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I Sewed a Pillow For Real

I’ve admitted many, many times that I have a real fear of sewing machines – I mean, that’s an exaggeration, but those crazy strings! Coming from all angles! – and for my whole DIY life, I’ve avoided them. You’ve seen me swear up and down on hem tape (and I still do; Stitch Witchery rules my world), having made several pillows (including Jack’s puppy bed) using it, going so far as to hem every length of our curtains with it, too.

But you guys, I sewed my first pillow Tuesday night. Using a machine and real string and a zipper!

A handful of weeks ago, my friend Renee told me that if I was finally ready to learn to sew “for real” (this came after a disastrous attempt at hand-stitching mittens – not so good), she’d take the class with me. Having a buddy along for the ride makes everything better, so with her encouragement, I signed up for the Sewing 101 class at The Needle Shop, texted Renee to sign up right now!, and as of Tuesday, I can sew! I mean, kind of. Well, I made this pillow:

Of course I was the one girl in class with a very specific-lined pattern (I’ve had a serious crush on plaid lately – and this buffalo check is so very Kim and Scott), so the instructor helped me line things up.

And the zipper! This. This made me cheer out loud. (COL, anyone?)

As for the class itself, it was super fun, small and personal (there were only 4 of us!) and very informative – although I’m absolutely terrified that I’ve already forgotten everything I’ve learned. Okay, that’s not completely true, but there are about ten steps to just put the string on a bobbin, so who knows if I can replicate my actions again.

In my attempt at embracing this new skill, I have big plans to make a little something else this weekend. Big plans. (Well, big for me + a sewing machine, you know?) And just so you all don’t think I’ve completely abandoned my Stitch Witchery ways, I still have rolls left of that stuff. It’s good to have a safety net.

But please, don’t expect any sewing tutorials coming from me – not just yet. I am, however, super excited to dive in and learn, learn learn – so do any sewing wizards out there have any fun or favorite tutorials to share?

  • jessica w - February 15, 2013 - 8:16 AM

    I love the contrasting zipper color!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - February 15, 2013 - 8:16 AM

    Yay Kim!!!! I took four sewing classes and no one ever taught me how to sew a zipper…wtf?! ;) This pillow is so Kim and Scott. And although you said it is the buffalo plaid, I am calling out the zipper. Not that it is teal–although that is very you, too. But that it is a seemingly hidden thing that you still took the time to make it special–in a color. Your rollaway printer (??) in your office also comes to mind. You are masters of detail. I can’t wait to see what you sew next!ReplyCancel

  • Carrie @DreamGreenDIY - February 15, 2013 - 8:24 AM

    God, you’re my HERO! I’m terrified of sewing machines…Major kudos to you, girl. And I LOVE the pop of color in the zipper you used! Super cute…ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 15, 2013 - 8:43 AM

      Thank you, ladies!

      Carrie, I’d been avoiding it for FAR too long. I really can’t wait to start doing more projects, but I still need a sewing machine…. (for now, I’m borrowing a friend’s machine!).ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Aucoin - February 15, 2013 - 8:40 AM

    Are you looking for home sewing, clothing, or accessories tutorials? I’ve got a ton of recommendations for you depending on your interests. Also, the library has some great books for quick and easy projects. Off the top of my head “Bend the Rules” by Amy Carol would probably be a good one for you to look at. If you’re at Sociabulls tomorrow, grab me and we can talk some moreReplyCancel

  • jessie aucoin - February 15, 2013 - 8:42 AM

    PS–It’s a beautiful pillow, by the way! well done on matching the plaids, too!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 15, 2013 - 9:08 AM

    Jessie, a little bit of everything! Mostly accessories and home. I’ll have to check out the book you’re talking about – but sadly, we won’t be at Sociabulls this weekend.ReplyCancel

  • jackie jade - February 15, 2013 - 9:51 AM

    awesome! my sewing machine has been sitting on the floor for years, terrifying me haha. i hope to learn asap! i should probably take a class so it will give me a kick in the butt to actually do it.
    jackiejade.blogspot.comReplyCancel

  • Renee - February 15, 2013 - 10:37 AM

    It was indeed a momentous evening to see you sew, with a Machine! Hey, for me, maybe third time is a charm. Maybe I won’t need a 4th pillow class…Ha!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Our Humble Abode - February 15, 2013 - 11:18 AM

