sewing for your home: tutorial round up
Last week on Instagram I shared that I had whipped up a pillow while Theo was napping, and I was met with immediate comments, text messages, and carrier pigeons with the same message - "I have never whipped up anything in MY LIFE!" and "teach me how!" Friends, I've got you.
Back before I started this business, I had a sewing/crafting/design blog where I shared all sorts of projects like this. When it comes to updating your home décor on the cheap, you really can't beat being able to sew your own pillows or hem your own curtains. And besides being budget friendly, sewing allows you to completely customize soft goods for your home to meet your exact specifications and not be limited to what you can find from retailers. For me, sewing is incredibly relaxing and a way to unwind that somehow is also creatively stimulating. And as if all of that weren't reason enough, there are few things more satisfying than completing a project that you made yourself. Especially when you receive a compliment on it. Nothing better.
Have I sold you yet??
If you've never picked up a needle or run a sewing machine, it can feel daunting to scour through Pinterest to try and find the best tutorials. They can be super confusing, especially when you are new to the sewing game and don't understand all of the terminology. To that end, here are some great resources to get you started and give you the confidence you need tackle your first project.
(Oh, and if you don't have a sewing machine but have wondered whether or not you should invest in one, click through some of these tutorials and I can nearly guarantee that you'll be hopping over to Amazon to buy one by the end of the post!)
GETTING STARTED - BEST OVERALL
The very first place I look when I want to try a new project or technique is Made Everyday with Dana Willard. She makes every project feel so attainable and do-able. The best part is that she has a YouTube channel and walks you through every step of the process. You can pause the video, back it up, and listen again until you feel ready to try it. This video on learning to use your sewing machine is the perfect place to start. I've used her tutorials for basic pillowcases, simple elastic waisted skirts, and making a pillow with piping over and over again.
Another amazing lady to learn from is Kate at See Kate Sew. Her Sewing 101 series has a collection of great beginner sewing projects including several posts on how to use the different feet of your sewing machine (SO HANDY). I love her easy crib sheet tutorial and am dying to make her DIY chic cat bed for Ruby. #crazycatlady
FAVORITE BEGINNER HOME DECOR PROJECTS
Once you've got the hang of your sewing machine and have figured out how to sew a straight(ish) line, these are my favorite tutorials for easy home décor project updates.
I was needlessly intimidated by the zipper foot on my sewing machine for so long and was making ill-fitting pillowcases, or worse, sewing up the pillow form inside the pillow cover permanently. The result of that was pillow covers that couldn't be washed after one of my children inevitably spilled something on it. UGH. Live and learn. This is the tutorial that I use over and over again when I'm making throw pillow covers with zippers. Unless I'm making them regularly, the details always seem to fall out of my brain, so I refer back to this link nearly every time I make a new pillow cover. I used it last week making the aforementioned "whipped up" pillow below.
I linked to this tutorial above - but it bears mentioning again - for making a piped pillow. It's the same technique I used to create the patterned pillow in our master bedroom in the image at the very top of this post.
Curtains are another great beginner project. In general, the curtain panels that you buy at the big box retailers have two huge problems. 1) Those dorky top-tabs make your house look like a dorm room from the late 90's (sorry to literally everyone I just offended). And 2) my all time biggest beef - they are never ever the right length. Most of us live in homes with 8', 9', or 10' ceilings. I always recommend hanging your curtains up high, near the ceiling, and having the bottom just kiss the floor, which means that you need curtains to be a super-specific length that NEVER matches the lengths you can buy off the shelf.
Side note to curtain manufacturers, if you just made curtains 7'-6", 8'-6", 9'-6", we would never have this problem!! It's a conspiracy.
This is my favorite tutorial to get the designer curtain look - back tabs at the top for beautiful pleating and just touching the floor on the bottom. Don't be intimidated by the steps - it's just a bit of measuring and then sewing straight lines.
I hope this posts has inspired you to start sewing for your home. For more ideas, check out our Pinterest Board for even more sewing projects. And please drop a comment here, on Instagram , or Facebook if there are any other sewing projects or resources you would like to know more about and I'll be happy to write a follow up post.