was just too graphic for what I wanted.

And what I really wanted was something with blue, red, cream and a bit of green like our rug.

Next to impossible. So I decided it was time.

Time to make my own. (Dun dun duuuuun.) I knew if I looked at the fabric store I’d find something perfect if I would just be willing to sew them myself.

But I kept hesitating. I haven’t sewn anything in about two years. Mostly because the sewing machine I had was an itty bitty Shark sewing machine:

shark mini sewing machine

It worked pretty darn well for years…I sewed a few pillows with it and even a set of drapes. And it was supa cheap – you can find it Overstock here for only $20.

But it was SO small, and hemming tape was SO easy. :)

For a while I’ve been realizing the endless possibilities that I’m missing out on by not sewing…or at least learning to sew better. I’ve got the most basic skills when in comes to this – all from Home Ec in the 7th grade. ;)

So a few months ago I got a new, slightly larger sewing machine. It’s still not a full size, but it’s much bigger than my old one and has a ton more options.

But it sat in the closet for months. Taunting me:

pixie plus

The whole relearning thing was intimidating me.

But when I walked into Joann’s and found the PERFECT fabric for family room pillows, I knew I had to bust it out.

And I was so pleasantly surprised – I basically pulled it out, plugged it in and started sewing. It was all ready to go and the sewing part came right back to me!

With just a bit of measuring and a little time (and I mean little, they went fast) I made a couple of pillow covers for the new sofa:

waverly blue red green stripe

Told you the fabric was perfect – blue, red, cream and a tiny bit of green! It’s so fun and fresh for summer too! (I’ve got some drywall patching and painting to finish up before I can show you the whole space.)

The fabric is a Waverly print and I made two pillows with just a little over a yard of fabric – for $12.

GAH. Doing it yourself strikes again – since I used the pillow inserts that came with the sofa, I got two pillows for $12. Score!

I was feeling pretty darn good, so I moved on to the next project that I’ve been meaning to finish forever.

After I finished up the Bub’s big boy room last year, my friend Rebecca emailed me with a photoshopped picture of a cute yellow and white striped pillow on his bed. She thought it would be the perfect finishing touch and she was SO right.

It only took me a year, but I finally got that darn pillow done! I found the perfect striped fabric at IKEA earlier this year. I think it was about $6 for what I needed.

My pillow-making tutorial is not really a tutorial. :) I cheat by folding over the fabric so I have one less side to sew:

IMG_5307

:) I’m going to work it on people. Just give me time.

Then I just sewed a straight line on two sides, and half of the other. The opening is for stuffing the pillow, and I just sewed it up by hand:

It’s not pretty. I don’t care. No one will notice. And if they do, as you know, they get a cookie.

I have yet to hand out a cookie. :)

I love how it turned out!:

yellow and white striped pillow

Seriously cauuute!!

It pulls the yellow out of the sheets and works with the touches of yellow throughout the room:

boy airplane room

FUN! And I did it all by myself – WHOO! Next up, slipcovers!!

Watch out world!

No really, my next goal is just to put zippers in pillows. I’m very excited about this. :)

Now the little sewing machine no longer mocks me…it flutters hearts out at me:

pixie plus sewing machine

Awww…so sweet!

If you are looking to get into sewing, so far I’m REALLY pleased with this little Pixie machine. It came with a ton of supplies as well:

Everything you will need to start out comes with the machine. I’m good on thread for quite some time. Until I try that slipcover. ;)

So, any sewing tips for me? Do you have a machine you love for when I get so good at this that I need to upgrade? (In…a few years.) Did you teach yourself or did you learn as you went?

I’d love to hear!

109 comments:

  1. My sewing machine is taunting me in my closet as well! Maybe this will inspire me because I have a guest room that needs some new pillows too!

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  2. I love it! I love that you jumped right in. The room looks so darn amazing. WOW. Taking notes for the never ending big boy room I have in the works. Well done my lil' seamstress!

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  3. the pillows look awesome! Had to laugh...I lived in Indy for 7 years..I know alllll about that "fancy" mall. :)

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  4. Such a cute yellow pillow! I LOVE sewing & my mom taught me when I was young, but it still seems like every time I sew I still have to rip out seams :) Happy sewing & I can't wait to see what you come up with in the future!

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  5. I got a sewing machine for my 30th b-day (as requested) and I just had my 31st. The machine has not moved from its' position in the closet. The box has not been opened. Maybe I will get the cahoonas to bust it out one of these days! Love the color scheme in the bedroom!

