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Friday, 27 January 2012

Realistic Sewing Project: Shorten Drapes

Ah, my bedroom drapes. I remember when I first put them up how pleased I was that they were a bit long and therefore "pooled" on the floor, just like in the homes in the design magazines.

Why I will never have silk drapes, so long as there are cats
Apparently none of these homes has cats.

A few years later the crib came to rest in our room. This required placing our bed against the window wall. Now my pooling drapes were subject to the ignominy of being tied into a knot so that they wouldn't lie, resplendent-like, across my partner's face as he slept.

The bigger issue for me was that in their knotted state the drapes wouldn't close. And while I like to think of myself as a sharing kind of person, the neighbours started to drop subtle hints that they weren't enjoying the view.

In shortening the drapes, I figured, both the issues of appearance and length would be addressed. On the night that I chose to undertake this task, my pre-schooler was sick with a virus and planted in my bed with a video, and my under-one was protesting his being dumped in his highchair to watch mummy in action. (Our two toddlers were on their way home from the grandparents'.)

Baby helping mummy with the measuring tape
Knowing that my sewing session was under threat of interruption at any second, I quickly measured the new length with my measuring tape while holding the drape with both hands and marked it with a pin. No time for laying it out on the sewing board! I folded the panel in half lengthwise, grabbed the scissors and, with a prayer heavenward, cut what I hoped was a reasonably straight line.

Having already committed several cardinal sins against the art of sewing, I jumped recklessly to the foot peddle and began stitching, making the fold and turning under the hem as the needle punctured the fabric. By this time, the baby was mewling at a constant rate, and the four-year-old calling at 30 second intervals for me to come upstairs. I felt the pressure of a sprinter dashing to the finish line with moaning, squealing ghouls nipping at my heels.

Big fold of fabric? No problem, it's on the back side!
In my mad haste, the otherwise-forgiving loose-weave fabric did not lie flat as it went through the machine. By the time I got close to the end, the hem was sufficiently askew that there was significantly more length left for the top layer than for the bottom. I was faced with the choice of either ripping out the seam I had just made and trying again, or "absorbing" the excess and artificially forcing the top and bottom to end evenly. As I'm sure you've already deduced, I chose option 2, wadded up the extra length and sewed right over it.  

The task finally completed, I yelled towards the second floor to just wait I'm almost done, and picked up my bawling tot. The second panel would have to wait for another golden opportunity.

The finished product, back in place. Not too bad, eh?


  1. The drapes hang very well!!! It is very difficult to sew when the children are awake. My sewing is generally limited to the wee hours which has it's own ramifications on my eyes!!

    1. I've been trying to lure the sewing fairies, myself. :)


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