Monday, February 5, 2007
And Now for Something Completely Different
My sister-in-law makes curtains (and bedspreads and pillows) for a living. She's good. She's fast. She has an entire garage set up for her equipment. Curtains. A couple of seams -- how hard could it be? Well, not too hard if the fates are smiling.
We have a house in Maui we are trying to sell. We have owned it for ten years and in all that time I have hated the old pink blinds. Hated them, but not enough to get rid of them except in the kitchen and guest room. In the master bedroom they were always closed on a window the looks out directly on the back lawn. (The master bedroom is sunk into the side of a hill.) We had a stager come to view the house and she said we really needed some luxurious drapes in the bedroom and wanted to charge an astronomical amount of money to "fix" our house. I thought, I can do that.
So I got online to my favorite fabric store, fabric.com, and found some gorgeous pineapple jacquard fabric. I got five yards (I should have ordered more). But I cut it in half, added some ecru lining, and started sewing. The first thing about sewing home dec is working with huge amounts of fabric. I am sure that quilters know how difficult this can be. At first I did not pin the fabric nearly close enough and my first seams on the lining were pretty wobbly. I did know enough to iron, iron, iron -- before I sewed the seam, after I sewed the seam, and whenever I saw a wrinkle that might be starting to set. It took a lot, lot longer than I thought it would (remember, there is a LOT of fabric and I was sewing it twice [once for the lining and again the the curtain]). But I could see the end. Of course at that exact moment my sewing machine died. I had had problems with it previously (it was running wild and could only be stopped by pulling the plug). When I took it to the repair store they just reset a fuse and sent it back to me. Since there is only one sewing machine repair person on all of Maui, repairs take months. But I had another machine. It is on the mainland. I hung the one finished panel and packed the other unfinished panel for Las Vegas. Once there it sat on the dining room table until the night before my husband was flying back to Maui. It's always that way. You think you have lots of time to finish a project and then end up staying up all night the day before it is needed. But I think it is worth it.
So here are the finished drapes. The pleats may be a little uneven because my husband had to hang them by himself, but they do make the bedroom look more luxurious. Will I do this again? Of course. Our new house on Maui has even more windows. I'd like to try my hand at Roman Shades and Valances. I even have some beautiful left over fabric from my sister-in-law. And pillows! How hard can pillows be? Right now my Maui sewing machine is in the shop waiting for an entirely new motherboard from Oregon. I don't know when I will get this machine back, but I am looking forward to sewing here again. Maybe I'll even finished that dress I cut out but didn't finish the first time the sewing machine died.