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  6. Awesome Job!! The room looks amazing! I love the color choices. :-) I love to sew; it's so much fun. Warning: It's very addicting though. lol

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  7. Like Erin above me, I received a Cadillac of a sewing machine for my 30th a few years back.

    My advice: Seam rippers are a novice's best friend...

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  8. Look into making a envelope closure pillow...that way you don't hand sew anything AND you can make tons of covers and switch them out whenever the mood strikes. :)

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  9. I love sewing...but only straight lines. You'll be amazed what straight lines can make (Halloween costumes, skirts, sundresses, pillow covers, etc). I've never made a buttonhole or put in a zipper (helllloooo Velcro, snaps, and drawstrings!) you don't need to put in a zipper...just make space for a "fold over opening" (my technical name for what is basically a sham opening). Good luck!

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  10. Ah...Shel....that's what it is called! An "envelope" opening. NIIICCCEEE

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  11. Anytime Suzanne...I am all for not.using a zipper!

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  12. Love it!! I have picked up sewing again recently too, when I was a SAHM I used to sew cute clothes for my kids.. mainly because I didn't have a car and couldn't get out of the house... anyway, I am back in the sewing saddle and even made myself an adorable skirt! Go check out the book Sew Serendipity on Amazon - I got it and LOVE it!!

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  13. Well we have something in common, well actually two things since I too am a "piler" :) I learned my very limited sewing skills from 7th grade home ec. too! I didn't pick up sewing again until a few years back and have been loving it and addicted ever since! My Mom had an old Bernina while we were growing up since my uncle was a Bernina repair man. I have a Bernina now also, a cute little vintage thing from the early 80's, and am in LOVE! So, I recommend a Bernina in your future. You will love it too :)
    Thanks for all of your inspiration, I have been a follower for a while and I always look forward to seeing what you'll do next!

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  14. Wow! The timing of your post couldn't be more perfect. I was just talking with my sister-in-law earlier today about getting a very basic sewing machine. I recently made some pillows and a cushion cover for my swing with stitch witchery because I didn't want to pull out my sewing machine. It's been buried in the closet for years because it always jammed up after about 2 stitches!! I should have tossed it last time!! Maybe I'll buy myself a little Pixie because I'd like to attempt a few more projects and I'm not sure how long the adhesive is going to hold on my cushion. My SIL was very impressed with my "skills" so far....maybe if I get really good she'll pay me to make her some pillows! I too learned to sew in 7th grade....that was so long ago and I haven't done much since.

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  15. If your going to be sewing on a lot of home decor weight fabric you may want to considr upgrading your machine. A lot of the frustration people have with sewing can be solved by using a good machine. Sometimes the smaller machines just aren't strong enough to sew through heavier fabric.
    I love to sew pillows too! So easy and I love the instant gratification you get from a quick project!
    I just got a new sofa too - with a nice deep seat :) it's amazing how much more comfortable it is!

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  16. I'm a late bloomer with sewing (I never learned until my late 20s), but I LOVE it! To me it is the creative outlet that I need. I've made all kinds of fun house things, like pillows, quilts, aprons, and cute plastic grocery bag holders. I have yet to attempt curtains, because it seems like such a big commitment (a lot of fabric to purchase). But if you are interested in getting more into sewing, there are TONS of blogs out there that will inspire (and sometimes intimidate you). Happy sewing!!

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  17. Congratulations! Awesome job! I hope you've inspired a whole bunch of people to put down the iron on tape and take out the sewing machine!

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  18. I had help learning from a friend who's "done it wrong", as she'd always tell me, since she was 5. I helped make my daughters ren. faire dress, and the next year I went head first in my first real sewing project. A completely gorgeous, massively insane 16th century Tudor Noble. You know, the ones you see on the Tudor's, and such....only mine was accurate to the date it came from ;) It included all the under garments as well. Yes, insane, but so worth going the blood, sweat and tears! And no, I have no idea how I did it, and made it look good. I swear something took over my body during the time I made it. I'm the one in orange...

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.97848796989.103005.521106989#!/photo.php?fbid=129138971989&set=a.97848796989.103005.521106989&type=1&theater

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  19. i hate sewing! as in, i can't. everrrything i've ever sewed, i've had to unpick at least once. it's not my thing:( great job though you're 'beginner' projects look great!!!

