Sewing Lessons | A Machine, an Amish Basket and Your First Pillowcase Project




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Dear sewers of the world, what a wonderful gift you are and oh how I look up to you. I am just getting started in my sewing adventure, following the footsteps of my papa Donnie who used to sew my tattered pink baby blanket back together when I visited him and my grandma Mary Jeanne on the farm. It’s been sewn something like thirty times and to this day you can see the different shades of pink and mauve binding together where the waffled cotton meets the silk edging.

Sewing is something I’ve always wanted to learn. A useful hobby full of so many opportunities for a creative like myself. My machine and sewing basket, both birthday gifts, are currently set up in our bedroom and out of reach from the kids…something that no matter how many times I’ve told Stella and Theodore to keep out of, they still insist on getting into. My mom found my large handmade sewing basket from this Amish company and I cannot recommend it enough. It’s one of my favorite gifts I’ve ever received and even has the names of those who made it written on the bottom. It is as sturdy as can be and something I presume will withstand years and years of wear and tear. My sewing machine came with glowing reviews, and thus far, I’ve found it to be quite user friendly. I read the manual which was basically useless to someone like me (who 100% needs to see things and do them with their hands to understand them) so I eventually resorted to YouTube as my guide. You can find everything on there you’ll need to get started if you type in the machine brand and model.

After searching a little bit I then found an amazing tutorial for making a pillow case as my first project. I have been stashing away beautiful vintage fabrics for years, prints that I’ve been wanting to make into skirts and table clothes etc. for some time, but now that I have my machine I am ready to start making all the things! Made Everyday has a simple pillow case video to help guide you step by step in making your first pillowcase project. The first one I made took me about twenty minutes and the rest only about five once I got a rhythm established. All you need is one yard of fabric per case and you’re good to go. I already have several sets made as Christmas presents and a few fun fabrics for the boys room I am anxious to get sewn up in flannel material. You can find really great vintage fabric scraps at the thrift store, so I’d make sure to check there when you make your weekly/monthly run. Just make sure to wash everything gently beforehand. There you have it beginning sewers, a machine, a basket and your first project to tackle! But seriously, how cute is that basket!? Thanks Eli, Caroline and Ada! x Amanda



  • Laurence - Oh Amanda! I’m in love with all the lamps you have… I’m searching for a lamp like this one since months and can’t find. Is it possible for you to tell me where can I find it maybe?
    Thanks a lot! Laurence D. XoReplyCancel

    • admin - Laurence, this one was thrifted and I haven’t found a lamp shade I like yet for it. I’d check your local thrift stores, my dear! There are tons just sitting there waiting for a home. 🙂 x AmandaReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - What a beautiful pillowcase! I taught myself to sew using blog tutorials and youtube and LOTS of calls to my grandmother. 😉 It was slow going at the beginning, but each project got quicker and easier, and then it got addictive! Just a little friendly advice, your thread looks like 100% nylon upholstery thread which might be a little thick for a cotton pillowcase. You might have better luck with a cotton or polyester thread, (my favorites are Gutterman and Aurafil), that’s a little thinner and can be pressed will to get a crisp seem. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Charlotte - I was going to say, the tension seems a tad tight, which is maybe why the seam seems a tad puckered.. Sewing is all about learning as you go, so it could be something other than the thread or the tension too. Haha! These are beautiful & im feeling super inspired to dust off my machine again. Thank you Amanda! ❤️ReplyCancel

      • admin - Charlotte, you are spot on. Thank you for sharing, it was just what I needed to fix the seams! Blessings to you! x AmandaReplyCancel

    • admin - Jennifer, thank you kindly for helping me with this…I just liked the tan color and didn’t even consider the type of thread I was using! So thank you a hundred times over. I really appreciate it! x AmandaReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Oh I love this!! I received a sewing machine as a birthday present two years ago, and promptly got pregnant and as sick as I have ever been in my life. Now that that baby just turned one (How is that possible?!!) I decided its well time that I get my act in order and figure out this machine. I’ve been making LOTS of these flannel fringe blankets to give as Christmas presents. Another greater beginner project : )

    Can’t wait to try my hand on some pillow cases : )ReplyCancel

    • admin - Elizabeth, thank you for the ideas! I am going to make my brother some 🙂 x AmandaReplyCancel

  • Meg - I’ve just recently found your blog and I’m so inspired! I haven’t sewed in years, but your recent sewing posts are making me want to dust off my old sewing machine and have fun.ReplyCancel

  • Jenefer - Amanda,

    Thank you so much for keeping old world traditions alive and for blogging about them. You are such an inspiration to me.


  • Katie - I love this post, Amanda! You are off to a great start and in no time you’ll be like me, with 526 projects in mind!. I also taught myself to sew recently through youtube videos. In addition to Dana Made, check out Made by Rae. While she doesn’t post videos, her instructions are incredibly clear with pictures each step of the way. I also saw you’re thinking of making the Purl Soho skirt– do it! It’s amazing, love those deep pockets, good for holding all those random things we acquire throughout the day from our kids.ReplyCancel

    • admin - Katie, girl…so many projects up my sleeve right now. I think everyone with either get something A) essential oils related B) a sewed something or other! My first Purl Soho skirt turned out a bit wonky, so I am trying it again! Thank you for your encouragement, it’s so kind of you to share here. x AmandaReplyCancel

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