Monday, 23 February 2015

A complete disaaaaaster

I'm sure you all realise that not everything works out as planned with sewing projects, as with anything else.  Well, let me tell you that that was definitely the case for me last weekend (not the one just gone - I had to wait a week to blog about it as I was too worked up and upset by it all!).

My curtain-making had been on hold for almost a fortnight thanks to a late delivery of an online order for extra header tape, so I was already frustrated and behind on things.  DH kindly went to John Lewis late night shopping on his way home one evening to get me some more so that I could carry on properly the following day - but they'd run out of stock!  So I went into town myself on Friday morning to track it down elsewhere - and finally got it at the third shop after a 'magical mystery tour' of the West End.  And when I got home, there was the online order waiting patiently on the doormat!

So, Friday afternoon was spent putting all three layers of the HUGE curtain together - pinning, tacking, sewing side seams, hemming ...  Saturday afternoon was more of the same followed by pinning the sections for the pinch pleats (my least favourite part of the process).  I hadn't been happy with how the pleats had turned out in the first curtain (currently hanging at our bedroom window), so I'd decided to try to use the fabric pattern when planning the pleats on the second one.  However, the pattern had other ideas.  So at supper time, I'd had enough and was feeling pretty miserable and frustrated - and gave up.

Sunday afternoon, despite feeling groggy and headachey, I persevered.  If it was the last thing I was going to do, I was going to get BOTH curtains up by the end of the day!  I decided I was asking too much of myself to get the pleats to work with the pattern.  This was only my second attempt at pinch pleats and my first with patterned fabric, after all.  So, how many pleats did I want - 9 on the first curtain weren't enough and it was all a bit baggy.  So I did some maths for 10, 11 or 12 pleats and decided I'd give 12 a go.  All pinned, I marked the sewing line on my machine to help keep things straight and away I went.  Hooray - 12 pleats ready to pinch!

DH was out for the afternoon, so I waited to hang it once he got back.  And all was looking pretty good .... until we drew them closed ... or not as it turned out.  The second curtain wasn't wide enough to cover the whole window!!!!   AAAAAAAAAAAAARRGH!  And it was puckering at the bottom, so there I was tugging gently as the leading edge .....  when I realised that the leading edge WASN'T MEANT TO BE THE LEADING EDGE.  Not only wasn't it wide enough - I'd pleated the bottom (ie it was also upside down!).

After a couple of tears for frustration (understatement), I decided that the sooner I unpicked the whole thing, the quicker I'd get onto resewing it.

Isn't it weird - it had taken me a number of afternoons to get the blasted curtain put together, but it only took me about an hour to unpick it completely.

And then it hit me - the pattern wasn't going to match across the window!  Somehow, the second curtain had been cut out about 3 inches lower down the pattern than the first so the only way that I'll get the pattern to match across the window is to unpick the curtain that is already hanging as well!!!!

Please, will someone pass me the valium?!  NOW!!!

Monday, 16 February 2015

From Bedroom to Zenana*

After we moved into our house, we were ridiculously organised and went fabric hunting for our kitchen, bedroom and living room curtains WAY before there was any hope (or money and time) to make them.  At least we managed to save up and make the kitchen blinds, and after a considerable amount of huffing and puffing the living and dining rooms also have curtains.  So it is finally the turn of our bedroom.

When we were initially having work done on the house, there was so much to think of that I couldn't face deciding on specific colour schemes until we knew what would go where (we didn't move in until the work was done).  As a result the house is mainly painted cream with white woodwork.  Excellent as a base, but not much help when you're trying to decide on a colour scheme!

We were given a deep purple throw and coordinating cushion with allium on it as a wedding present and we used them in our bedroom on and off for a while, but for some reason, DH wasn't all that enthusiastic about having lilac/purple as the colour scheme for our bedroom.

We were wandering rather aimlessly through the fabric department of John Lewis trying to find something we both liked when DH found an Osborne & Little fabric that gave us an idea.  We had two problems with the fabric in question - a) we couldn't afford it and b) even if we could afford it, neither of us can stand George Osborne who is part of the O&L family!  BUT it did inspire us.

We went to India on our honeymoon and loved Jaipur and the Moghul stamp (aka paisley) and I had a kameez made while we were there out of local hand-blocked silk with the paisley pattern on it.  So, clever DH suggested we use India/our honeymoon/paisley as our theme.

As usual (see Curtain up), I was trawling the web for fabrics that fitted the bill and found the Harlequin Lalika collection and fell in love with the Azara fabric in particular.  We ordered samples of all colours and narrowed it down to either red or blue and despite being torn, we've decided to go for the blue.

In 2013 we spent a lovely relaxing week in Turkey and brought some nice souvenirs back with us to adorn our home.  Along with two Kilim rugs for the hallway, we bought two lovely ceramic plaques/plates in the Iznik style and a lovely lamp for our bedroom (that had a bit of an adventure getting to Britain - but that is another story).  So, our bedroom has become more of an Islamic art theme than just Indian now, but so far we're loving the change.

* Not sure DH would be all that pleased, but this is the definition of Zenana, but ironically I'm a baptist too, so it is quite apt.

Monday, 9 February 2015

New year's sewing resolutions

As ever, with the new year, new leaves are turned over, fresh starts are made, blah-di-blah.....

Well, that is all good and well if you've finished everything off before the new year starts! Unfortunately, I didn't.  So my new year is starting by trying to finish off last year's UFOs.  There are two that I'm concentrating on - one for the evenings vegging in front of the TV fire and the other for the weekends so I've more time to give to it.

My 'evening' UFO is my snowdrop sampler (see Commissions - updates) and the end is now in sight.

The 'weekend' UFO is our bedroom curtains.  One is up (goodness knows what people across the road make of our 'odd socks' look at the moment), the other is in three parts awaiting 'construction'.

Maybe after that I can start to look at new new year projects.  Or maybe not - sad face.  I'm loath to list what I'd like to make this year as the list I drafted last January has very little crossed off it now.  Last year was a bit of a toughie though with lots of family stuff going on, and now that we're getting settled into the new situation this year may be more creative/productive.

However, our next project is to clear my sewing room - very sad face.  I'm sad to have to pack it up and move after waiting so long to get it, but there is a good reason (more of which will be revealed eventually).  But I'm going to try and 'decamp' rather than 'pack up' by moving my stuff to the laundry room.  It will be cosy there, so some will probably have to go in the attic, but there is quite a bit of storage there that hasn't been used efficiently and the ironing kit is already there, after all.  Hopefully the non-sewing/craft stuff will find a new home in other parts of the house too (enter DF with his DIY knowledge and toolbag!).

The trouble is, with sorting through the stuff in the sewing room, I'm coming across fabrics and garments that are giving me ideas and I know that I just won't find the time to bring those projects to fruition.  Oh well, at least Great British Sewing Bee has restarted to cheer us all up and get us dreaming ;-D