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  20. You need to check out the pillow tutorials at Make It and Love It. She has some cute, easy pillows!
    I have been sewing since I was 10, and I'm at the point where I kinda hate it...just tired of one more thing, so I have only 2 pillows on my couch and they are bland, store bought ones. And they end up on the floor all the time too, so really why should I make anything cute until the kiddos learn to keep the darn things on the couch?
    Love the fabric though! Great work! :)

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  21. Seriously, if it wasn't 10:30 pm I would have screamed out loud when I saw the fabric you used to make your sofa pillows!!!! It looks almost exactly like the sofa that Kristina and Adam have on Parenthood! Do you watch that show?? Anyway, besides loving the show, I L.O.V.E. their sofa with chaise...the fabric is to die for, imho. I may just head on over to Joann's and find some of my own fabric - and then try my hand at my new endeavor of sewing. I bought a Brother two years ago at Target (they were on clearance for $110 and by the time I realized I wanted one, I went back and it was $35!!! SCORE!! Also it was the last one...meant to be, right?) and I just took it out of the box 3 weeks ago!
    Sorry this comment got so long...I like to talk.
    P.S. Like your boys, mine are pillow killers, too. It's a phenomenon I will NEVER understand. Ever. Love your pillows - I'm inspired! :D

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  22. Oh girl, come visit my blog. Sewing is pretty much all I talk about. LOL.

    Great job on the pillows . . . I think they all turned out great. And you can't beat the price when you get exactly what you want, can you?

    :)

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  23. I love my sewing machine. I couldn't be without it.
    Your cushion covers ae beautiful! L.O.V.E
    I'm going to be cracking out my sewing machine next week for something a little less taxing....bunting.
    I LOVE bunting.
    xxx

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  24. I love my sewing machine. I couldn't be without it.
    Your cushion covers ae beautiful! L.O.V.E
    I'm going to be cracking out my sewing machine next week for something a little less taxing....bunting.
    I LOVE bunting.
    xxx

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  25. I too have sewing fear. I see so many fabulous things that people sew in blogland, and every time I want to kick myself for not being braver!

    I'm determined to learn to REALLY sew this summer!

    Your pillows turned out FAB, and I L-O-V-E the yellow stripes!

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  26. I'm using the Pixie to teach myself to sew as well! I call her the "easy bake oven" of sewing machines ;-) but whatever, you have to start somewhere! You did a great job with the pillow as far as I'm concerned!

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  27. AWESOME job, Sarah!! You can find a YouTube tutorial on putting in zippers--not hard at all if you are not a total perfectionist and remember that practice makes perfect. Enjoy your new little machine. You will love it! julie :)

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  28. Sarah,

    I'm just about to start a project too...zippered pillows. I've never taken a sewing class before, but do have a decent machine that I've used on very basic projects. This will be my biggest one so far (just because I've never sewn zippers).

    Benita over at Chez Larsson posted a tutorial that I found very helpful. Here's the link:
    http://chezlarsson.typepad.com/myblog/2008/08/zip-closure-pil.html

    Good luck!

    Julie

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  29. Congrats on the pillows- they look great! I've sewn for years, but usually just simple things- pillows, curtains. Try stitching your pillow closed by creasing with your fingers what would be each side of the seam. Then pick up a small bit of your fabric along the crease on one side of the opening with the threaded needle, then pull to other side and pick up a small bit of the fabric on that side, sort of a ladder/zig-zag between each side of the opening. Pull tight as you go, then knot at the end. The seam will be invisible, or nearly so.

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  30. Since my hint for the invisible seam probably doesn't make much sense, try this tutorial: http://quilttaffy.blogspot.com/2008/07/invisible-closing-seam-tutorial.html

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  31. learned to sew at the knees of my mom, beginning with doll clothes. Made all my dresses in high school (does that date me, dresses, I mean?) Don't sew clothes much but do sew home decor items. But still make stupid mistakes that irritate me to the "N"th degree. But am so glad I know how. It really isn't that difficult, but sadly girls today aren't being taught, or men either for that matter.
    Love that you tackled that machine and made those cute pillows.

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  32. Good for you!! I am new to sewing as well....took a class (at Jo-Ann's, I recommend) and bought a machine. My latest post is about my first "clothing" sewing project!

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  33. Free indian business directory for list your home decor supplies business into export import directory.

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  34. Don't you love Waverly fabric? I always seem to end up with Waverly, even when I'm not looking for it.

    Yay for you for busting out the sewing machine! I've had a couple of lessons from a neighborhood friend who is a seamstress, but I am pretty much self taught after that initial "this is how your machine works" lesson from the shop I bought it from. I have a Janome, and I love it! It even has a pretty flower printed on the side of it! ;)

    Love your pillows!

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  35. Congrats! I just recently taught myself using "stitch by stitch" by Deborah Moebes. You'd love her humor and the book is really fantastic. One of the projects in there is a piped pillow with a zipper....you should check it out!
    You can see my new sewing attempts here enjoy your new hobby! http://www.smartstyletips.com/?p=591

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  36. Love the pillow and the way it compliments the hint of yellow in the room.

