The end of the construction work has been akin to the momentary bliss of living “happily ever after.” The brief sigh of relief that it was over and the noise and dust would end turned into the sense of panic that I was seriously behind (yet again) in sending in completed work, and more tasks were heaped on my never-ending To-Do list.
The first rude awakening was the realization that my new windows were sufficiently bigger than the old ones so that my old blinds and window shades no longer fit. Yes, I was planning on new blinds, but not right now. Before I can devote any more money to decorating or repairs, I have to get through tax time in April and June, a couple of health insurance payments, and grand jury duty. I expect the summons in April or May, and if I’m impaneled, I’ll make a whopping $40 per day and $0 from my regular work, which will have to be done on weekends if I have a prayer of meeting the book’s deadline.
The naked window problem needed a quick and dirty solution. Ed suggested that I look in at least one of my 9 tubs of fabric to see if I couldn’t find something to use for temporary curtains to shield inquiring eyes from our bathroom and bedroom. And so I’m in the midst of a reverse Scarlett O’Hara. That is, instead of making a dress out of curtains, I found fabric that I guess was purchased for dresses and using it for the curtains.
One fabric tub contained the ugliest of my mother’s fabric—fabric that I had earmarked to give away, but as yet had no time or energy to do so. I was not disappointed when I checked the contents of that tub. The fabric it contained was truly horrendous, but good enough to cover our windows for a few months until I can have workers come in and finish the wooden interiors and measure for blinds. I have absolutely no regrets in cutting this fabric into curtain-sized panels and finishing off the edges. There’s no chance I’d ever wear any of it. (In fact, when we finally take the curtains down after blinds are installed, I may use it in the garden as shade cloth to shield my summer lettuce.)
I could not believe that my mother still had Dacron. There was a point in our sewing lives when we believed the “wash-and-wear” hype and thought that just hanging something to dry would eliminate the need for ironing. I’d guess that this was circa 1955, before we actually made anything out of the stuff and learned for ourselves that a blouse or dress in a synthetic made you feel as if you were encased in a plastic bag. So I’m now the proud owner of Dacron bedroom curtains
and Dacron bathroom curtains (my bathroom is really off white).
You may notice that the bathroom curtains lack a hem. At the point where I thought it would be cool to try a blind hem with my new machine, things started to go seriously awry with the tension. So I decided that it was time to get my how-to-use-your-new-machine lesson, and I headed off to the Pfaff store a week ago. There’s nothing wrong with the machine—I threaded it in a way that caused a problem with the top thread tension. I learned to use all its attachments and feet in the two-hour, hands-on lesson, and I now feel as if I’m ready for more creative things (steeking Sirdal will be high on the list). But Will’s room still lacks curtains, and that’s what is on tap for this weekend. This fabric, which is also some sort of synthetic, will grace his room.
I don't think horrendous is too strong a word.
I had thought that my mother had better taste in fabric than she did, but there is a lot of funky stuff that I’ll have to go through as I follow up the curtains with a massive cleanup. Should anyone like to make a 60’s style polyester Nehru jacket, I have just the thing: