Friday, June 30, 2017

Performing One Of The Oldest Textile Arts

Sewing the seat cover.  Photo by MacG.
I knew when my friends rolled into town that I was going to have some sewing projects lined up.  Marlaina and I had been emailing and already discussed modifying her sheets to fit the bunk in her truck, and creating a new duvet cover.

What I didn't realize is that I'd be hunched over a sewing machine for days.  Like a Sri Lankan sweatshop worker.

OK, so it wasn't really that bad.  My house does have awesome air-conditioning.  And snacks.  And Diet Coke.  The Sri Lankans should be so lucky.  

The first order of the day was to take her Tempur-Pedic mattress cover and make it smaller to fit the bunk size mattress.  I had to cut it down from king size to twin and I had to recreate a zipper stop.  I've been sewing for years, but when it comes to zippers, I break into a sweat.  They're not the easiest thing but I was going to attempt it.  How bad could it be?  I wasn't too worried because really, who's going to see it?  It turned out quite well. I did a pretty good job on the zipper and the cover fits perfectly.

One project down, three to go.

The next project involved cutting the sheets to fit the bed and making a handy little foldover kind of pocket to slide over one end.  I did this to my sheets because Ed has a tendency to roll over and pull all the sheets with him.  They would always wind up untucked and bunched up underneath him when we woke.  I solved that problem with my modification and Marlaina wanted to implement my "invention".

The only concern I had with doing Marlaina's sheets is the fact that one sheet - a flat sheet in this case - costs $220.00. One sheet.  No fitted sheet, no pillow cases, nothing. Granted, we got them on sale, but that doesn't ease my mind at all because the sheet on sale, still costs $110.00.

I measured carefully, pinned precisely, and sewed slowly.  There was no room for error.  I knew, because of the nature of the fabric, that I wouldn't be able to successfully rip out the stitching if I screwed up without damaging the sheet.  I work fast, I do things without directions or instruction, and usually, I wind up with something that works as intended.  My patience during this project paid off because project number two turned out just fine.

The third project was making a duvet cover.  We needed to cover the comforter Marlaina had that belonged to her mother.  It was lightweight, filled with feathers, but old and stained from years of use.  The duvet cover they currently had was too heavy and was difficult for Marlaina to maneuver in the truck when making the bed in the small, cramped space.  She wanted a cover that complemented the airiness of the feather quilt.

We found two twin sheets (thankfully, not $200 dollar sheets!) that I was going to sew together to essentially make a big pillowcase.  I planned on putting ties inside each corner, which would secure the comforter inside, and buttons on the end to close it all up.

Sewing the three sides was the easy part.  Making buttonholes was the challenge.  I couldn't get the automatic buttonholer on my sewing machine to work so I had to eyeball it, resulting in Frankenstein buttonholes.  Let's just say they're not beautiful, but they are functional.  And, when turned under in the buttoning process, aren't even seen.  We deemed the duvet cover a raging success.  Marlaina loved it!

And the last and final project was a protective seat cover for the truck to be used when MacGyver gets in the cab wearing dirty clothes.  You never know when a spot of grease, taking the journey on the back of your work clothes, might wind up smack dab in the middle of your seat.

Photo by MacG
I used the old duvet cover for this project and even added a little monogram as a joke - K for King.

I really hope that moniker doesn't go to his head.  Because next time they visit, he'll be expecting me to sew a velvet robe with ermine trim.

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Helping Hand

2015: Mickey Is Electric!
2014: High Floor, King Bed, River View
2013: Pitchin' Melon
2012: As If The Heat, The Dust, And The Politics Weren’t Bad Enough
2011: My Office Window
2010: All The Live-long Day
2009: What Every Child Leaves Behind
2008: What Happened To Being Human?
2007: I’ve Been Everywhere, Man
2006: Gulf Shore Toe Magnets
2005: Sorry, no post on this day.

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