    It's funny that you posted this now - just last week I took on making a pillow...by hand! Yours looks so much better. A sewing maching is definitely at the top of my wish list.

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  37. I have to giggle- my Mom sent me a full size monster of a machine a few years back. I used it for a while before realizing how crazy it was. I went out and bought a teeny Pixie like yours and had been using it ever since! It works great and yes, I've made slipcovers with it! (Just takes a few double stitches.)

    That yellow pillow is seriously the cutest thing ever! I love how it pops against all the other colors without looking "too" elementary. It comes off sophisticated and fun.

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  38. Sewing does open up a whole new world of decorating possibilities. I know the basics and was scared, too, for a long time. Last summer I just did it and really enjoyed it. Thank goodness my eighty year old mama is still around...she is a seamstress extrordinaire and helps with the hard stuff. Your pillows turned out darling. I love the pop of yellow on the Bubs bed. I also am impressed that it is made. Have a great day!

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  39. I sew all the time. I'm totally obsessed with fabric. I actually think of things I can do around my house that would somehow incorporate fabric just so I can buy it! I learned to sew as a young girl. My mom signed me up at the local Singer store for several summers when I was growing up. I learned how to do everything. My last summer I made a plaid blazer...boy was it cool. The plaids were matched perfectly by the way! I know that painting is the easiest way to transform a room...but it's so much more fun to sew pillows! Love the IKEA stripe...I made pillows in the green stripe for my son's room. The fabric at IKEA is wonderful to work with and amazingly inexpensive. Well done!

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  40. Haha! I'd probably do the same thing with my sewing machine & I don't even own one. The pillow on the Bub's bed is sooo cute!

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  41. Looooooove that fabric! I'm going to have to do some hunting on your blog to read more about this couch. Where have I been?!

    Also, bet you're talking about Kenwood when you say "big, fancy mall". We live in NKY and Kenwood is, well, scary to me. I once got stuck in the parking lot there for two hours one December. NANNERS. Maybe I'll check out Pottery Barn though on a Wednesday morning some time. :)

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  42. Ha, I sewed yesterday for the first time since my daughter was one..she just turned seven.

    My mom called me and said she was bringing her machine over for the day :) She finished some custom curtains for my daughter's room that I picked up at GW last week.
    :) With my daughter standing at my side, I made her a doll pillow and blanket. It reminded me of all the years I watched my mom sew.

    PS: I think the yellow pillow is amazing. I bet Bub loves it just as much as Sassy's loves her new pillow and blanket!!!

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  43. Gah! Another post where you talk about your sofa but don't show it! You are the one taunting US!

    I forgive you. The pillows look cute!

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  44. Awesome pillow. Sewing rocks. In looking at an inexpensive pillow I had in my home I found a trick for sewing that last bit of pillow that you usually do by hand. Fill the pillow to the brim and they go back to the machine. Squish the filling down enough to make a 1/4-1/2 inch of fabric only and sew the seam on the machine. Get as close to the edge as possible. It's only 4 or 5 inches - its easy and gives you a stronger seam. You will see this technique in 'store bought' pillows.

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  45. This post {almost} makes me brave enough to pull out my machine! I used to sew like a champ on my Grandma's old 70's Singer but when it broke five years ago I bought a new Singer and cannot for the life of me figure that new-fangled thing out! I haven't sewn since! Maybe I should search the thrift stores for another antique one so I can get back to it! Thanks for a great inspirational post!

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  46. love your pillows, don't be afraid to get a bigger machine you'll do great. If i were you I would look for one with a drop in bobbin and some heft to it.

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  47. When I was 17 I wanted to be a fashion designer. I had great ideas, drawing ability, but the sewing was the hardest part for me! :( So no, I don't sew or even have a machine!

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  48. I have a sewing machine that was a hand-me-down from my mom...she got it as a wedding gift, I believe. So that would make it nearly 50 years old!! Still works great, although it's overdue for a tune-up. That's the one piece of advice mom's always given - get them cleaned/oiled regularly. She still would prefer to use that old Singer than her much newer Singer! I'm not great at sewing, barely a straight line, but I have made pillows, a supa-cool Power Ranger costume once and recovered my dining room chairs several times (think chrome/formica table chairs - tiny slipcovers for the seat backs). Great job on the pillows!

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  49. I have a hand-me-down machine from the 1960's. It works fine. I'm back into sewing now that my kids are grown. I am way into vintage patterns and bought some cute jumper patterns to make. Finding the perfect fabric is the trick.Not too retro, not too blah.Bought some on ebay. Having fun just thinking about sewing something new.

