When I was in Halifax last November, I showed my mum some pieces I made recently and quickly by hand, a reversible bib with pacifier clip and scratch mitts with snap fastener. She laughed good-natured at my attempts and set about to show me, finally, how to use a sewing machine. I am so glad I am able to say that it was my mother who showed me how to sew.
Mum insisted that I buy myself a sewing machine rather than borrow one that is collecting dust, say, in my MIL’s storage room so I spied a Boxing Day sale on a Brother one at London Drugs – with a green design, to boot – and ordered it… and it sat unopened, mocking me, until June 1.
Temperatures are rising as summer approaches and I’m finding sanctuary in E’s room which is the only one with black out curtains but one quarter of the windows remained un-blacked out since our hasty solution last summer.
With practically floor-to-ceiling roller blinds in our condo, it was a headache to think of a solution to black out E’s small room. A full install of another set of blinds? Replace our blinds with some custom solution?
We went to Fabricana, a fabric store in Richmond, to scope out a solution and when chatting with a sales associate in the drapery department, she made some suggestions. Like we could string a lightweight coated wire across the window and hang up the black out fabric we were buying. I was pretty skeptical that we would end up with some ugly sagging of the fabric in the middle. Then, since I don’t believe it was my brainchild, I think she suggested using velcro to stick up the black out panels. And that is exactly what we did.
It was a quick, hack job using a stapler instead of sewing velcro to the panels (!!) and I don’t even want to think about how we are going to remove the adhesive from the rollers in the future and technically, we had blacked out (three-quarters) of the windows and certainly cooled down the room.
Meanwhile, I had envisioned trimming the black out panels with some ribbon and found a pretty, suitable wide ribbon for a reasonable price that I ordered off eBay. Which sat in its roll since last summer but I didn’t have the tools to affix it to the black out panels until I finally purchased and unboxed the sewing machine and got over my apprehension that I wouldn’t know how to use it, both my memory of the specifics of my mum’s sewing machine fading and because mine is a different model altogether.
As is now my habit to Get Stuff Done, NPY and E went to weekly dinner at MIL’s while I stayed at home and could really concentrate. Aside from not knowing how to use the machine, I was also worried that I wouldn’t be able to control the stitching and would end up with crazy, crooked lines across the 54″ and 80″+ lengths of the panel. But it wasn’t the case! I even created the angled corners I envisioned so long ago.
Fully trimmed black out blinds, finally!
While I was at it, and given I had ordered 15 yards of ribbon, I made some ties so that I could gather the blinds and hold them open. NPY was quite pleased because we hadn’t had natural light in the room for so long and it is really pleasant looking when it does come in.
So now I feel so comfortable with the sewing machine, what’s next??