Obviously, I don’t have enough projects going on here (I’m baking breads and cakes like a maniac for all kinds of challenges), so I took on sewing. Yes, that’s right. I’ve never ever sewn anything except for needlework class in 3rd grade, and considering that 25 years have passed since 3rd grade, that doesn’t really count anymore.
My friend Sara, who very recently has given birth to her second baby, has been involved in so many wonderful sewing projects (a nappy bag, floor cushions, a sailboat top, and a play quilt) that I felt intrigued to try it, too. Btw, she is the person that talked me into all these challenge and blogging stuff (ok, not all of the challenges – in return, I talked her into the Modern Baker Challenge).
So I went fabric hunting. OMG, I’ve never noticed how many cute fabrics were out there. Let me tell you, I have enough fabrics now for the next 20 or so sewing projects *blush*. As I wrote, I haven’t got a clue about sewing, so I bought “Nähen für Dummies” (which is the German adaptation – not only translation – of “Sewing for Dummies”). I intended to borrow my mother’s sewing machines to see if I would enjoy sewing at all, but then there was this very good offer (yes, I KNOW what you’re thinking now…) where they sold a $95 sewing machine for $40. So, I have my own sewing machine now.
It took me like 2 hours to set it up with the help of the manual and my “Sewing for Dummies” book. I never would have imagined it would be so complicated. It probably isn’t, but my ability of understanding manuals pretty much sucks.
To cut a long story short, my first project was a cherry pit pillow for Sara’s baby boy and another one for a friend who gave birth to her 3rd child (a baby girl) in March. I think these pillows are not really common in the U.S., but here in Germany they are very popular. They make wonderful natural heating or cooling pads, and their ability to maintain temperature is superior to that of a hot-water bottle. You stick them in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds, or put them in a plastic bag which goes in the freezer. Traditionally, Germans use them for their babies when they have a bellyache, but you can use them for your own bellyaches, too.
As I was making them for babies, I didn’t want to use buttons (well, maybe, but just maybe my limited sewing skills played a role in that decision, too), so I decided to go for a pillow case with a “Hotelverschluss” (I have no clue what the English term could be: maybe throw pillow or envelope pillow cover?) – it doesn’t need either buttons or a zipper, but is removable for washing (I know from my own experience of having 3 kids that babies throw up A LOT, so my washing machine is my very best friend :-)).
The fabric I used for both pillow cases is from IKEA (Vitaminer Bil for Little H and Vitaminer Leksak for Little W). This is what the “Hotelverschluss” (literally translated as hotel fastener) looks like. The name derives from the fact that hotels use these kinds of pillow covers because they are so fast to remove and put back on. Inside the pillow case is an inlay filled with dried cherry pits – when you eat cherries, you can just save the pits, but since it’s not cherry season here yet, I bought the cherry pit inlay and just sewed the case.
I’m a little proud of my first sewing projects. They could have turned out worse! The one for Sara is on the way to the U.S., hopefully the plane traffic isn’t backed up too much as a result of the ash cloud that stopped all of the plane traffic in Europe for a couple of days last week and the week before. Wow, it was really quiet here which was actually quite nice. Now we have planes above our house every 2 minutes again *sigh*.
Anyway, I’m so looking forward to starting new sewing projects. I’ve got this CUTE Oliver + S pattern which would make gorgeous dresses for my two girls, but it looks a lot more complicated than the cherry pit pillow…