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  50. Sewing issoooo hard! I have a brother and love it! But I am still sooo new, and frustrated by patterns I don't understand! But w three lil girls I want to coordinate I keep trying.... Though I do get frustrated..... I do love it!!

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  51. SUCH a cute pillow - his whole room is adorable! And high five for getting back on the sewing horse again...I haven't used a sewing machine since junior high home-ec class! :)

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  52. I'm self taught too! And my first project was a set of pillows for the couch!

    I wrote about my machine on my blog, but I borrowed it from a friend. A very pregnant friend, and I'm a little paranoid she's going to start nesting and want it back and I'll have to get my own. haha!

    I don't have zippers in myu pillows yet either... but I'd like to learn!

    Good for you for getting out there and trying it!

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  53. My mom taught me sewing when I was very young and I love to do home decor sewing now. Great job on the pillows! Love the dash of yellow! You'll figure out a zipper closure in no time - I have faith! Or an envelope closure!

    I am impressed by and applaud all of you who commented about just learning to sew on your own/with a friend. It's a great skill to have & I LOVE getting what I exactly want! AND ... no matter how long you've sewn or how good you are, one will always have to rip out a seam here or there!

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  54. I started sewing again last year after my Aunt gifted me her sewing machine. I hadn't sewn since home ec class either, but thanks to blogs and the internet, I've learned alot. Hands down the best tutorial I found for doing zippered pillows can be found here: http://www.designsponge.com/2010/03/sewing-101-zippered-throw-pillows.html They are so, so easy to do and look really great!

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  55. Oops, forgot to mention that my Aunt's sewing machine didn't work so well, so I bought an $80 Brother at Wal-mart and it works like a charm. I have since moved up to a more expensive model with more gadgets on it, but I would recommend a Brother machine.

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  56. Your pillows look great - I love how the yellow striped one pops so much in your son's room - awesome!!

    Before my mother died I had started learning to sew with her. I was a little girl and she would set up a spare machine on the floor beside her and I would make anything that was "straight". Doll pillows, doll blankets, hankies, etc. I quit sewing for years after she died and when I went back - as an adult- I sewed the same way. Sitting on the floor with the machine. Crazy!!! Not a method I would recommend for anyone, but it was how I learned. I was amazed when Honey bought me a sewing table - sooo much easier!! I do not "love" to sew yet. But can get by. And I, too, will try 1001 things NOT to put in a zipper!! Best of luck!!

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  57. I have been sewing for a couple years now- started with a sewing machine I got at a lawn sale for $5. I've made dresses, skirts, tops, bags, pillows (like yours, envelope closures and with zippers), placemats, curtains and slipcovers.
    I got a new machine last year for Christmas (a Brother Cs6000i) which had made a HUGE difference in my sewing- both in the time it takes to do things, and it how they look when I'm finished.
    I have taught myself how to do all of this, with basically no help. I just started small and have slowly worked my way up to more complicated items.

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  58. Great job, Sarah! I have an (very) old viking machine that I bought from my home ec class when they upgraded... I'm currently working on a tiered skirt... which is turning out well, even though I hadn't sewn since 8th grade! I'll be sharing the completed project on my blog soon! Have some pillows on my list too! <3

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  59. Check out

    http://www.prudentbaby.com/2011/03/how-to-sew-zipper-pillow.html

    for a great tutorial on zipper pillows. I got up the courage to make me some pillows after seeing how easy it was here.

    ;-)

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  60. I bought myself a sewing machine for Christmas. It is still sitting in the guest room---I am soooo afraid of it! Thanks for the encouragement---I might get it out and give it a try. By the way, your office fabric would be perfect for my home---what's the name of it? Thanks!

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  61. My pillows always end up on the floor too... between the kids, the dog, and the husband! Sometimes I want to sew them to the couch (the pillows... not the family) and set up a hidden camera to see their "What the??" reaction ;^) I'm not the best at sewing either but I think I'll try my hand at making an envelope style pillow cover... no zippers! lol!

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  62. I love the pillows, they are so summer=y, and the yellow stripe pillow in Bubs room...perfect. Now onto sewing , my Mom was a professional seamtress so I am kind of partial to Singer brand sewing machines...WHY??? They have been in the business of sewing FOREVER... and I have really good luck with them lasting and performce . Love all the pillows you made! Can't wait to see the BIG reveal!

