Sewing is SEW Fun (final)

17 Jun


I successfully made an entire pillow (with significant help from Gram)! Check out my prior posts if you missed out. Here I summarize the second pillow I made and include a few tips that I learned through the process.

Sewing is SEW Fun – Final:

When the weekend first started, we had a lofty goal of completing three pillows. However, we accomplished only two pillows. There simply wasn’t enough time to knock out a third pillow, plus we didn’t have quite enough materials for it!

With the second pillow, I decided to make an inside-out version of the first pillow. This was a wise choice because we didn’t have enough of the velvety black to do much else. In fact, we piece-mealed it together!

Starting materials for pillow #2

First, I started by stitching the velvet black fabric together, to create the center square. Gram then trimmed it around the edges to make sure it was even.

At least someone can cut a straight line.

The key to covering up your center seam for the black square was using the braid down the center. Once I stitched that on, we pinned the square to the front fabric of our pillow.

Sewing is a great test in your simple math abilities. Addition, multiplication and use of a ruler are mandatory.

This pillow did not go as smoothly as my first pillow. I had a lot of puckering with the braids from starting and stopping the stitches (I wasn’t restarting in the right places) so I found myself undoing a lot of the work I had accomplished. 

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't losing my patience at this point. And patience is my middle name. Obviously.

I think I was tired and running the machine faster than I should’ve been, which caused my stitches to deviate off course.

After losing my middle name patience, Gram stepped in to help the braid along.

Once we got the middle pieces of fabric stitched, we moved on to sewing the cording. We made this cording the same way as the first pillow, so we stitched fabric around some basic white cording, then stitched it to the front fabric piece of the pillow.

Once the cording is on, you are on the home stretch.

Finally we stitched the back of the fabric to the front, so we could create our pillow case.

The arm sticker was a reminder from Gram's calendar to have your annual colonoscopy.

Once the pillowcase was stitched on three sides, I stuffed the pillow in the case and stitched the top (again, I did so poorly).

I was happy to be finished. My patience was once again restored.

Making pillows was so much fun, that my aunt (Frankie Fingers Sr.) got in on the action.

Not pictured: Frankie Fingers Jr. (yours truly)

After all I learned from the weekend of sewing, I walked away with a few good tips for newbies. 

A few tips:

1. Having a hot iron to press your fabric and materials after each step in the sewing process is really important. If your fabric is wrinkled you can make simple mistakes. It’s definitely worth the effort to press as you go.

2. Puckering of the fabric was my toughest challenge. That’s when your fabric gathers or draws, and is stitched with thread to create irregular folds in your stitch line. I did this most often when I would stop and start again, missing some fabric before picking up my stitching again. It’s important to know where you stopped stitching so you can go back and start before that last stitch.

3. You are going to make mistakes. Period. Even Gram, who has been sewing since she was first married in the mid-1940s, makes mistakes. You are going to stitch something backwards, fold a braid wrong, miscalculate materials needed, etc. Sewing is a challenge in patience and modesty!

4. Making something yourself is SO rewarding. I’m not going to lie, the modesty I acquired while sewing (after making the same mistakes over and over) was gone once I had the finished pillow in my hands. I can’t wait to have it out in my guest room to show off.

One Response to “Sewing is SEW Fun (final)”

  1. Betty June 17, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    Frankie Fingers Sr is “sew” creative!

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