Tuesday, November 15, 2011

When The Cat’s Away…

...the mice will play. And by play, I mean sew -- I'm a wild one, I know.
This past weekend, boyfriend left for a boys trip to Vegas.  In between the 4 am texts and wondering what trouble all those boys could get into, I decided to surprise him with some home-sewn pillow shams. He recently got a new bed which required new sheets and a new comforter. It was a painful process for us both -- I can’t tell you how hard it is to describe to a boy the difference between a down comforter, duvet cover, and what comes in a bed in a bag package.
After a lot of back and forth, I convinced him a down comforter with a duvet was the best option and we found a really nice grey duvet cover on sale. Unfortunately, because it was on clearance, we had no luck finding coordinating pillow shams to go with it. I over-ambitiously decided that this was actually a good thing because we could possibly save money by making them, could customize them to be exactly what he wanted, and would give me a chance to try sewing something new -- win, win, win for both of us.
Finding the fabric was easy enough. He decided to go with a grey and lime green color scheme and Ty Pennington had some awesome fabrics that coordinated perfectly.  So, I took some measurements and ordered these three fabrics for the shams, and various other bed pillows.

The first pillow was a snap to make. I had an old pillow of his and I was simply sewing a cover for it. So I took some measurements, cut my fabric and made the most basic envelope pillow ever. This simple task is probably what got me thinking how awesome I am and how easy the shams would be. Wrong.
I didn’t have a tutorial I was following, just my own pillow sham to copy.  The measuring and cutting went easily enough, but all went downhill after that.  I won’t even begin to describe the methods (yes, plural) I tried because honestly, I don’t think I remember which one finally worked out. And the two pillows don’t even match. Not only did I try 3 different ways on the first, but when I made the second, I went completely off track and did something different once again.  Luckily, boys don’t notice these things, and he is in love with them and was totally surprised when he got home!
Warning, these photos were taken in a bachelor’s bedroom, so there is no headboard and absolutely nothing hanging on the walls -- one thing at a time. Maybe I'll convince him to DIY a headboard soon!
It’s hard to tell in pictures, but the corners are different on each pillow. On one, they meet at a diagonal and on the other, they overlap. I actually like both and if I was smart enough to sew the same thing twice, I’m not sure which I’d choose.

I don’t have pictures of the back, but it is a solid coordinating grey fabric that simply overlaps to slide the pillows right in.
I have one more pillow to make, hopefully a neck roll with the third fabric. I didn’t start on that one because I was pillowed out by then and I didn’t want to risk trying my own technique this time around. I’m going to search for a great tutorial to follow so it will hopefully go much smoother than the shams. If I have enough fabric after that, I may try to make one more basic pillow using scraps from each fabric to Ty -- pun intended -- it all together.
Oh, and if you want to make pillow shams, please don’t let my disastrous attempt discourage you. In the process of trying to salvage each one, I did some tutorial research and found some great inspiration.  This post in particular seems super easy and one I would have tried if I hadn’t already cut my fabric too small. This one would also have been great and seems easy to follow. If only I’d found these before my sewing ego got too big… All in all, I think they look pretty great and I’m happy with how they look in his room.  Each sewing adventure is a learning process and this one was no exception! 
p.s. while I was having my super girly sewing/crafting weekend, I made a few other things to share.  One will have to wait since it's another gift for boyfriend -- and he possibly still reads these random posts -- but the other is a quilt for his niece, and since she is just 2, I'm pretty certain she has not started following this blog yet :)  They will also have actual instructions since it wasn't a total disaster making them!
p.p.s. don't feel too sorry for me staying behind while boyfriend jets off to Vegas -- I just spent 10 glorious days in the UK and if I can rescue some lost pictures, will share the details soon!

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