Getting Started in Sewing
Sewing is something you’ll find yourself using time and again throughout life, whether it be sewing on a button or making an item of clothing, there are a million and one things you can make and do!
Once you can make a simple cushion cover with a zip opening, the possibilities for decoration are endless. Collect scraps of fabric, ribbons, buttons and any other decorative items you particularly love. Just remember that not all trimmings and fabrics (such as felt and laces) are washable so may make it harder to clean the cushion.
This fun campervan design would work equally well in other colours, such as pink, red and white or greens. Contrasting stitching over the outside edges with different embroidery threads or blanket stitch gives it a cute folksy fell. For evening sewing and craft classes in your area, log on to your nearest college for information.
Essential Pieces of Kit
- Pearl head pins – easy to see when stitching, particularly when on a sewing machine
- Fabric scissors – you can buy fabric specific scissors, make sure to keep these for only cutting fabrics as paper will dull the blades over time.
- Small pair of sharp scissors – perfect for getting into hard to reach areas and when precision is needed.
- Tape measure – essential for making sure everything fits together well and most importantly is the correct size!
- Fabric markers – these come in various forms and are temporary ways to mark your fabric to ensure a precise finish. Chalk pencils and vanishing fabric markers are the most popular. Tip – always make sure to test your fabric marker on a scrap piece of the fabric beforehand.
- Cotton thread – its always good to have a selection of different coloured cotton threads, white and black are an essential.
- Seam ripper – if you do happen to go a little bit wrong this handy tool will help to unpick those stitches quickly. It also comes in handy when doing buttonholes on projects.
A Project to Get You Started . . .
How to make a Campervan Cushion
Suitable for: Beginners
- Scraps of fabric in different colours and patterns
- 28 by 28cm Square of fabric for the background
- 40 by 40cm Cushion and plain cover
- Small buttons
- Fusible web
- Sewing machine
1. Using the template below (this will need to be re-sized when printing to fit comfortably on your cushion) cut out the pieces of the campervan in your chosen colours.
2. Build up the campervan shape in the middle of the square of fabric.
3. Use small pieces of fusible web and a warm iron to fix the applique pieces in place.
4. Practise on a test piece of fabric with your sewing machine stitches until you’re happy. Some machines come with a special applique stitch pre-programmed in, if not you can use a small tight zigzag stitch. Sew so the stitch is half on the applique shape and half on the background. Use contrasting cotton to stitch in place.
5. When finished sew on buttons as headlights.
6. Fray the large square’s edges and sew the whole thing on to the cushion.
Make sure to check out the below sewing posts for more projects and inspiration.