For Cheshin's birthday (13 March), I started working these zombie cross-stitch embroideries I got as a kit of all things. No problem: cross-stitching was one of the first things I ever learned how to do with a needle. I was three or four years old when I mastered this stitch.
The cross-stitching went well and was easy enough, although the floss from the kit had a bad habit of tangling and knotting on itself.
Then came the part where I had to cut the fabric into strips of the correct height and width, sew a cushion top, and then sew a matching back. I'd decided to make "sandwich baggie" backs with overlapping panels instead of installing a zipper. Partly this is because I've never installed a zipper in my life, and partly because I hate it when you lean your head on a cushion and get a cold metal zipper tab pressing into your face.
All well and good, except that I am absolutely awful at cutting fabric. I mean seriously awful. It doesn't matter how carefully I measure, or how painstaking I am about cutting on the line — the fabric will shift and come out crooked, every single time. In point of fact, there is a sample of fabric missing from the these photos, because one length of fabric got so butchered that I couldn't get anything usable out of it and had to buy a replacement.
Once I got to the sewing part, it wasn't so bad. I can operate a sewing machine well enough to do basic straight stitch without embarrassing myself too much. I even remembered to not reinforce the top stitching around the embroidery, and to bring the threads to the back to knot instead. (In case you are good at sewing and are having a good laugh because this is such a basic thing... hey, I'm a phobic sewer. Everyone has their weak spots.)
The happiest coincidence in this process is that when I went to buy the replacement fabric, I found something that repeated a motif from fabric I already had: the brain-cushion's white flowers are a scaled-up version of the ones on the hand-cushion.
These were also good confidence-builders. I now feel better about sewing the dining room chair covers I reverse-engineered the pattern for months ago, and about sewing the vintage-style purses I got the pattern book for even more months ago.
Here's the trio in their new home on Cheshin's chaise longue (photo by Cheshin, naturally):