Sunday, March 11, 2012

More Like It

that last curtain panel, while super awesome magnificent, didn't quite fit in the bedroom. but it was my practice! i took an easier path for the next curtain. i have not been having any luck finding curtains that i like. all the patterns that i have found & liked have actually been shower curtains. shower curtains seem to be my go to product lately - you'll see why in a few weeks hopefully. but i did finally find a panel at Lowe's that, while i may not be in love with it, i can live with it. it is not lined however, so i used a plain black shower curtain from Target to sew in as my liner.

first i laid the panel out on the floor & then put the black "liner" on top of it so i could cut it to size.  to hold it down, i used a boxer that i just happened to have on hand!
i found that laying everything out on the dining table was actually a little better because moving my current "weight" was difficult after she fell asleep. so once she decided to end her shift, i got back to pinning.
my photos don't do it justice.  i'm really bad at this!  but i'm sticking with it & finally got it all pinned & ready to sew!
i won't bore you with all the details & photos because i'm still having some tension problems, but after some pretty sketching sewing, i now have a fully lined curtain panel to keep the sun out & the zzzzzz's in!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Curtain Call

my biggest hurdle this last year++ has been Motivation.  i'm just not motivated to do anything - personally or professionally - but then you got an ear full of that already.  no worries, not that kind of post this time!

so i find little things to do that hopefully, eventually, will kick start me out of this "whatevers".  and sometimes i actually do get something done!  this time it was a Curtain Panel.  like my Envelope Pillows.

i got this inspiration from House of Hepworths.  but 1st: my ONE panel did not turn out near as nice as Allison's, but i didn't intend for it to.  2nd: continuing in my tradition of "not wanting to waste anything", i made mine out of an old drop cloth.  a drop cloth that had been used & still had paint on it!
i used as my template (cuz i'm not brave enough to start from scratch), what else?  A LINED CURTAIN PANEL!
so really the question becomes, why would i bother to MAKE a curtain panel, when i already HAVE a curtain panel?  that's a good question!

anyways!  i laid my perfectly good, lined panel on top of the crappy used drop cloth & cut out my estimated size.  unlike my Template, the new crappy panel was not going to have grommets, it was going to have a pocket for the rod cuz that's what Allison was teaching! for my liner i used, what she used, an old flat sheet!  it was good enough for Allison's project, good enough for mine - and it was this or Goodwill!
a little hard to tell here because it's really the same color as the painter's tarp.  but man has that new kitchen floor come in handy!

so i did as Allison instructed & folded the sides in 1/4" once then twice which equaled 1/2" total & the top 1/4" once & then 3" after that.  and here's what it looked like:
nice huh? yeah, i liked her photo better than the one of mine that i never took, but trust me, mine really did look like this with the writing & all.  i'm guessing her's was MUCH easier to fold & iron because IT WASN'T A PAINTERS TARP!! ugh what was i thinking? actually, it wasn't that hard, but it was a bit rough on my iron
i'm tellin' you, that is some gunkification on there.  i had to stop twice to use my iron cleaner goo & boy am i glad i have that on hand.  polished it up like new!

then i laid the sheet on top of the "underside" of my tarp panel & tucked it in under one side (the left) & then again under the 3" top.  i sewed up the side, stopping just before the 3" section because remember, i'm going to have a rod going through there.  i turned the fabric and then sewed along the bottom edge of that 3" top.
i was amazed too how much it looked like Allison's at this point!  then i just trimmed up the right side, like she said, tucked that in under the tarp edge & sewed up the side.  one thing i did do that Allison opted out of was to sew across the bottom.  my current panels are not sewn across the bottom & they tend to separate when the air turns on since our vents are right in front of the window.  when all was said & done, i ended up with this
so no it does not work in the room at all if i'm trying to match anything & yes it does need to be hung higher. but i thought this was a pretty good start! and here's the best part:  it actually took me almost 5 days to make it! yep, 5 days!  i started on a Friday and ran into some serious machine problems.  i think i mentioned on the Envelope Pillows that i was having some issues with my machine.  they got much worse on this project!
my bottom stitch was completely knotting up. top stitch looked fine. i could not figure out what was going wrong.  i spent most of Saturday and all of Sunday doing nothing but adjusting tension settings & sewing on scraps & could never figure it out.  eventually i took the thread i'd used on the Envelope Pillow & tried some practice stitches with it - even though i had issues with the stitch length being weird, i didn't have knotting.  and that was the culprit...thread.  i had bought Button & Coat thread which WAS NOT meant for this machine.  so back to the sewing store i went to get Heavy Duty Denim/Jeans thread.  and there you have it, my stitching magically improved.
but let me tell you something......i learned SO MUCH about that machine.  of course now i have to take it back in to have the tension reset because i mucked with it so much it's out of whack! but man i learned a ton!  and isn't that what this is all about?  NO I TELL YOU NO!  but that's what it became about!  i actually learned what that little knobby/button thing is on the top of the machine over the needle area - it adjust the pressure of the foot so i could get over thick sections like that overlap in the upper right of the photo above.  yes sir!  i learnt it.

the best/worst part - and this is not easy to admit:  i got so frustrated Sunday, that i got up, put my shoes on, walked out of the house, told Nacho simply "i'll be back." i then proceeded to go for a 2 hour hike where i had the most demeaning, self-criticizing, by invitation only, pity party you could imagine. i don't even know who that person was. and in the midst of that hike i remembered what i said when working on the Envelope Pillow:  My mom did not leave me that sewing machine, her PRIZED sewing machine, so i could quit.  and if she'd heard the way i was talking to myself, and i'm sure she did, she would have been so disappointed in me.  the image of my mom truly disappointed in me was enough to get me back to the house & back working on that machine & figure out what i was doing wrong.  and i did.  this curtain is not perfect, but it's done & that is more important, hence why i left all those knotty stitches in & decided not to redo them.  

and that little lesson, is what's gonna get me through this year, better than last!  thanks mom!
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