Friday, May 14, 2010

Pillow Covers

I have a long line of seamstresses in my blood, and so when I got the itch a few months back to purchase a new futon cover, the "I can make that!" mentality started to surface. I opted to buy a cheap cover, since the price to buy the fabric would have been close to the purchase price of the cover, but I did buy a bunch of scrap fabric from Tonic Living for $10, which turned out to be an excellent buy. I made four pillow covers for my existing pillows and I framed a piece of the fabric to hang above the futon. I also bought a yard of fabric on sale at Jo-Ann for $3. $13 for five pillow covers! (Plus my time, which is priceless.) Anyway, so I borrowed my mom's Kenmore sewing machine from the stone age, so that was fun.

I got it to my place and went to use it and realized, wow, I have no idea how to thread this thing. I guessed, and ended up with a tangled mess, which I did not de-tangle for several days. I called my mom and she attempted to explain it to me over the phone, but by the end of that conversation she said, "how did neither one of us think of this before you took it? Like, we should have thought, maybe we should have a little lesson before you borrow it..." Anyway, so I was feeling dejected about the whole thing, when I thought maybe my good pal Google could help. Sure enough, Google led me to You Tube, which had a video on "how to thread a vintage Kenmore sewing machine." So I watched it and voila! Instant seamstress. It all came back to me after that, and I ended up with these lovely pillow covers:

Sorry the photo's not the greatest. My digital camera's battery is dead, and I am still in the process of locating the charger. I learned a few things while doing this, which I will share:

1. Iron the fabric before you use it. Helps to make everything even and crisp.

2. Make the pillow cover like this. It eliminates the need for a zipper, but allows you to remove the cover if you want to wash it.

3. Use pins! It keeps the fabric from moving around without you knowing. You can end up with a poorly constructed cover if you try to wing it. (Which I did. Trust me. Because I tend to "wing" a lot of things.

4. Fabric choice makes a huge difference. The fabric I bought from Jo-Ann for $3 (pictured above) was really cute but not quite as thick as the others. So it doesn't lay as nice as a thicker canvas or upholstery type of fabric. I highly recommend Tonic Living for fabric selection, especially if you enjoy retro or edgy types of decor. Just buy some remnants if you want a surprise selection, or purchase the fabric of your choice. Either way the prices are good and the prints are fabulous.

All in all, my sewing adventure was a good one. We'll see how long it takes for Mom to get her sewing machine back. My next project is to make jewelry from fabric scraps. Or maybe embroider a funky flower print on my plain brown futon cover. We shall see...

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