Thursday, October 3, 2013

Conquer the Fear...of sewing.

Fear is a peculiar thing.  I suppose there are times when it works in our benefit, but most often it seems to keep us from reaching our full potential.  It may keep us from going somewhere we've never been, reaching out to someone we don't know very well, or maybe trying something painting with a fun color....or...sewing a pillow.  When you say it out loud, being afraid of sewing a throw pillow seems a little silly, but it has the same root as everything else.  A fear of failure.

For me, the perfectionist, my biggest hang-up with trying something new is getting started.  What if I don't like it and have to (gasp) try something different?  What if someone else doesn't like it or even criticizes me for it?  What if it takes more than one try to get it right?  Trust me, I've been in all of those situations *many* times and here is the conclusion I've come to....  who cares???  If this is something you struggle with too, I promise everything will be alright.  These are, after all, first-world problems.  :)  Let's face it, decorating is small potatoes in the big scheme, but I truly believe accomplishing these little projects, one by one has some great life skill practice woven in there somewhere.  With every small success, a little more confidence to try something new takes hold.

Sewing seems to be one of those activities that creates fear in people.  I've been told many times by friends that they would either like to learn to sew or can't sew.  Don't get me wrong, there are some sewing projects that do require a great deal of skill...I don't recommend starting with those, haha.  But two common home decor sewing projects, throw pillows and curtain panels, are well within the skill set of a beginner.

Here's an example of patterned throw pillows and simple unlined drapery panels made by me.  A huge benefit to tackling custom pillow covers is the freedom to get exactly what you want, including better quality, for less than you would pay at the store!

Living Room

So, if it's fear holding you back...let's conquer that fear together and make a pillow cover!!

Here is your supply list:

-sewing machine: nothing fancy required...I've had my very basic machine for almost 17 years and it hasn't let me down yet!!

-standard foot and zipper foot

-cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter

-pillow form: I only use down pillow forms.  I stopped using poly-forms a long time ago.  They go flat so quickly and look lifeless.  It's worth the couple extra dollars to invest in a down form.  Most times they can be found at local specialty fabric stores or upholstery shops, but Ikea is a great source for cheap pillow forms!  All the measurement instructions I give will be based on the assumption that a down pillow form is being used.

-fabric: One yard of 54" fabric is usually plenty (and sometimes even too much) to cover a pillow using the same fabric on both sides.  If you plan to use a contrasting fabric on the reverse side of the pillow, you'll need to account for that.  You'll also need extra fabric if you plan to add cording or a ruffle.

-cotton cording (optional): this can be found in the home decor section of the fabric store.  It is sold by the yard or in a package of a few yards.  I will be using this in the pillow I tackle.  Don't let it scare you!! It's really simple!


-zipper (optional): 4-6" smaller than the width of your pillow form should be just fine.

-regular scissors

-dressmaker's measuring tape

-pins...these are my favorite

-seam ripper (hey, mistakes happen ;) )

-iron and ironing board:  There are probably alternatives out there to the ironing board if it's not something you use on a regular basis, but they really are handy for sewing.

Since this post has become a me back here tomorrow and we'll get started!  Can't wait! can do it!!

Update @ 10pm: tutorial rescheduled for Monday.  The good ol' iPhone taking the pictures for me powered down mid-process and I took that as a sign it was exhausted too!! And, good things don't usually happen when you try to force I'm headed to bed!  Forgive me? :)  It's going to be great though! See you Monday!


1 comment:

  1. Keep these tutorials coming... who knows! Sewing for dummies (aka me - need this!) lol!