Most of you know by now at least part of my sewing journey, but I'll give a brief recap for those who are still unfamiliar.
I taught myself how to sew while in nursing school circa 2009ish. I asked my parents for a sewing machine for Christmas after a classmate and I had spent hours browsing online fabric stores. I had no idea all the options available, and I was literally hooked on fabric from that day forward...
My parents bought me a pretty basic machine just in case my dreams (as they often have in the past) fell through. In between studying "tracheostomy care" and "management of type II diabetes," I learned how to sew.
I read books, studied YouTube, and I had a dear friend that always gave me tips when I asked! To say I learned by "trial & error" is an understatement. I attempted several dresses, of which I have only worn one in public. I made applique pillows to coordinate with a funky chair I purchased from I.O. Metro years ago. I free-handed the applique to be applied, so no pillow was alike... although they were supposed to be. I made a formal dress for my sister to wear to an event... bless her, she was incredibly selfless and wore it even though it didn't turn out even close to the picture on the pattern's envelope! I've attempted pajama pants, swimsuit coverups, duvet covers, tote bags, and much more. I will admit I've made much progress in some of these categories, but you won't find any of these items in my shop any time soon.
Once I perfected the straight and zig zag stitch, I thought it might be time to upgrade my machine. Thank goodness for payment plans! In October 2014 I traded my older model in for a new, and it's the machine I'm still using today. This machine jump started my business, and although It's probably time for another upgrade, I hope I can keep using it to sew for years to come.
Now that we are caught up on some history, I need to point out again that the overwhelming majority of my sewing knowledge is self-taught. I'm not saying this to brag or boast but to admit I have many insecurities about my techniques compared to others more knowledgeable and experienced than I. I do not offer sewing classes because my way of sewing is probably not taught in textbooks, and there is likely a much more "correct" way than mine. That's not to say my sewing technique is poor. It's not. I just mean there is probably an easier way to sew than mine. But I've always enjoyed the difficult road... who doesn't love a good challenge?!
One of the things I realized last year was my desperate need of a serger. Previously when I made pillows, I either sewed the pillow closed after inserting the pillow form, or I used pinking shears on all interior seams to prevent fraying. This shearing technique is not incorrect, and I bet if you were to visit a home store, you would find many other pillows finished this way. When I added higher end designer textiles to my pillow shop, though, I figured shearing the seams wouldn't be the most professional finish.
So I bought a serger. Just like I did with my sewing machine, I looked to YouTube for instruction. Luckily there isn't much to learn about a serger. The hardest part is threading the machine, but now after sewing hundreds of pillows, I consider myself an expert on that topic.
This addition to my sewing room has been a game changer. I never knew how much I needed it until I got it. The finished interior seams make me all the more confident in shipping out my pillows to you.
I'm willing to wager that many of you have not paid much attention to the inside of your pillow covers. I certainly didn't until I began sewing. The inside doesn't really matter, right? Wrong.
I'm learning just how much the inside really does matter. Many of the fabrics on which I now sew are incredibly delicate, and a simple straight stitch offers little benefit in keeping a pillow together. A serged seam not only prevents fabric from fraying, but it also offers extra durability and guarantees your pillow cover will last a long time.
When I sew a knife edge pillow, the serger serves multiple functions. It stitches the two fabrics together and overlocks (serges) the seams all at one time. When I use cording, I serge all edges of the two pillow pieces individually before adding cording, and then I sew the front and back together. In this instance, the serger does not stitch the two fabrics together, but the serged seams provide even more protection from fraying.
I still have a little anxiety about shipping my pillows to you, but the anxiety no longer revolves around quality. The serger took care of that for me!
Always know when you purchase one of my custom pillows, your pillow is made with the utmost care. Although I do not recommend allowing your dogs or kiddos to tug on the pillows for testing durability, I know my pillows will hold up well in even a few extreme circumstances!