Learning to sew – cushions!

I’ve wanted to learn to sew for a long time, but ever had enough money to buy a sewing machine. So my boyfriend got my family and friends to club together with money for a sewing machine. I came home from World of Sewing this weekend with this:


I bought a Janome J3-24, for £169.99. I chose Janome because the reviews I read online were so consistently good, and it seemed like a good basic machine. I took this home and then realised I had no idea what to do! So I’m using this blog to share and record my experience of learning to sew.

I used Tilly’s Learn to sew guide from Tilly and the Buttons. This guide is honestly the most useful beginners info I’ve found online for sewing. I started working my way through the steps to get used to my new machine. I am pretty damned proud of this, the first time I successfully threaded my machine!


After experimenting a bit, I then launched into my first project – a cushion cover! There is a great tutorial which I used here. The first issue I cam across was converting inches (which my cushion insert was measured in) to centimetres (which the tutorial uses), and adapting to a different size cushion than in the instructions. I imagine I’ll have to get a lot more savvy at this kind of thing in my quest to become a dress maker!

The second issue was measuring and cutting the fabric. I only had a 30cm ruler, so this proved a bit tricky. I struggled to keep my lines straight and had to re-do my markings a few times. I’m seriously thinking about buying a cutting mat for the next time. You can see my wonky lines below!


The tutorial is a great, easy project that is really easy to follow. Despite the minor challenges, I was really happy when I managed to finish the cushion relatively quickly, and it didn’t turn out a complete disaster! Even through its just a cushion I was so happy with the result and I was completely amazed that I actually managed to make something!


I feel I should explain the sheep pattern! I was going to buy fabric in World of Sewing, but after buying my machine I got completely overwhelmed by the amount and choice of fabric there. So I went home with no fabric and had to pop out to the nearest store when I had recovered. This was a Hobbycraft where it was pretty much a choice between sheep, hens or Christmas. Still, I quite like my sheep cushion!


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