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  63. You did a great job. Love the fabric. Instead of hand sewing the end, you could pin the two sides together and sew it on the sewing machine too.
    ~Suzi

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  64. I think the biggest piece of advice for sewing is to just keep trying new things and don't be worried about them being perfect. I was scared of zippers, too, but there are tons of great tutorials out there and they're surprisingly easy! sewmamasew.com has tons of great tutorials about sewing all sorts of things and is a great resource! Good luck!

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  65. great job! You'll be a pro in no time :) I love to sew myself it's just finding the quiet time to do it lol

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  66. They look great! I need to recover some pillows so thanks for the great tips!

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  67. A few years ago, I took up Quilting. I'm hooked. Done. Addicted. Oh, and now I can sew pillows, curtains etc etc. I LOVE my machine, and all those endless sewing possibilities. I was self taught (besides home ec class circa 90, whilst busting a move to MC Hammer and Gun's n' Roses.... c'mon, I know you did it too =). there are great sewing blogs out there (love Simplify), and great online tutorials on sewing just about anything. I own a Husqavarna 875 quilting machine. It's incredible, but pricey (it was an amazing gift from my Momma, who used inheritance money to purchase it for me. I cried. I love her!). Have fun sewing!

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  68. Terrific job!! Custom pillows you can be proud of!!!
    I am contemplating making a slipcover for a wing chair and sofa. Have been contemplating for a year or so. I know once I get started, it will be ok. Guess I need a deadline or something!
    Terri

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  69. I can't wait to see your new sofa in the family room!

    My mother-in-law just moved into assisted living so she offered me her serger. I don't have room for it and I have no idea how to use it, but there was no way I was going to turn it down!

    Next step is to find a class to learn how to use it and start on the list of many projects!

    Yikes this machine is so intimidating though!

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  70. Congrats on the new machine. Great job!

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  71. I love Tatertots & Jello's envelope pillow tute. It probably takes a little more fabric and math (bleh) but I love its removability (is that a word). It's super easy and I can pound one out in about 15 minutes.
    http://tatertotsandjello.blogspot.com/2009/10/more-burlap-projects-15-minute-burlap.html

    Love the fabric an pillows!

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  72. I, too, was intimidated by sewing. Just this last year my hubby MADE me get a sewing machine. I started by making pillow covers! And I love them. There's no other way to get the perfect material for your rooms. Next I may try pillowcases. We are so brave!

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  73. Pre-threaded bobbins! Now that is awesome, I hate that part of sewing for some reason. I confess to having a pair of black dress pants that needed repair and are stitched on the inside with white thread, since I couldn't bear the thought of loading up a bobbin with black thread.

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  74. You're killn' me here!! I NEED to see the couch!! I'm dyn'over here :)

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  75. The pillow is so cute! I love the colors and it goes great with your room. Was is time consuming to sew the pillow?

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  76. Yay! (pat on the back)!! Your pillows look awesome and the striped one on the couch looks great with the rug. Now you'll be sewing up a storm!

    I've been sewing since I was a kid - used to make doll clothes. I picked it up by watching my mom and grandma and then of course home ec class. But it's a skill I've treasured because i've used it for pillows, slipcovers, grad dresses, my wedding dress...

    I used to have a Singer machine for years until it started acting squirrelly so I picked up a relatively cheap Brother machine from Walmart (about $200) and it works great. When I'm in Europe, I use a Toyota machine (I know, I didn't know they made sewing machines either! but only in Europe) and it goes through thick layers like butter. Love it!!

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  77. I love the colors you went with. The pillows look fantastic. I use to sew alot, but haven't for many years. Maybe I need to get the sewing machine out and make something again. Throw pillows would be nice, and easy enough. I will make a big pillow for my dog until I get the hang of things again. lol

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  78. The yellow pillow is perfect for his room! Way to go! My mom sews, but I never wanted to learn. It wasn't until I had my first son and was home and poor, that I taught myself to sew. I took things apart, and measured seams. I still need to learn to sew clothes, but for now home decor suits me just fine...straight lines are my friend. :)

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  79. You have inspired me to make some pillows for my living room sofa. It's chocolate brown and needs some brighening up for summer. :)

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  80. Just going through my google reader after a long day at work when...WHAT????? You actually liked the pillow idea (that I had long since forgot about)? Seriously?? It's not even my room and I wanna pee my pants - so delicious.

    {the yellow pillow, not peeing my pants}

    {although I guess that'd be yellow too}

    Made. my. week.

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  81. It looks great!!!

    After years of dreaming, a few years ago I finally taught myself to sew. On an Aubrey Babylock machine that my bf gave me. I. Love. It. It's taken me from novice to semi-pro, and has actually helped me to open my own shop! I highly recommend it.

