No sooner had I waved good-bye to Hus-friend on his way to the airport than I hopped on my bike and rode to the Fabric Outlet to take advantage of their 40% off sale and a gift certificate from Jessica. Not to mention that every day that I waited brought me one day closer to shopping amongst people getting ready for Burning Man. As it was, I waited in line on Saturday afternoon while a “burner” deliberated as to how much gold chain and faux polar bear fur–at$29.99/yard, no less–he needed for his costume, all the while extolling the virtues of the festival to the mostly interested salesperson. I left with some “notions” (tailor’s chalk, disappearing ink marker) as well as a pillow form and just over a yard of cute red “novelty print” cotton.
Having washed and dried my fabric at home, I started watching the “Sewing Studio” videos on Craftsy (an online platform for learning various crafty skills) and got ready to cut out my fabric. Somehow, despite the fact that I was sewing a SQUARE pillow, cutting the fabric took me two hours. Yes, 120 minutes to cut three pieces of fabric. I kept drawing lines that weren’t quite straight or somehow weren’t the same length, and don’t even get me started on how many times I tried to “use” the selvedge as my straight-line guide. Maybe I was being unnecessarily meticulous, but I am truly baffled as to how anyone cuts fabric in an expedient fashion. I kid you not, when I was going to bed that evening, my lower back and legs ACHED from standing on the hardwood floor, measuring and re-measuring. The struggle is real, you guys.
Anyway, fabric cut and pressed, I started the process of making an envelope pillow cover with French seams, AKA “fancy seams.”
There was more measuring:
And then some hemming: All the while, I was watching the instructional Craftsy video, trying to keep up with the instructor who made everything look so infuriatingly easy. There was a lot of laying things out, sewing, and pressing.
The main take-away from this project–besides, of course, the pillow–is that you should always, always, ALWAYS press your seams. This evens out the stitches and sets the fabric into place, making the finished product look professional.
It was very satisfying to see the pillow, all three pieces of it, come together, bit by bit. Every time I thought, “This looks really nice!,” the next step made it look even nicer!
I was actually supposed to have two back-to-back phone calls on Saturday, but both of them were canceled last minute. It was a fortuitous change of plans because I was in the zone, sewing and pressing and swearing that I was GOING to finish this pillow before sundown. After all, I needed the natural light to get good-looking photos of it!
After stuffing the pillow form into the envelope case, I fluffed it up and threw it on the couch. Then I threw my weary, achey body on top of it and congratulated myself heartily.
I’m actually looking forward to trying something more complicated, like a garment or something that has a pattern that you trace onto the fabric. Trying to cut out variations of squares without a pattern is just too much. Stay tuned for Mica’s hilarious adventures in dress-making.
Confession: I was so proud of my handiwork that I actually took the pillow upstairs so I could fall asleep next to it. Completed projects make good bedfellows, after all.