This is a quick tutorial just to show you what you can use the decorative stitches on your machine for. When I teach beginners and even those with more experience they seem to have the same thing in common in that ladies are very happy with the straight stitch and sometimes venture into a zig zag stich but aren’t really sure what their decorative stitches are for and so give them a wide berth!
Here is just one project that you can do even with the simplest of machines in which you can make something unique to you and your home…
A decorative stitch cushion nestling behind a simple patchwork cushion.
I started with a plain white cotton and decided that I would use white thread as this would give an antique look to the fabric. I then chose my decorative stitch and sewed a practice line on a spare piece of fabric to check I liked it. Once I knew which stitch I wanted to do I then took my white cotton fabric and sewed a line from one end to the other of the decorative stitch.
I then selected a different stitch and used the edge of the presser foot as a guide (to keep the line of stitch straight) to sew another line of stitching. I repeated this and built up my own piece of fabric that had my own decorative stitch design.
My machine also has an individual stitch button where I can press the button and if the stitch is, for example, a flower motif then it will just do the flower and not the linking chain of stitches. I did this on the fabric in the picture below and really liked the effect. It was a contrast to the lines of decorative stitching that added another dimension to the finished design.
Once I’d finished the lines of stitching I then cut the fabric into squares ready to sew them together. I decided to have a lined square and flower square alternated. I sewed 4 squares together -this photo just shows 3 – to make a strip.
Once I’d got 4 strips I sewed them together to make the cushion top.
I always line my patchwork cushions as I feel this gives a quality finish. I use a white cotton fabric and in this photo you can see how I’ve pinned the top of the cushion to the lining ready to sew round the outside.
I used some of the left over fabric to cover some buttons so they match.
I used the machine to make the button holes. I find that I need to go over twice with the button hole stitch to make each one as this makes them a little tighter so they don’t sag after a short while.
Here are the buttons and the button holes!
Here’s the finished cushion
The decorative stitches give it an aged, antique effect and it’s a cushion that I have lots of comments about when people visit the cottage. You could easily change the thread colour or fabric colour or you could even sew onto patterned fabric to give different effects. What you will make though is something unique to you rather than another cushion from another shop that someone else may have too.
Happy decorative stitching!
Want another project that shows you different ideas to try with your sewing machine?