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Beginner at sewing

DEB1723 | Posted in Quilting and Home Decor on

Good Day,

I received a sewing machine as a Christmas present from my husband.  I always wanted one.  I’ve been reading any books or articles I can get my hands on to learn how to sew.  My particular interest is in items for the home (i.e. pillows, curtains, etc).  I made my first pillow last night and to my surprise it didn’t look like someone with two left hands made it!!  I used the current issue of Threads to do it!

Anyhow, my question is – I’m looking for books that would explain (in plain english) how to make curtains and such items.  Or perhaps there’s a backissue of Threads that covered some of these items.

Thank you in advance for your help.




  1. stitchmd | | #1

    You might try this site. I bookmarked it for future reference without really looking at it, so can't promise anything about its value.


  2. carolfresia | | #2

    Deb, Threads has at least one article on home decor sewing in each issue, from pillows to drapes to slipcovers and more. Also, Taunton has recently published a book on sewing for the home by Sandra Betzina, which might be helpful for you (click on the Books & Videos tab above). Meanwhile, check your local library. For some reason, the libraries where I've lived always have a lot of books on making curtains and drapes (something I do only under great duress, I confess).

    Have fun with your new machine!


  3. ShelleeWA | | #3

    If you have a local fabrics store that offers classes or the dealer you bought your machine from -- it'd probably benefit you to take a class or 2. I've been sewing for YEARS and still enjoy taking classes...

    Happy sewing...


  4. Hansi | | #4

    I bought a very nice book published by Singer, Sewing For the Home, Creative Publishing International, 5900 Green Oak Drive, Minnetonka, Minnesota  55343 1-800-328-3895.  It has step by step directions and nice color photographs.

    1. sewphaedra | | #5

      Oh man, is that "Sewing for the Home" a good book. I've done countless sets of curtains, Roman blinds, balloon shades, sheers, pillows, and box cushions of all shapes and sizes from that book.

      1. Hansi | | #6

        You know another interesting one that I got out of the library is Power Sewing by Sandra Betzina.  (It's clothes, not home decor.)

        1. stitchmd | | #7

          I picked up that Singer book in Spanish from the clearance table for $2, can't resist a bargain. While I can't really understand the instructions because I know so little Spanish the illustrations are so good it doesn't matter.

          IMHO anything by Sandra Betzina is great. I am gradually collecting all of her books.

  5. lindamaries | | #8

    I wish I could remember the name of the book, but I borrowed one from the library and it had all the home dec beginning stuff explained perfectly.  I sew clothes, but was asked to sew replacement cushions for a chair and couch.  That book showed me just exactly how to do everything. 

    Let me tell you though what I learned.  I learned the value of Dacron Wrap.  If you really want to get a professional look to your home dec work, wrap the chunk of foam in a puffy, dacron layer.  It will puff out then into all the corners and look so professional.  If you don't do this, the square cushion looks so-o-o square and sharp.  But with the wrap, it is rounded and plump looking.  I purchased my wrap at foamonline.com.  I also glued it to the foam and to itself by using their spray adhesive.  It worked very, very well.

    1. User avater
      ehBeth | | #9

      Wow - glad i looked in here again. That tip about the dacronwrap is wonderful. I do a decent amount of home sewing and always wondered about those pointy edges.  I'd pretty much gone back to pillows, curtains, drapes and duvet covers. I'm going to think about sofa cushions again. I've got the perfect fabric and had been glaring at it a bit, thinking i was going to have to pay someone to do the work to get the un-pointy corners.

      1. sewphaedra | | #10

        Another tip is to make the cushion form a little larger than the pillow cover. It's a bear to get it in there, but once you get it in and zipped up it looks nice and plump. And it stays that way for years instead of the cover getting all baggy.

        1. User avater
          ehBeth | | #11

          nice and plump - good for pillows, babies and cherry pies!

          Thanks for that hint.

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