Sunday, January 8, 2012

the Envelope Please!

i have finally decided to get the sewing machine back out again. i have a motivator though, banquette cushions.  it seems i am the one holding the kitchen dining up from "Finished" since i don't have those done.  well huh?

a few years before my mom passed away, she asked if there was anything in particular that i wanted. i knew nothing about sewing then (and not really anything now), but i'd wanted her to teach me the basics, like how to hem a pair of pants or....make a pillow. she was too ill at the time & i never got that lesson.  but i did get her sewing machine & all her sewing goodies!  i took the machine in shortly after i got it & had it completely looked over & tuned up.  i've used it for a few small projects but have always been too intimidated to do any "real" project.  well that banquette is bound to change everything now isn't it?

i've collected a few sewing projects on my Pinterest SewIt board & one is for a Simple Envelope Pillow in 20 or 40 minutes.  i must say, this was the perfect project & one of the best written how-to's i have ever come across.  Shannon was right, it took me more than 20 minutes for each one, but it wasn't because she didn't make it easy to read & do.  i had a few machine problems that slowed me down, but i stuck to it got it done!

in my quest to reuse any & all things around the house, i'd used the center portion of an old chaise cushion to make the boxers a doggie bed/mat.  that left the bottom/foot piece & the top/mid pieces for something else.  so i decided to use the smaller foot piece for my envelope cushion experiment.  the fabric came from a large quantity i bought several years ago when i bit off a project too big - making a new futon cushion.  people, that is harder than it looks & i never finished it so i had a bunch of this fabric left.

So here's that dingy cushion
yuck! nast!  but hey, it's an outdoor cushion!  who cares!  and, i'm about to make it look like new thanks to Shannon.  about = 1 hour later!

now you can easily go check out her instructions cuz they are much shorter & i think her end product is much prettier, but here's my ugly duckling's transformation process:

Steps 1 & 2 = Measure
as Shannon instructed, i measured the Length & Width for my fabric adding about 5 inches to each.
Length - I added 7 to this to give me 35"
Width - I added 5 to this to give me 29"
i like how Shannon admitted adding lots of extra just in case. she's right, i'd rather cut fabric off after i'm done than not have enough.
Steps 3 & 4 - Fold & Hem
i folded the edges over twice like Shannon instructed & ironed them down then sewed along the edge to create a nice finished edge for the envelope back when done.
Steps 5 & 6 - Wrap & Sew
after sewing the edges, lay your pillow on top of your fabric, RIGHT SIDE UP, and fold one hemmed side over

then fold the other hemmed side over
Step 7 - Close It
with the pillow still in the "wrapping", use pins to mark where you want to sew down each side to close it up.  remove the pillow sew the left & right sides.  i did a back stitch over the hemmed overlap just to give it a little extra strenth.  cut off the excess after you're done sewing & turn it right side out.
there's the old ratty cushion in the background awaiting it's new home!  and here is the finished product!
Front

and Back with the overlap!
thanks to Shannon's "rather have too much fabric" mentality, i have about a 3 1/2" overlap on my 1st pillow. it didn't quite work out that well on my 2nd, but i managed to eeek out a little overlap & pretty much use the last large piece of this old fabric. and here are my 2 pillows that i'll be using on the chaise this summer!
i do have a couple issues to keep working on with my sewing machine. i think i have a tension problem because my top thread kept breaking on me multiple times.  and each time, i made myself stop, rip out the seam & start all over from the beginning. no shortcuts this time around!  i'm training myself to expect less than perfect, deal with it & try again!  but also, there is something off on my stitches.  like this
notice how uneven they are!?  i have no idea what is causing that, so i'll consult the ladies in my swim group. for now, onto more envelope cushions as the 1st round/draft of the banquette seating!

Mad Props to Shannon over at Madigan Made!  if it weren't for her awesome tutorial & pics, there is no way i would have stuck with this and certainly wouldn't be as charged as i am to start on the real cushions!

1 comment:

Shannon MadiganMade said...

These look wonderful! Great stripes. So glad my tutorial helped you. (thanks for the shoutout, too!)

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