Monday, May 07, 2007

I'm Sew Done With School...

...at least for the semester. Below are photos of my final project that I made for home sewing class. I'm pretty proud of the way it turned out. But then, the instructor gave me a perfect score of 300 points. Although, she did admit that she graded everyone very generously.

Also, I felt that I got off easy because everyone else in the class made curtains...some of which employed very complicated techniques. One lady made drapes with goblet pleating and ornamental piping and tassels strung through them. Another lady made custom quality curtains with a matching reversible valance. Since I didn't need curtains--or even possess the confidence to take on such a large scale project--I figured I'd make something I do need--a reversible table runner.

The "A" side. The photos don't do this piece justice. Shiny organza fabric is rather difficult to photograph. Plus, my dining room is kind of dark.



The runner matches perfectly with the cinnabar, cobalt, shamrock, and plum Fiesta, and the amber water goblet.
The "B" Side.
Here's a few things I learned in the class:

--SAS Fabrics by the Pound only takes cash or checks...no credit or debit cards. I found this out the hard way when I showed up there with $13 and a debit card. Good thing I was able to buy what I needed for $10 and change.

--Thread multiplies. When you clip loose threads and fibers off a project and let them fall to the floor, they will to reproduce. Later, they will go into hiding whenever I bring out the vaccuum cleaner. Just like Christmas tree needles, I'll be finding miniscule sewing remnants until Halloween.

--Your good scissors will always disappear when you need them most.

--The seam ripper is your best friend.

--A 4" seam allowance is NOT too much. You can always trim it down to 5/8" later.

--There's no such thing as a quick stop at the fabric store.

--The dining room table makes a great flat area for spreading out, measuring, and cutting fabric.

--The kitchen table is too small for family dinners.

--JOANN Fabrics' 40% off coupons are worth their weight in gold.

--Siamese cats REALLY love taking naps in the middle of your project. Keep a lint roller handy!

--It takes no fewer than four tries to get a zipper installed correctly.

--I was told that thread has a limited shelf life. And in the dry Arizona climate, it has an even shorter shelf life. I'm just not exactly sure what happens to items sewn with expired thread. Will they get thread poisoning? Will I have to take the article to fabric hospital to get its fibers pumped?

--All ironing board covers are NOT created equal.

--Taffeta shows every needle and pin hole long after the pin or thread has been removed.

--There are some types of tassles, fringing, piping, and trims that cost 95 DOLLARS per yard. We found this out on a field trip to a custom curtain shop. The wonderful ladies in the sewing room even let us HOLD and TOUCH that stuff.

--The best selection of home decorating fabrics is at Fabric Depot at Cave Creek and Bell in north Phoenix. I just wish they would open a store in the northwest part of city.

2 comments:

Ces said...

This is both informative and hilarious. Where do I start? You wer able to buy fabric for less than $13.00?

Oh that baloney instructor giving you a perfect grade (you deserve it) and then dampening it with telling you she is being generous. yeah right. She could have given you 299, that's genrous. 300 is what you deserved.

I like how you matched the runner with Fiesta dishes. Of course! LOL!!!

I have the same question for clothes sewn with expired thread which now really makes me wonder if it had something to do with our seams ripping from a very slight tug when we were in the Philippines. That is why my mother always bought US-made or other imported threads. What an irony because a lot of well tailored clothes are made in the Philippines. Perhaps from imported materials.

I have never heard of a seam ripper. I have to have one!

Ditto about the scissors. Kids don't know the difference between a fabric scissors from a scrap-booking scissors or kitchen shears or my nurse's trauma scissors. They cut, that all they want.

How do you resolve the pin holes on taffeta? I guess it should not be done in the first place?

You are the Queen of Shopping and the Empress of Bargains.

Ms. Val said...

This is both informative and hilarious. Where do I start? You wer able to buy fabric for less than $13.00?

Actually, Ces, I bought 10 yards of the blue (I'm sorry...cobalt) braided piping that went around the perimeter of the runner.

Oh that baloney instructor giving you a perfect grade (you deserve it) and then dampening it with telling you she is being generous. yeah right. She could have given you 299, that's genrous. 300 is what you deserved.

Oh, my runner does have a few flaws in it. For instance, the red and gold pieces on the end are different sizes. Also, the pleating on the purple panels is uneven in spots.

I have the same question for clothes sewn with expired thread which now really makes me wonder if it had something to do with our seams ripping from a very slight tug when we were in the Philippines. That is why my mother always bought US-made or other imported threads. What an irony because a lot of well tailored clothes are made in the Philippines. Perhaps from imported materials.

I was perplexed by this as well. I still am, in fact. I have used "old" thread to sew loose buttons onto shirts and they're still in place.

I have never heard of a seam ripper. I have to have one!

Here's a picture of a seam ripper. They're less than $2 in any fabric store or the sewing machine aisle at Target. Every home should have one.

How do you resolve the pin holes on taffeta?

Most of the holes ended up being buried under another layer of fabric. But for the visible ones, I used my fingernail to manipulated the fibers into covering up the hole. It was tedious work, but worth it.

You are the Queen of Shopping and the Empress of Bargains.

It's funny that you should mention that. The red organza that I used was a 2 1/2 yard piece that I found in a remnant bin. Normally $9.99 per yard, it rung up at $5.09 for the entire piece!