Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Sew Far, Sew Good

Way back when, Christmas 2010 to be precise, I was given a sewing machine. Right up until today it had never been out of it's box ("He's mint in the box, never been opened" as Jessie from Toy Story 2 would say - can you tell we've got a little boy who LOVES Toy Story?!)

Today, was the first time since I was at school (and I swiftly gave up needlework classes as soon as I had the chance as I found them so dull) that I'd used a sewing machine. I hauled it out of the box, pulled off the polystyrene, unwrapped the plug and located the instruction booklet. Luckily my Mum was on hand to offer some advice when the instructions weren't quite as clear as they should have been for a total novice like me; and soon enough the bobbin was wound, the cotton reel was in place, the needle was threaded and it was time for a little practice run on an old t-shirt of DC's. A little twist of a dial to lengthen the stitches (something Mum pointed out, not sure I would have noticed myself), and I was ready to start stitching for real. Scary! Here I am doing my 'worried' face - a good look, non? Notice how the novice stitcher keeps two mugs of coffee and tea nearby to knock over at an inopportune moment.

The reason for me finally breaking out the sewing machine was to get some blackout lining in DC's curtains. Although he has a blind plus some curtains, the light still seeps in round the top/edges of the blind and because the curtains are thin, they weren't doing anything to help keep this light out. With the lighter mornings/evenings coming along, I figured it was a good time to try and remedy the situation.

So, last week I bought some blackout fabric in John Lewis; I got them to cut it into two pieces while I was there to save me having to deal with a huge, single piece of fabric, and luckily the pieces weren't too far off the size for each curtain (I had added a bit to my measurements 'just in case', and simply trimmed away the excess once the fabric was stiched in place.) I then laid one of the curtains on the floor in our kitchen, laid the blackout fabric on the back and pinned it across the top of the curtain, just at the very bottom edge of the header tape. And then I USED THE SEWING MACHINE to sew a neat-ish, straight-ish line across the width of the curtain, attaching the blackout fabric to the bottom of the header tape. I toyed with the idea of stitching down each side as well, but (taking the lazy route) thought I'd see how it went with just being stitched at the top. I hung the first curtain back up and it seemed to hang perfectly well without having the extra fabric stitched at the sides - hooray! You can see in this photo what a difference the blackout lining makes - the curtain on the left is lined, the one on the right unlined. And then I repeated all of the steps with curtain number two.

The only thing is, the darned light still seeps in round the edges/tops of the curtains, although not as much as it did pre-blackout lining. Ho hum. At least I tried, and I've conquered any fear I may have had of using the sewing machine. Now, what can I stitch next?!

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