Thursday, 30 June 2022

I've Got It Covered!

 

I mentioned last week that I was up to my eyes in sewing related activities. [1] My Embroidery machine went off for a service - Thank you, Mike, at Sew Creative. Very efficient - a rapid turnaround [I was able to drop off the machine in Dereham] The new tension unit has made all the difference[as I suspected] 
[2] There's a vintage Jones machine currently lurking in the corner. It was given to a friend, in case her teenage daughters could use it. It isn't really what they are after - so I said we'd have a look at it. It may prove to be saleable.
[3]Then there was a cover for the new Roland keyboard at chapel. I have lost count of the covers for PA/Music gear I have made over the years. But I had an oddly shaped piece of the right sort of fabric in my stash and it proved to be big enough to do the job. [and saved church funds £20]
[4] The main activity was the 8 garden furniture cushion covers which I was making for a friend. They'd originally been a darkish beige/brown, but had faded badly, and were quite stained. The seat cushion covers had zips, so M had been able to wash them, but the back cushions were sewn in, and not washable
M had obtained some great 'outdoor' fabric, in a sale, and ordered it [I'd measured up and supplied quantities] It felt good and strong, and was a pleasing grey colour. BUT - it frayed horribly when cut in one particular direction. I cut out all the pieces, then overlocked them before attempting any seams.
I needed to make 16 ties - two per cushion, for attaching to the chairs. So I cut strips and then folded them and began pressing them ready for seaming neatly. At which point I discovered that pressing the fabric was well nigh impossible. I used a cloth - I'm not daft. But on the 2-dot setting I could not get a crease. 
I turned up to 3 dots. The fabric melted and left black lines on my cloth. Then I accidentally put the iron down on a strip, and got black marks on my sole-plate! Fortunately |I had spare fabric and could replace those two strips.
But there was a lot of pinning and holding firmly as I stitched. The fabric was too thick to fold and hem the ends. I decided to seal them by holding them in a flame [my gas-powered candle lighter] That worked brilliantly and they looked neatly finished. 
All covers made, I came to put them on. I cut the stitching on the back cushions, and removed the inner wadding. It began to unfold - and I realised it was only the outer cover keeping it in shape. 
When I unzipped and removed the seat covers, things were worse. These covers were technically removable- so the inner foam and wadding was wrapped in a strange papery j-cloth type fabric. Which had totally disintegrated! Clouds of white confetti floated all over the lounge, settling on the carpet
the furniture [and our clothes, so got transported all over the property] I ended up making eight 'pillowcases' out of sheeting fabric to encase the stuffing. Eventually all the cushions were done, and every one is removable, with a hook&loop closure. 
But all that overlocking, on this hardwearing fabric completely blunted the knives on my elderly overlocker.
I could not work out which size to order [one firm I rang said 'if you send it for a full service, we will order the knives for you and fit them' - Not flippin' likely!!] 
Thank you to S Nutt Sewing  of Birmingham - who advised me [and clearly knew which machine I
had] and sent me the correct knives by return. Bob fitted them and all is well. 
The machines are all put away now - although at one point there were four of them round the dining table!
M's cushions are being collected on Saturday, and all the bits of white confetti and grey thread are vacuumed up. 







21 comments:

  1. What a nightmare, congratulations on your patience.

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  2. Phew! Well done on all that.Could be practice for The Sewing Bee! ...next year?
    (I'll sort out that courgette recipe ASAP)

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    1. No- I shall never enter the Sewing Bee! No rush with the courgettes- mine are nowhere near to pick yet

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    2. and, thankyou in anticipation for the recipe. I am enjoying Donna Leon's book btw.

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  3. My Mum (91 and still sitting at her sewing machine making chair covers for my sister as we speak!) stopped doing alterations and repairs for neighbours when it was clear they neither had a clue of the amount of work involved nor very appreciative when she had to put the slog in like you just have - (no renumeration offered from most of them either which I thought a bit of a cheek!). Looks like you did a really great job on those seat covers. Sewing Bee final was predictable. I'm going to see Esme at a little local festival where she's giving a talk on her latest book (which I'll order from the library!).

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    1. My friend is very appreciative, which is good. But you are right, some people have no understanding of the time and effort required.

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  4. That was certainly a nightmarish project and you probably deserve a medal for accomplishing it!

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  5. I've always admired your various sewing skills and your bravery in attempting new sewing challenges. Ap applause and well done on the chair cushions!

    Hugs!

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  6. My goodness! You have been busy with sewing related activities! Re-covering those cushions must have been quite a challenge! You are a good friend to take on that job, Angela.

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    1. The main problem now we're yin a much smaller property is that I take over the dining table. Fortunately the good weather meant we could eat all our meals in the garden or summerhouse this week!

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  7. That sounds more like a battle than a leisurely and ladylike afternoon sewing, but you won!

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  8. Ugh! What a job! Congratulations for seeing it through to the end!

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  9. Oh my!!! That cushion-related activity sounded very frustrating!!! I'm glad you managed to succeed!!!

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  10. My word! You were not kidding when you said you were up to your eyes in a sewing project.
    It's wonderful that you persevered through it, many would have given up in frustration!

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    1. Now it is completed I feel pleased with the results

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