Guess What I Got?

What could it possibly be, you ask?

A sewing machine!

When Corey’s mom was cleaning out his grandfather’s house a few weeks ago, she stumbled on this sewing machine that had never been used – there was still plastic wrap around the cords and everything! She knew I’d been dying for one, so she brought it home for me and I couldn’t be more excited.

Of course, I also couldn’t be more terrified. My previous run-ins with sewing machines have been less than fun, so I have a bit of sewing machine fear. As in, I freeze up every time I’m around one. But I knew I had to get over my fear eventually – especially if I want to tackle things like making our own curtains and re-upholstering more complicated chairs.

So, I decided I wouldn’t waste any time and chose to dive right in – thankfully, we had some leftover fabric from various projects that would fit into the living room perfectly, and we had a few pillows in the living room that we were dying to recover.

I started by cutting three pieces of fabric – one in the approximate size of the pillow (I added about an inch to all sides to account for the seam), one the same width but slightly shorter in length, and one smaller “flap” piece.

I folded over the short edges of the two smaller pieces twice (so you can’t see any of the cut part of the fabric),ironed, and sewed in a little hem.

Then, I laid the front piece (which will be the largest one) with the pattern facing up, and laid the two back pieces pattern down on top of it. And I sewed ’em together!

Then, once I flipped the fabric the right way, I had a pillow cover!

I was shocked by how quickly I was able to make the pillow covers. It probably took me less than an hour total to make two – and it was incredibly easy!


I was pretty worried when it came time to actually put the covers on the pillows, but thankfully they turned out pretty fabulously. It’s another one of those easy (and free!) projects that doesn’t make a huge difference in the room, it just makes it look a little bit better!

Here’s what it looked like before I got my hands on the sewing machine:

And after:

(I promise the yellow pillow isn’t lumpy, the fabric is just acting weird)

I love how much better these pillows fit in the room. The previous pillow covers always stuck out like a sore thumb to Corey and I, and we’re glad to have something that looks a bit more natural. We still want to find a different neutral fabric to replace the charcoal gray pillows that seem to blend into the couch, but this is definitely a start!

I’m starting to feel like maybe I’ll get the hang of this sewing thing, after all!

Do you have a sewing machine? Any ideas on what (easy) project I should tackle next with mine?



13 thoughts on “Guess What I Got?

  1. What a great addition – both the pillows and the machine.
    Sewing is so much easier with a nice machine and the name Singer on it is a good sign when it comes to that.
    So I hope you enjoy it lots and lots and look forward to more advanced projects. I would suggest trying something with a (hidden) zipper next and/or some cording. To make things easier I would wait a little on using geomatric patterend fabric for more advanced projects, as making those line up is just a major hassle…
    Here is my most advanced project thus far:
    and some fun pillows (there are links to English tutorial in those posts)
    And I am allready working on the next project and have the fabric waiting for the next two. Sewing can be quite rewarding once you get the hang of it!


    Amanda Reply:

    Wow – I’m impressed with that sofa makeover! Amazing! :)


  2. I have been thinking about getting a sewing machine for a while now. My parents have a couple of older ones somewhere in storage and I would love to learn from them (especially my dad because he was pretty skilled back in the day). Great job on the pillow covers!


  3. Congrats! My grandma was a seamstress so I was sewing before I learned to write, and it amazes me how anyone ever lives withOUT a sewing machine! I use mine for everything. I’d say a next easy project would be curtains. If you can fold, iron, and sew a straight line— you can make curtains! Also, I suggest saving all the scraps of fabric that you use that are bigger than a couple inches. I have a scrap bag and its nice for small projects (like I made myself an apron out of scraps from quilts I made for my bridesmaids).


  4. I have my Mom’s old sewing machine (that is the same age as me or maybe a year or two younger) and I love not having to do everything by hand. I still haven’t tackled the couch project I’ve been meaning to do for a year, but that’s the way it goes.

    Simple sewing projects are relative, of course. Not like knitting where it’s obvious to start out with a scarf or washcloth before moving onto sweaters and lacework. An apron might be a nice next project, though: there’s lots of wiggle-room when it comes to fitting and you could experiment with pleats and gathers, learn to sew darts and maybe even a pocket.


  5. I am totally terrified of sewing machines, but I want one so badly! My only run in with one was in high school…I had to take “Clothing” and failed, miserably. But ya know, I think I could do it now! I love the pillow cover, you did a great job!


  6. Amanda, I cannot believe what an expert sewer you are after just a few minutes. Those pillows look awesome!! I truly am terrified of sewing machines too, but I really want to try one!


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