    Need to do zippers? Use this tutorial. I swear it's the best one I've ever seen; I recommend it to all novice sewers. http://www.stitchedincolor.com/2011/01/invisible-zipper-tutorial.html

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  82. I decided I HAD to learn how to sew when I started buying a ton of furniture that need slipcovers. So, I bought a used machine, Singer, on Craigslist a couple of months ago and just broke it out a couple of days ago and taught myself how to thread it AND the bobbin and now I am sewing...sort of..LOL.
    SO far, I am loving it....ask me next year!

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  83. I lived in Bloomington IN for a few years. We'd take a trip up to Indy about once a month, and I know all about that "fancy" mall you're talking about! You've inspired me to get a sewing machine!!

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  84. I have that same fabric that you used to make pillows for your den. I just love it, and don't get sad but I got mine for 2.00 at the Waverly outlet a few years ago. Goes perfectly in my house too! I love the texture of it! Can't wait to see the sectional.

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  85. LOL, I just posted on my blog, how amazing the top of the line Bernina's are, and read your post, about being thrilled with your Pixie! Each person has to find the right match, and I am glad you found yours. If you ever want to know what you are missing, follow my blog, I just got hired to teach how to use these amazing machines, at my local quilt shop. I believe you get what you pay for! Love your blog, come visit my linky this week! http://the4rsRamblings.blogspot.com
    Sandy

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  86. Ah yeah, girl! Good job!
    We are going to get our sew on next week, fo sho!
    :)
    xoxo

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  87. I love sewing pillows...actually I sew pretty much everything cuz it's just plain cheaper than buying it...so what if it ain't pretty you sewed it and it's got that wonderful homemade cottage appeal! :) LOVE LOVE LOVE the airplane room...my sons rooms are also vintage airplane...they put models together and we hang them on the ceiling!

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  88. I have a small window treatment business and my partner and I use Singer sewing machines from the 1950's. Very tough and with metal gears they are great old machines. By the way, each of us has newer machines but choose to use these oldies but goodies!

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  89. My sewing machine story. Had a "Kenmore" that was at least 40 years old, never was very reliable or consistent in making a pretty seam. When I lived in Hong Kong, my husband bought me a Bernina from a dealer called Hoi Fung in a district far from where we lived. It took a boat ride, a subway ride, then a taxi to get there. But I love it. Of course, as with all the Bernina's, it was quickly outdated and obsolete cause they make a new model about every year. I don't think you can get the embroidery cards for it except on ebay. However, as I seldom use the embroidery module, the machine works great. It makes me very happy to make decorative items, some simple clothing, and now that we have a new baby grandchild, little baby clothes. Alas, my Golden Retriever won't wear any clothes at all, so I was reduced to making him a tent. Really. There is a pattern for a dog tent. I waited til Hancocks put it on a 99c sale(the pattern.) TMI, I know. But it is a lot more fun to make items that you just can't find anywhere else. Or to make a simple baby bib with baby's name embroidered on it with material that you aleady have instead of paying someone $10 to do it for you.

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  90. Free b2b trade leads for list your home decor supplies business.

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  91. I love what you did with that room. That is how I would like to decorate my master bedroom for my husband and I that love anything to do with the water and sailing. Thanks for the inspiration. I bought some good quality fabric at a flee market this last weekend, black and white with all sorts of sail boats on it. I'll use your idea and make a long pillow for our bed. Thanks again.

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  92. The yellow stripe is amazing!

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  93. I've really got to start sewing. I tried once in Home Ec. We made pajama pants. I had holes in my pats, lots of them. I gave up them, because who wants to expose themselves to the world? Not me. But maybe it's time to try again.

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  94. Congratulations on the pillows. Now that the sewing bug has infected you, get ready for more fun and creativity.
    I wasn't allowed to take Home Ec because I was in band (a girl geek)and that was my elective. So I taught myself to sew and it is my form of relaxation.
    I have a Bernina and can highly recommend it. Their customer service is top notch.
    So enjoy your new hobby!

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  95. OMG! That yellow and white striped pillow is the perfect finishing touch on his room! I LOVE IT!

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  96. Starting the chant now:
    Sofa, Sofa, Sofa, Sofa, Sofa.....

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  97. lol! What fun reading all of the comments to your sewing post today, Sarah! lol! I haven't sewn a thing by machine since 7th grade in Home Ec class, either - and now I really want to learn how to just make simple runners and pillows. I learned alot just by reading the comments as to what type of machine to purchase. Sounds like Brother is the way to go? Good luck to you, girlie! You have really inspired me to start shopping for my own machine! :)

    xoxo laurie

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  98. LOVE this article! Learning to sew is on my list - you made it seem much less intimidating! Hope you've been well!

