Sew What?

I sewed something functional. A little background information…

I haven’t sewn anything since my senior year of high school 12+ years ago. But my total lack of skill in this area has really bothered me as sewing is in my blood. My grandma Bella was a seamstress and she along with my grandpa Bill owned a fabric shop when they immigrated to the United States. Even more than that, my grandma’s sewing abilities literally saved her life. Upon her arrival at a concentration camp in Poland, the Nazis asked if anyone knew how to sew. My 17 year old grandma immediately spoke up, and because of this skill, she lived in the Nazi’s house where she could serve as their seamstress. One of the Nazi wives took a liking to her and warned her that her sister’s group would be killed in the coming days, and my brave grandma Bella managed to escape with her sister and flee into the woods, where she met my grandpa and they survived for several years before evacuating to Germany and eventually the United States. So yes, knowing how to sew saved her life and allowed me to be here today.

So with that bit of backstory, back to my guilt trip on not knowing a thing about sewing. Lance bought me a sewing machine for the holidays that I have barely touched. When I tried a few months back, it took me hours just to figure out how to thread the machine and the bobbin. But I’ve been dying to make covers for some throw pillows to go in the living room so I figured it was finally time to pull the machine back out and take part in the Pinterest Challenge.

As I was saying, we have been desperately in need of new throw pillows for months. Not only did our old ones not match, we just discovered that they were bleeding red onto our white couch! Argh. I had recently pinned this picture from Our Humble A{Bowe}d since it seemed that the instructions for how to make a pillow cover were simple enough for even me.

I didn’t take a ton of pictures of the process, since I did the whole thing on practice fabric, but I am thrilled that I was actually able to sew a pillow cover.

Yes, that line down the left side of the pillow is proof of why it is necessary to iron before you do these things. But as I said, this was just practice on $2/yard fabric that I found on clearance. I will be looking for some much more colorful fabric now.

The instructions were super easy (especially if you already know how to sew). It took less than an hour this time (hey, that’s progress) to thread the bobbin and machine. Cutting the fabric was easy enough. Since my pillow was 17×17, I cut one large rectangle that was 18 (17+1) by 41 (17×2 + 7). The next step was to hem the short ends. I learned a super important lesson here. When pinning, the pins go perpendicular to your seam. I actually learned this by sewing my first layer of pins INTO the seam so that I had to rip apart the whole thing to get them out. Yeah, really. After that part was complete, it was then as easy as turning the fabric so that the back side was facing up, and creating a square for my envelope. I then just pinned the sides together and sewed.

Yeah again, you can see the importance of ironing on the back side but overall I’m happy enough. I managed to pin properly and sew four straight lines. I think I’m actually ready to buy some fabric that I like and give this a real try. I hope my grandma Bella is proud of me….even if it has taken me almost 30 years to get here.

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One thought on “Sew What?

  1. Pingback: 27 weeks | laughs n' love

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