Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I am so handy to have around.

While on vacation, I went to visit my baby sister in her new house in a tiny, tiny town in Tennessee. Her house is really pretty! One room that they were working on was her fiance's "man room." LOL! He is a hunter, so had some hunting pics, some guns and some other stuff in there, but the curtains were a little "girly."
Sissy mentioned that she and Mom had found fabric to make curtains, but they had not been made yet. Sissy doesn't sew and Mom hadn't gotten to them yet. So, I said, "I'll make them!"

I tried to sew them on Mom's sewing machine, but it would not sew the fabric. It is hard to describe the fabric, but it is sort of like a thin ultra suede with a slick back. We thought Mom's machine was messed up, but it worked on other fabrics.

So we started brainstorming. I thought I would just take them home with me and see if they would work on my machine. I also thought I could make no-sew curtains using fusible hem tape or some such thing. But when I mentioned that Sissy was hoping to have them by Fiancee's birthday, Mom said we should "go to town" and find something to that would work.

So, we went to town. We planned to go to WalMart, since there are no longer any fabric stores there, since WalMart ran them out of business. Oh, and WalMart has since gotten rid of their fabric departments! So, if Mom wants fabric, she has to go to Memphis. But some WalMarts still have sewing notions. We went to eat first...Chinese, yummy....and when we came out, I noticed a little quilting store. Mom said it was new as it has not been there the last time they were there. So I went in. It was a cute little store that had just opened a week before. And she had just what I needed. I won't go into detail about it, unless anyone asked. But we got it home and it worked great!! I made 4 panels for 2 windows.

Here are the products of my labors:

They were done in time for Fiancee's birthday and Sissy surprised him by hanging them when he wasn't home. He called me when he saw them...I had just gotten of the plane in Houston. He just loved them. In the lower left hand corner of the second pic, you can see his new deer head. LOL! He got it from the taxidermist on Monday. He is enjoying decorating his man room.


Annie Jones said...

Nice job!

Our W-M just clearanced all their fabric; I think they were one of last holdouts. Luckily, we have a Hancock Fabric store in town, too, so if I ever dig out my sewing machine again, I'll be set.

Frances said...

We have a Hancock within a couple of miles, so I usually bought fabric there instead of WalMart, so I don't even know if ours has fabric or not.

I need to start sewing!

Anything Fits A Naked Man said...

That looks awesome! Great work!!

Don't you just HATE that WalMart doesn't carry fabric anymore?! Drives me crazy!!

Frances said...

Hi, Anything! I DO hate it for people that depended on WalMart for their fabric. It is sad to hear of WM running fabric stores in small towns out of business and then get rid of the fabric.

Stupid Walmart!

slugmama said...

Fabric just wasn't profitable enough anymore for WM. Heck, nobody sews anymore so that's why there are no fabric stores anywhere outside of the areas around NYC and LA. Use to be able to get fabric down south at the mills but since the textile industry left the US, that's not an option either. It's a horrible thing for someone like me who loves fabric and sewing(tho I haven't been doing much lately).sniff sniff

Your curtains look! 8-)
Nice job and perfect for the dead animal
So what did you use to get them sewn?...sounds like the fabric was too slippery for the feed dog. Does the machine have an adjustable height feed dog? Or did you go buy a walking foot? Curious minds.....

Frances said...

Hi, slugmama! We must have a lot of people who sew in my area. We have quite a few fabric stores in our area. I just love, love, love to go to Hancock Fabrics and just browse around.

I used to sew a LOT. From high school through college, I made everything that I wore, except for undies and socks. LOL! I even hand tailored a coat for one of my classes in college. That was a lot of work!

Then I had more money and less time so stopped sewing. Over the last several years, my sewing has been limited to baby things and home furnishing items.

The slipperness of the fabric wasn't the issue, as I was not sewing on the slippery side. I just couldn't get the needle to catch the bobbin thread correctly. We tried several different needle sizes and I had Mom make sure I had the machine threaded right, since I had not sewn on her machine in a couple of years.

We actually found something called "Steam and Seam" at a quilt shop. It lookes like fusible interfacing, but is 1/2 inch wide on a roll. It is supposed to be permanent and machine washable and dryable. It works like fusible hem tape. Place between the layers and go over it with a steam iron.

It worked perfectly.

Annie Jones said...

There are quite a few places around here to buy fabric, too. Between Hancock, Joann etc, and Hobby Lobby, most of the 'burbs have a place. Admittedly, Hobby Lobby has mostly just quilt and craft fabric. I don't know what it's like in the more rural areas.

Frances said...

Annie Jones, we have all the stores you named, so I can find fabric if I want. I feel bad for my mom who has to drive 60 miles to buy fabric. :-(

SonyaAnn said...

You are super handy in the man's room! Nice job!

McVal said...

Great curtains!
We have two WMs in town. One still has fabric but the new Super one doesn't. We still have a JoAnns fabrics, Hobby Lobby (which has fabric) and a few quilting stores around for cottons.
That suede stuff sounded interesting... I believe there is a trick to sewing that type of fabric. It has to do with the type of needle in the machine and the feed dog settings. Don't ask me how to set those!!! But I believe that's what's causing the problem.
And it's cool to find another Fringe nut! You'll like the one from last night!

Frances said...

Hi, McVal. I could have probably sewn that stuff on my sewing machine. Mom's is many years old and though is sews most fabric fine and has for years, it just wasn't sewing this stuff.

Can't wait to watch Fringe!

Diane said...

I wish someone would come make me some curtains. My sewing machine has been in the attic for two years.

Frances said...

Hi, Diane! Get that sewing machine out of the attic! Curtains are the easiest things to make. Straight seams all the way.

Pinch pleated drapes are another story. I made those once and never again. LOL!