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  99. I love your lil Pixie. I have the base model brother singer, but it gets the job done. My husband bought it for me for Christmas 2 years ago, lol and it took me 6 months of sitting and looking @ it before I even dared to thread the darn thing. It's a giant step away from the old singer type that you use a foot peddle with~which is the last time I had sewn anything. Love to know I'm not the only procrastinator.

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  100. Love your blog!! I check it everyday lol. Have you tried the puppy pads for your dog? Some Chihuahua dogs can actually be litter trained as well.. Good Luck! :)

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  101. Since you got a new look on the deck, I thought I would share a new material that you can put on the deck that goes over the wood and gets rid of the wood feeling and those pesky splitters. At Home Depot that have a product called RESTORE. You brush or roll this onto the deck. You can also have it tinted to whatever color you want. I live in the Cincinnati area, so I will probably wait until the hot and humid weather we get begins to fade in September (I know you are familair with it).

    I loved the jute vases and made a couple myself. I put a little twist and used a contrasting wall paint to paint the middle of a vase. I then put the jute on the bottom and the top of the vase. Placed the vases on my mantel. Thanks for the great ideas.

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  102. As always, love reading your blog and seeing your ambitious projects. I've been on-the-fence about sewing again & your blog pushed me over. (I have my mom's AND grandma's machines, both in cabinets, both from 1940s). So, my new combo sewing/embroidery machine arrived 2 days ago. I scored THE deal of the century today on fabric at Jo-Ann's today. Orig $34.99/yd, marked down to $6/yd & 50% off =$3/yd for cute outdoor fabric. (only 5 yds left) for some cushions. Oh, & it was 20% off today with a miitary ID. So $12 instead of $175 for fabric. Woohoo. Now I have to sew. Hate patterns so I'll wing it as always. Thanks for the push! If I ever figure out how to link up, I'll share my pics.

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  103. Well, since you asked...I have a Brother Project Runway Special Edition sewing machine from my mom's sewing shop. It's been a Consumer Best Buy for 3 years. They run about $200. And my mom will tell you to buy from a local dealer who will have parts for your machine, can service it, and can teach you to use it. The Brothers and machines you buy from big box stores are made special for big box store prices and are not fixable. They are called "once and done" because when they break, you can't fix them, and THEN you learn to go to local shops where there are parts and repair men. When Brother runs the Project Runway deal, my mom cannot keep them in stock and the promos end abruptly. So it's good to snag them when they are on. My good college friend just got one from my mom too...after she consulted with me about buying a Singer from Tuesday Morning for $150. She got a MUCH BETTER machine for $50 more. My mom says that Singer is a known name so people think it's good. But it's way behind now in the industry and it's just the name that keeps it going. Sorry, I just vomitted up all the sewing machine propoganda that my mom feeds me, but it holds some truth. The day she tried to convince me of a Brother from the shop over a Brother from Walmart, a lady seriously called in for help with her Walmart Brother, ha! So that sealed the deal for me.

    Good luck with your sewing endeavors! PS-My mom says good thread and fabric are necessary too. ;)

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  104. I made cushions for my wrought iron patio chairs yesterday and had so much fun! I had some leftover fabric from my patio chairs, but not enough, so I bought 2 1/2 yards of 2 inch foam and a contrasting fabric and used that for the back and about 10 inches on the top front which I sewed to a strip of the leftover fabric. Just have to finish up the ties and they're done:) It is so much fun to get out the old Singer and create something.

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  105. SO cute! I have a rug that is pretty similar and have been sewing covers for my red pillows...I am so drawn to decorating in blues and greens in the spring/summer and reds in the fall/winter. By making covers (I usually make envelope-back closures so I can throw them in the wash AND avoid hand sewing), I can have what I want when I want it. :)

    Your pillows look great!!!

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  106. I love the yellow striped pillow really a nice touch. I do no sew, but have thought for years I could really save on great pillows curtains if I did. Maybe some sewing is in my future. Thanks for sharing all your great tips and ideas, I enjoy reading your blog, gives me some good inspiration - now to just get myself started! :)

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  107. I had a machine from Penney for over 20 years and I cringed at it's squeaking and squalling each time I used it. Finally I bought a Brother machine from Wal-Mart. Oh my goodness! I LOVE it! The machine has so many nice features that simplify sewing. I can't believe how much more quiet and easy this machine is to use!

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  108. Love this post! And I love your site. This might spur me to start looking into a sewing machine even! Great job!

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I LOVE your comments, thank you! (I read every single one.)

If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!