Once you learn the basics of using a sewing machine, it is merely a matter of practice and learning new techniques, which is quite vast, but you can accomplish much with just the basics. However, the world of garment and other textile construction is quite complex.
The sewing camp teens at the Fairfield Woods Branch Library progressed very quickly with respect to the types of fabric with which they sewed. Their first project involved plaids. For an experienced seamstress, she would never have considered plaids for a long time since they can be quit difficult to line up when cutting. To save the teens that anguish, we did the cutting for them. The flannel was so beautiful on both sides so we did not concern them with the right and wrong sides. We did the cutting and put the two pieces together in their kits so there would not be any chance of the plaids not being lined up.
The second project was a plump round pillow made of cuddle material, also known as minky (minkee). This cuddle material was so soft and lush that it won their hearts with being their favorite project, but it was a challenge because it has a very deep nap.
Once again, the library was blessed to have had this lovely fabric donated and there was no issue of cutting as the pieces were generous wide one yard cuts. The fabric choices were in lively modern colors of lime green and bright pink, with trendy designs of chevron, damask, stripes, paisleys, and dots. Just the cutest fabrics you could imagine.
To overcome the obstacle of a difficult fabric and to allow the maximum amount of sewing time for the teens, we opted for cutting and pinning the two circles together. This guaranteed that the fabric naps were going in the correct direction. It worked perfectly. Now the teens could concentrate on sewing a circle.
The pattern instructions were courtesy of Shannon Fabrics in CA. While the teens used this predominately, I did deviate when it came to cutting the fabric circles.
I made a thick cardboard circle template with a pin, marker and a ribbon.
I cut the ribbon the length of the radius of the finished circle's diameter which included the seam allowance.
I stuck the pin into the ribbon and the center of the cardboard and attached the ribbon to the marker with blue painter's tape, then drew a perfect circle on the cardboard.
The template allowed me to use a rotary cutter and cut several pieces of fabric at one time, a true time saver when having to cut 28 large circles.
Here is the link to create your own pillow. Please share your pillow pictures with us.