Pillow Talk / by Susie Lubell

Well yesterday was day two of my sewing class. I decided I will use the blog to chronicle my progress. This time I brought in Grammy's old sewing machine and of course my teacher started every sentence with usually sewing machines do this but yours is different...but we figured out how to thread the thing and it does have a few attachments and a booklet that's sixty years old so there's hope. Incidentally, I posted a picture of last week's project here. Notice the precision stitching...

This week I came in with some fabric I bought at IKEA, a little stuffed tomato to hold my pins and a pair of scissors. And I lugged in my eighty pound sewing machine on a dolly. It should really come with wheels if it's going to be that heavy. I started out thinking I would make another knapsack since the pattern is very cute and easy and I could work on my stitching (I tend to forget that the thingy is up after I place the fabric and then I press the pedal and the stitches get loopy. Working on that.) But I wanted it lined. You know, like a nice bag. Because I am a master tailor after all. Of course I should be lining all of my pieces. I mean I have had ONE class already.

I cut two rectangular pieces and sew three sides, flip it inside out and then surge the fourth side (the surger is probably man's greatest invention next to Nutella). And then I was like, OK, what in the world should I do with this thing? I tried to think of how it would work as the knapsack and in fact it would not be lined at all or reversible (reversible? I mean, can someone remind this girl that she doesn't actually know how to sew?). It would just be like the one from last week but thicker because it's made of two pieces of fabric now. I started getting annoyed because actually this isn't even a class. It's just me and twenty retired people using the outlets at a community center and asking our teacher Sharon for some tips. TIPS! I need step by step tutoring not tips!

Anyway, I decide to cut the thing in half and make two pillow cases instead. I learned how to sew a zipper last week so I felt like sewing three sides and a zipper was within the realm of my limited abilities. I even thought I could do it twice and complete my pillow set. But the zipper tripped me up and ended up taking the whole class so by the end I had only one pillow. And it was totally lopsided. Note to self: bring measuring tape for next class. I left feeling like a total loser. I couldn't even sew a damn four sided pillow.

But then I got home and shoved one of our throw pillows inside and it actually fit and now you can't actually tell that it's lopsided. It kind of looks great! Which of course has very little to do with me and everything to do with the rad fabrics that IKEA carries. Next week I aim to finish the other pillow and master the zipper. Then, maybe, PAJAMA PANTS.