    Congrats on your first needle and thread pillow! It looks great. And the pop of color for the zipper is lovely. You should be so proud! Not only did you sew a pillow, but you used a zipper!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - February 15, 2013 - 11:25 AM

    That zipper rocks. I love little unexpected pops of color like that! I have made a few pillows in my time, and thats where my sewing machine skills start and end. I have never made the jump to zippers, and you have encouraged me to do so. Keep your fingers crossed that mine comes out half as awesome as yours did!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 15, 2013 - 11:29 AM

    You guys are so awesome – thank you! Trust that the zipper was put in while I was practically being hand held. But YES, I did it! COL!ReplyCancel

  • Emma - February 15, 2013 - 12:38 PM

    Mama’s so proud! I love your pillow! I only sew pillows and window treatments. And guess what – that’s enough! Endless decorating opportunities are possible with just curtains and pillows. Just think of the awesome things you can make for your future home!! Best wishes on your sewing journey :)ReplyCancel

  • Kyley and Ammo the Dachshund - February 15, 2013 - 1:25 PM

    Awesome! I am so in need of one of those classes too. I have a machine & I can kinda sew, but it’s not very pretty. Disappointing since I even took home ec sewing in high school, but I guess I’ve completely forgotten everything!

    Maybe someday I’ll get myself into a class!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 18, 2013 - 10:55 AM

      Kyley (and Ammo!), the class was so, so worth it. I’d never really sewed before, so I was BRAND new, yet I somehow managed to leave the class with a pillow and a zipper. It was magical.ReplyCancel

  • Kate - February 15, 2013 - 3:34 PM

    I just took a few sewing classes too, and I’m hooked! Making a pillow with a zipper closure is the best. Our instructor also had us make one with an envelope-back, buttoned closure and it looks so much less tailored than the zipper one – fyi! ZIPPERS 4 LYFE. Here are my finished products! http://instagram.com/p/VK-ORTADtD/ Love your buffalo check too. Wish I’d thought to line up my fabrics a bit better… oh well. =)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 18, 2013 - 10:55 AM

      Love that pillow trio, Kate! So much pattern and color – Be still my heart!ReplyCancel

  • Adrienne J - February 15, 2013 - 4:39 PM

    I just took my first class too! We didn’t make anything and only practiced on little squares of fabric but I feel SO much better about attempting anything now. I’m excited too. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kati from so happy home - February 16, 2013 - 8:08 AM

    Amazing! I’ve only sewn curtains thus far – terrified to try my hand at a zipper! – but it is so satisfying to have created something from scratch like that. I’m very impressed that you faced your fear and did it anyway! I’ll have to look into finding a sewing class. Did they provide the fabric, or did you? Wondering if you have favorite sources for fabrics.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 18, 2013 - 10:54 AM

      Kati, I picked the fabric! I just searched through Fabric.com :)ReplyCancel

  • Kalli - February 16, 2013 - 9:49 AM

    Looks perfect Kim! I love the contrasting zipper color. Making a new pillowcase for throw pillows is a really easy way to change the look of a bedroom or living room without spending too much dough. For pillow-making my tip is to look in clearance discard bins at the fabric store – many times you can find a yard or two of fabric that was the very end of a big bolt, or something a customer had them cut but then changed their mind. The other day I just found some of this at an IKEA in their fabric section – now they let the customers cut fabric themselves as needed, and this seems to have produced a pile of “mistake” fabric for sale for $1-3/yd.ReplyCancel

  • Rachael - February 16, 2013 - 10:35 AM

    Can’t wait to hear how it goes today! p.s. your pillow is boss, seriously boss.ReplyCancel

  • Phyllis - February 18, 2013 - 10:51 AM

    Your pillow looks great!

    Thank you for inspiring me to finally dig out my 27 year old (eek) sewing machine from the garage, dust it off, and summon enough courage to make this:

    http://instagram.com/p/V2WsuHH7oq/

    I lost my user manual when we moved…thank goodness for YouTube!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 18, 2013 - 10:57 AM

    Phyllis, I love, love, love a good floral fabric – nice work! And yes, I think I’ll be looking at YouTube tutorials when I inevitably lose my sewing class knowledge…ReplyCancel

  • Blair @ design that inspires - February 19, 2013 - 2:16 PM

    I just wrote a post about wanting to learn to sew! I’m in Chicago and plan on signing up for this class ASAP!ReplyCancel

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