Machine Sewing for Beginners: Learn How to Sew a Bean Bag (Step by Step Sewing Lesson) | Calico Jam | Skillshare

Machine Sewing for Beginners: Learn How to Sew a Bean Bag (Step by Step Sewing Lesson)

Calico Jam, Machine Sewing for Beginners

Machine Sewing for Beginners: Learn How to Sew a Bean Bag (Step by Step Sewing Lesson)

Calico Jam, Machine Sewing for Beginners

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2 Lessons (15m)
    • 1. Class Introduction

      0:57
    • 2. Bean Bag Sewing Lesson

      13:54
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About This Class

Follow along with these clear step by step instructions to make a small bean bag which can be used for playing cornhole or any other bean bag toss game.

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Calico Jam

Machine Sewing for Beginners

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Transcripts

1. Class Introduction: Follow along with these clear step-by-step instructions to make a small bean bag which can be used for playing cornhole or any other bean bag toss game. Skills used in this project include ironing, sewing accurate seam allowances, making pivot turns, and backstitching. If you are new to sewing or need a refresher on any of these skills, begin with my Sewing Basics and Machine Sewing for Beginners lesson videos, which can be found on my YouTube channel, Calico Jam. The optional pattern used in this video, and the instruction and practice sheets for my other lesson videos can be purchased and downloaded online from the Calico Jam Etsy shop. 2. Bean Bag Sewing Lesson: In this project, you will be sewing a six inch square bean bag. In addition to a threaded sewing machine and standard sewing tools, you will need enough cotton woven fabric to cut out two seven-inch by seven inch square pieces, and one and a quarter cup of dry beans. Iron your fabric to remove any wrinkles. I am using cotton woven quilting fabric but you can use any other similar fabric that is medium weight and does not stretch. Using household scissors, cut out the pattern piece on page three of the instructions or make your own seven-inch by seven inch square pattern piece. Remember to never use your sewing shears to cut paper. They are designed to cut fabric and will get dull or damaged if used for cutting other materials. The grainline arrow on the pattern piece should be aligned with the lengthwise grain of the fabric. This refers to the direction of the woven threads that are parallel to the selvage or factory finished edge. The fabric is most stable in this direction and does not stretch. The crosswise grain is also quite stable, but the bias or diagonal grain stretches. To help your bean bag retain its shape. Be sure to properly line up the grainline arrow. I am going to fold my fabric so I can cut out both squares at one time. Lay the pattern on your fabric, and use a tape measure to check that each end of the grainline arrow is the same distance from the factory finished edge. If the edges have been cut off of your piece of fabric, you can look closely at the woven threads in the fabric and align the arrow with either the horizontal or vertical threads. Pin through the pattern piece and both layers of fabric to hold the pattern in place. Evenly place pins near the edge of the pattern piece. Use your sewing shears to cut around the pattern piece through both layers of fabric, and then remove the pins. Look at both sides of your fabric squares and determine which side is the front of the fabric. This is referred to as the right side of your fabric. Place the two squares of fabric on top of each other with the right sides together. We will be sewing a seam with a half inch seam allowance along three sides of the square, leaving one side open. Carefully line up the edges of the fabric squares to keep the fabric aligned while sewing. Pin the two layers together on the three sides you will be sewing. The pins should be pointing toward the center of the square with the heads of the pins just off the edge of the fabric. This makes it easier to remove them while at the sewing machine. We will begin our stitching here by sewing backward until we are nearly to the top edge of the fabric. Then we will go forward down the right edge of the square, make a pivot turn at the corner, sew along the bottom edge, make another pivot turn, then sew along the left edge until we are almost to the top edge of the fabric, then back stitch again here to secure the threads. Before sewing, make sure the thread tails on your machine or in their proper position, and give them a gentle pull to make sure they pull freely with just a little bit of tension. If they are stuck or don't pull smoothly, try re-threading your machine. Locate the line on your throat plate that is a half inch away from the needle. I have painter's tape marking my half-inch line, so it's easier to see. Place your fabric under the presser foot and line up the right-hand edge of the fabric with the half-inch mark on the throat plate of your machine. Turn the handwheel toward you to put the needle into the fabric about a half-inch in front of the back edge to allow room for your back stitch. Lower your presser foot, engage your reverse lever, and sew backwards, three or four stitches, being careful not to sew off of the fabric. Now, sew slowly forward, keeping the right edge of the fabric lined up with the half-inch mark on your sewing machine. As you approach the first corner, take your foot off of the foot pedal and switch to using the handwheel, being sure to only turn it toward you. When you are ready to make the pivot turn. put the needle down into the fabric, lift the presser foot and rotate the fabric, lower the presser foot, and continue on to the next corner carefully watching the edge of the fabric to keep it lined up with the half inch mark. Make another pivot turn at this corner. Continue sewing along the third and final side. Sew until you are nearly to the edge of the fabric. Then backstitch, three or four stitches to secure your stitching. Turn the handwheel toward you until the thread take-up lever is at the top. Lift the presser foot and pull your fabric out to the left. Trim your threads, being sure to leave a four to five inch tail attached to the machine, and trim the extra threads close to your project. You can use a seam gauge or ruler to measure the distance between the edge of your fabric and your stitching line to check that it is half an inch. Press your project. Using sewing shears, cut the bottom two corners of fabric off at an angle as indicated on the pattern piece, leaving a minimum of an eighth of an inch between your stitching line and the cut edge of your fabric. This removes some bulk of the fabric, which helps the corners to lay flat when the bean bag is turned right side out. Turn the bean bag right side out, taking care to push the seams out to the edges and the corners out to points, pressing as you go. Fold the raw edges at the opening of the bag a half inch down to the inside, using a seam gauge or ruler to measure and press with an iron as you go. Your bag should now measure six inches by six inches. Next we will sew a topstitch, a quarter inch away from the edges. The edge of my presser foot is a quarter inch away from the needle, so I will keep the fabric edge lined up with the edge of my presser foot to sew at a quarter inch. Begin with a back stitch to secure your stitching. Sew along the first edge, and then make a pivot turn. Sew along the bottom edge, make the next pivot turn, then sew along the third side. Backstitch again at the end. Turn the handwheel toward you until the thread take-up lever is at the top. Lift the presser foot and pull your fabric out to the left. Trim your threads, and press. Fill the bag with one and a quarter cup of dry beans. Carefully line up and pin together the folded top edge opening through all layers, placing the pins so the heads are to the right. This makes it easier to remove them while you are sewing. Add another row of pins to keep the beans out of the way while you are sewing. Sew a topstitch a quarter inch away from the top edge. Remember to back stitch at the beginning and end of your stitching line and remove the pins from the top edge as you go. Turn the handwheel toward you until the thread take-up lever is at the top. Lift the presser foot and pull your fabric out to the left. Trim your threads. Press the top edge. Then finally remove the pins holding the beans out of the way. You can make a few more bean bags and use them for playing cornhole or other bean bag toss games.