My very first sewing project was born out of necessity - a draft excluder. However it took me so long to make it that by the time I'd finished it wasn't really so necessary anymore - however it'll come in handy next Autumn/Winter! I got the instructions from the Guardian website here and after a few hiccups - totally my own fault - I got it finished as you can see below. The main problem was I made it far too wide so it took way more rice to fill it than I had thought - I kept running out then taking about another week to remember to buy more as no way was I using our Tilda Basmati for a draft excluder!
I thought for my next project I would choose something else quite straightforward - a cushion. To be honest I can't remember where I got the measurements from for this but I added an extra inch or so onto the width of the cushion to give myself room to sew. As it had been a while since I made the draft excluder I had to look at my Bernina instruction book again to remind myself how to thread up the machine and how to put thread on to the bobbin as I hadn't done it since I was a young teenager! I just used a straight stitch to do the sewing and sewed up three sides of the cushion. I know it would have been better to include a zip or buttons on the fourth side but I just wanted to make it easy so I just stitched it up by hand once I'd put the cushion pad inside. The front piece of fabric was a lovely design my mum had in the house for years. She had this magical plastic container in the hall cupboard that was filled with old pieces of clothes she couldn't throw out because of the fabric pattern, a beautiful big piece of Liberty fabric (which I still have, but am waiting till I improve my sewing skills before I use!), and a Chinese quilted waistcoat which I'm hoping against hope I have stored in my Dad's garage and not thrown out (I'll find out the next time I'm up in Glasgow!). I don't know where she picked this piece up, it looks like a circus performer on a horse, I really wish I'd asked her the story behind it, where she got it, what it inspired in her art work, why she kept it all that time without using it.
I had a bit of a problem as it wasn't quite big enough for the front piece of the cushion so I had to add on a piece of gingham at the top - I think I did quite well in terms of neatness, for a first attempt! I did the back of the cushion in the pink gingham as well. I really enjoyed this project - I know it was easy but it was a good way to start getting into using the sewing machine.