In the spirit of variety and it being the spice of life here's a little something to illustrate that baking isn't the only thing I occupy my free time with. I give you, my first grown-up sewing machine experience.
I have used a sewing machine once in my life. In my 6th grade Home Economics class, where all the scary set-up is done for you and all that was required on me was to line up the fabric and push the foot pedal to make it work. Since then I have been far too intimidated to attempt using a sewing machine on my own without anyone else's guidance. Today I am extremely proud to say I have conquered the sewing machine. Conquered of course means that I completed a very novice project without crying, screaming out in frustration and throwing the sewing machine across the room. Success!
I was inspired to start this project when I was reading Young House Love, one of my daily blog reads and read about Sherry, who conquered her first sewing machine project. After reading of her triumphs I was inspired. So I took to Amazon.com to buy myself a sewing machine. My boyfriend's grandma (Cookie) is an expert sewer, like seriously a professional sewer. She owns somewhere around a $4,000 sewing machine, I think. It might be more, but that number is sticking out in my head for some reason. She's given me advice about making a sewing machine purchase, but she's suggested thousand-plus dollar machines that aren't in my budget, even if I wasn't a beginner. Since Sherry was also a beginner I followed her lead and looked up the same sewing machine she had purchased and had success with to see if I could perhaps find the same luck. I searched for and found the Brother XL2600I Sew Advance Sew Affordable 25-Stitch Free-Arm Sewing Machine and added it to my cart. The Brother as I now call it could be mine for the bargain price of $85.99. Not bad, but if I can save a buck, I'll save a buck. So, before I proceeded to checkout I contemplated spending nearly $100 on a sewing machine that might cause me serious heartache in the future. I am as frugal as they come. I clip coupons, I Google promo codes. I'm serious about pinching pennies whenever I can. I work hard for my money. I want to get the most out of it.
While contemplating my purchase I remembered seeing something about being able to shop on Amazon.com using American Express Reward Points. Wouldn't you know it, I have an American Express card and I've racked up a good amount of reward points. I did all the necessary account connecting and discovered that the points I had equaled just about 100 Amazon dollars! That meant with the Super Saver Shipping (free shipping on certain items when you spend at least $25) my brand new sewing machine was free 99! I could barely contain my excitement. I even made Bobby come into the room so I could tell him about it. Sadly, he didn't share my enthusiasm. Less than a week later, The Brother arrived!
The Brother sat in the box for a few days as I had been commissioned to make a birthday cake and the party was coming up in a few days so that was my first priority. Finally I made the time, bought the fabric I needed for my first project (bedroom throw pillows, inspired from these pillows I saw on Etsy.com) and cracked open the box. I had no idea where to start, there were a lot of instructions and it was confusing. I almost gave up before I really even started, but I just thought of all the possible projects that would be ahead of me if I could figure out how to get started. After some careful reading and a few missteps I was all threaded up and ready to go.
I completed the project over a span of 2 days because sleep, my actual day job and real-life responsibilities had to come first. Before I started I did some Google searching and found this very helpful home video of how to make envelope pillow covers. I studied it, made some notes to myself and then started my own pillows. I thought for sure I would mess up at least one pillow and have to start over, but I didn't! I couldn't believe it. My very first sewing machine project didn't result in the returning of The Brother to Amazon.com, or tears. The pillows definitely aren't as good as ones Cookie would make, but I think she would be proud. Dare I say she would L-O-V-E them?