Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Popcorn is not a meal replacement

There is a good reason for me to focus on knitting instead of sewing, if only I could remember it:

sewing takes up so very much more room!  and time.  and back strength, if what you are sewing is curtains.

The windows at the cottage are, as one would expect from a lakeside retreat, enormous... and since curtains are supposed to be generous coverings around twice the width of said windows, we're talking vast swaths of fabric.  Enough to fall over while dragging even one panel from the ironing board to the sewing machine.

Adding to my predicament, I overbought on fabric by about twice (I suspect thrice but am trying not to acknowledge that) my needs.  I remember thinking

a/ I need extra to compensate for matching the pattern at the sides and top; and

b/ I can always use the extra for a sofa slipcover.

and then, as you may recall from last week, I ended up buying a new sofa which is very comfortable as it is.

(leaving aside the fact that slipcovers are the biggest sewing time sucking machine EVER.)

And to add to the add:

I am using tablecloths.  Yep, I really thought I would be sewing the curtains in the spring at home, at leisure, and then hanging them elegantly from a small shiny stepladder without a hair out of place, and that created urgency to choose and buy fabric, and that produced a mad unrealistic view of discounted tablecloths in a nearby home store as a brilliant solution for pre-cut panels.

As a result I spent six hours (aka the time it would take me to tidily design and knit a hat) yesterday just matching the tops of what will be six panels of curtain, only to find when I want to match the sides of the four which will cover the largest of the three windows that the pattern has been printed on an angle such that the ends I worked so hard to achieve no longer match up.

Yeah.  That little jog there on the left?  That's by how much, and I somehow have to decide now where the straight line should be in spite of having no straight lines anywhere to work with.  I am gonna need all the leaves in the dining table for that job, and probably the solid deep red cotton twill I also bought too much of for a straight-edged contrast panel along the top.

Since I didn't start till about 11am and the cleanup took another couple of hours - you really don't want to take something like this on without a dedicated sewing corner at least, but I did anyway - I fueled the work with chocolate, chips, and popcorn.  So this morning I feel pretty strange and am thinking I need a better approach to adjusting, lining, and finishing these curtains that doesn't involve pitching them entirely because look:

The reversible kitchen curtains I made last week are so pretty!

and the teacups look cute! (that circle on the right is a thermometer so you can see from the sink what you're going to be dealing with when you step into the woods outside.)

Seriously, it was so fabulous to go there this past weekend and, on a break from more mouse cleanup, hang something new and crisp and bright. I super-hugely want to be able to do it again the next time I go.  There just isn't going to be time though, unless I do a better job organizationally.

I talked this problem over with Pete, who as usual made sense.

Pete: Isn't your sewing machine portable?  Why don't you just sew the curtains at the cottage?

Me: I can't.  There's no ironing board there and there's no room in the car to take one up with all the other stuff that goes every time.

Pete: Oh no.  And you can't just - buy an ironing board up there.

Me: (calculating the cost advantage such an expense would produce) Um.

The thing is, the cottage has a 'spare room' which is what normal crafty people use for sewing space, so not only could I replace my mouseproofing time - now that that part is done - with sewing time, I could leave everything out between sewing stints and not worry about silly things like

a/ needing to make a meal because the ironing board is filling the kitchen or

b/ needing to get to bed because it's midnight already because the bed is covered with curtain fabric and sewing gear and a lot of laundry I didn't get around to folding because I was sewing all day and eating popcorn.

See what I mean?  knitting is so much more compact and manageable than sewing, if you're sewing giant curtains.  I so shoulda bought ready-made curtains when I had the chance.

(but I really love this Waverly floral, and it is going to match everything so well, I'm still kinda glad I didn't.  I just hope I feel that way when it's all done, and also that my hair will not be entirely white.)

Tomorrow: pretty knitting pictures.  See you then!

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