Sewing 101: Pumpkin Pillow

My husband bought me a sewing machine for Christmas a couple of years ago. I had wanted one for a long time. But, once I had it, I realized I had no idea how to operate it. Consequently, the sewing machine remained in its box because I was too afraid to get it out and learn to sew.

One of my goals for this year was to finally get over this hump and start sewing. So, the machine finally came out of the box a couple months ago. I bought a couple books with promising titles, including the Complete Photo Guide to Sewing. I even enlisted my mother for help during a recent visit, and she got my machine threaded for the first time. But, I was still afraid to play around with the machine or try my hand at actual sewing.

I realized I needed the safety of an actual, hands-on class. I wanted to see someone else do it first. I wanted to be able to ask questions.

Luckily for me, my local public library was offering a Sewing 101 workshop. I bit the bullet, and got over my fear long enough to sign up for the class.

As an aside, my local library is terrific. I live in a small community that has a tiny, criminally underfunded public library. So, it never ceases to amaze me how much my local librarians manage do. The library is an incredible community resource, and I’m so grateful for the dedication of the librarians to the community.

So, on October 20, I found myself in the Library meeting room with three other women to learn to sew. One woman was an accomplished seamstress who brought her own machine. The second woman was just like me in that she had bought a machine a few years ago, but never learned to use it. And, the third woman had no sewing experience at all. So, we had a great mix of abilities.

One of the librarians led the workshop, and, in the course of two hours, we all made seasonal pumpkin pillows. Here is a photo of my work in progress:

The pillow has already been sewn on the machine, and I have stuffed it with fiberfill. The only thing remaining is to hand sew the rest of the seam.

Here is the completed pillow at home:

My pillow turned out super wonky, but that’s okay! And, that realization was the best lesson I learned during the workshop: That it is okay to be a beginner. That it is okay to make mistakes. That it is okay to just have fun while learning to sew. Learning to sew doesn’t need to be Hard or Serious. It’s okay to make a wonky pumpkin pillow.

So, I’m a lot less intimidated by my sewing machine now, and I’ve even started looking for some fabrics to make some new kitchen curtains…

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