Sew what?

There are some things that I just can’t master. Most of these things involve electronics: syncing my iPhone, backing up my hard drive, hooking up the cable box. I can usually tackle mechanical stuff: taking apart and reassembling a futon, rewiring a lamp, using power tools. I’m especially good at crafts like painting, gluing, stapling, and stenciling. But what I can’t seem to handle is a sewing machine. My mom bought me one of those small, “E-Z Sew” machines, the kind that children should be able to use, and it took me over an hour get the thread and bobbin set up. Maybe if I had to make my own clothes growing up then I would be an expert. Geez mom, thanks for not teaching me how to live like Laura Ingalls Wilder!

Why was even attempting to use a sewing machine? Our couch was looking a little naked without throw pillows and I couldn’t find any pre-made ones that 1) I liked and 2) didn’t cost a gazillion dollars. Enter the brilliant idea to make my own pillow covers. This idea lingered for many months until my mom came to visit last weekend. An avid crafter herself, we naturally hit up Jo-Ann’s and wound up finding a few awesome fabrics, ifIdosaysomyself.

I’m not even going to attempt a pillow-making tutorial. Trust me, unless you want crooked lines you do not want my sewing advice. What I will discuss are the patterns we decided on. I fell in love with the orange one immediately. Design expert Nate Berkus taught me that mixing patterns is not difficult.

I can’t find the link to where he talks about mixing patterns in your home but this picture of mixing prints in fashion is the same idea.

Even though the center fabric has a leopard-esque pattern, I thought it was subtle enough to work with the other two.

Ta-da! I followed these directions to create the knotted pillow but I did have to alter the process. My fabric was a little to heavy for the knot to be perfect so I trimmed some of the extra that wouldn’t show. It took a few times to get it perfect but I’m happy with how it turned out.

These are 14″ pillow inserts so half a yard of fabric is enough to cover one in the traditional way. (The knotted pillow needed to be three times as long and twice wide). Lucky me, it was President’s Day so each fabric was 30% off! The cost to cover these pillows and have spare fabric for another one or two? Less than $20!! Good luck buying one pillow for that price.

All this talk about prints is getting me excited about trend three, coming tomorrow!

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