Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Meet Pippi, Mr. Nilsson, and a New Pillowcase

Around Christmas, I was checking out sergers so I could have nicely finished hems and be able to work with a wider range of fabrics, but decided that one just wasn't in the budget at that moment.  A few weeks later it dawned on me to cash in the credit card points that I've been saving since I got my card in 2005.  I had enough points to cover all but $100 of the machine.  Score!  I shopped around and found a Babylock Imagine at Steve's Sew and Vac (which is in a new location and is HUGE) that was both on sale and included an extra package of presser feet, trolley, and workbook.  That serger was mine! 

I brought him home to live with my sewing machine, Pippi.  I love Pippi.  I got her last year after the machine that my Grandmother gave me died, and as soon as I started sewing with her, it was like I shed 500 pounds and was able to instantly run a marathon.  Isn't she a beauty?

The case to the right is an accessories case that attaches onto the back of Pippi.  It holds presser feet, needles, bobbins, and cleaning tools, among other things, and it's really convenient that it always stays with the machine.  Don't get me wrong, I was upset when my first machine died because it was a Singer from the 70s and it looked awesome.  Plus there is something romantic about using my grandmother's sewing machine, but the reality is that it was really hard to work with.  When I first started looking for a new machine, I didn't think I wanted an electronic machine because I didn't think I needed 200 different stitches and programming and everything that an electronic machine has to offer.  After trying out an electronic machine, which are actually called sewing computers (haha), I was sold.  Pippi makes sewing so easy! 

When I brought the serger home, it only made sense to name him Mr. Nilsson.  You know, Pippi's monkey pal.  The best thing about Mr. Nilsson is that he self-threads using jet air!  It is AWESOME!  You just stick the end of the thread in the hole, press a button, and whoosh—it's threaded.  This takes awat the hardest part about using sergers.  Check him out.

I was a bit nervous to try Mr. Nilsson out, so I decided to make a pillowcase for ConKerr Cancer since you can't get much easier than sewing straight lines.  I had some stretchy jersey-ish material that I found in the clearance section at Joann when I first started sewing and didn't realize that it would best be used with a serger.  I held onto it until the time was right... and the time was right this past Sunday! 

I wish I could see the reaction of the kid that picks this pillowcase out of the stash.  I love this fabric and I'm sure that whoever receives the pillowcase will love it as much as I do.

If you're completely new to sewing, pillowcases are a great place to start.  The cutting and the sewing is simple, there's very little that you can mess up, and the entire project can be completed in a short amount of time.  Plus, ConKerr provides the instructions for you!

The first step is to cut out the body and border pieces.

Then, fold the border longways in half, wrong sides together, and press.

Next, pin the border to the body of the pillow case, raw edges together.  Sew along the raw edges.

Check out those serged edges!!

Then you'll fold the pillowcase in half, right sides together, and sew along the side and bottom edges.  And you're done!

Next time I'll try and line up the pattern a little better, but I had a pretty easy time putting this together using Mr. Nilsson for the first time.  The serger feature that totally blew me away was the knife system that cuts the fabric as you feed it through the machine to serge.  Whoever thought of this was a genius.  I am very excited to have Mr. Nilsson as the newest member of my sewing family!


  1. I'm glad I am not the only one who named her sewing machine. Mine is named Dorothy and when I buy a serger it will be named Blanche or Sophia. If it's wonky, Rose.

    Also, I am really enjoying reading about your projects.

  2. Ha I love your naming method. My vote is for Blanche--she was always my favorite!

    Thanks for reading! I always wonder if anyone is following what I make other than a couple of friends.


I love to receive your comments and try to respond to all via email.