Saturday, 26 February 2011

Piping, selvedges, staple guns and spelling

Well, Gentle Readers, it's a bit depressing that the new blogging schedule of every other day, or thereabouts, has well and truly fallen into the bin since Upholstery School started.  I have spent the last two Tuesdays & Wednesdays socialising, and then by the time Saturday & Sunday roll around, I've either got things on, or I'm too tired.  Last Saturday we had a lunch, then a 50th Birthday to go to, and by the time we got home (admittedly it was only 8.00pm), I fell down in front of the TV, watched three episodes of Battlestar Galactica then crawled into bed at midnight.  Do you think I could face writing a blog post on Sunday?  Nope.

This week wasn't much better.  Tuesday I went with Mr Golightly to the bank, and Wednesday I had lunch with my lovely MIL, then went up to see My Best Friend and helped Miss Nelly with her spelling.  I think it's pretty impressive that an 11yo knows how to spell 'expeditiously', don't you?  Also, 'belligerence', 'narcissistic' and 'kaleidoscope'.  I couldn't get that one right!  She did have a bit of trouble with 'crevice', but I gave her the trick - it's just like 'de-vice', but with a 'cr' at the front.  Easy.

Upholstery school continues to make me grin like a loon - yesterday I had to go to the storeroom to get the right colour thread to sew my piping onto my chair front, and I was smiling at the thought of what I was going to do next.  This makes me so happy, I feel like I've fallen into something I was always meant to do.  I'm not a fatalist, or anything, I've always solidly believed you are purely responsible for your own life, but this just feels so right.  

Anyway, this week we:

... finished our footstools.  I had to use fabric from the school storeroom, having completely forgotten to take my Joel Dewberry with me.  D'oh.. but I found a nice sapphire blue chenille-y type fabric in the fabric store.  

All they need now is feet.  I'm going up to the local hardware megastore today to find something a bit nicer than the plastic monstrosities offered by School (for free, to be fair) - if I'm going to have this thing in my house, I want nice feet. .

... drew up what's called a Cover Plan, in Upholstery-speak, but what the sewers amongst you would recognise as a cutting layout.  It's done in 1:10 scale, but with the actual measurements written on the pattern pieces.  The fabric width is also written on the Cover Plan.  They don't assume that fabric is all the same width, of course, because it isn't.  

... found fabric in the storeroom I could live with for this child's chair - this one is the one I'm not keeping - the fabric I ordered for MGF Kaz hasn't arrived yet, but as we get to make another chair, I will use the good fabric for that one.  

This fabric is woven, it's sort of browny-orange, with a green leaf & yellow dots, which sounds foul, but it isn't really.  It's just not what most people would have chosen for a child's chair:

but you know what?  Because it has such a distinctive repeat pattern, cutting it out straight is easy.  You just pick the spot, such as the every top row of the little yellow dit, and cut along the line, making sure you get each of the yellow dits.  

... cut it all out, and then we got to make piping.  Easy for those of us who've done it before (I made an eight-gore skirt once with each gore piped... what was I thinking?, and then there was Mr Golightly's bean bag... ), a bit more trying for people who've never done it.  I must say, though, that the people who were struggling with the sewing machines found the piping easier to make than they'd expected, probably because they had the discipline of following a line.

... Got to attach the piping to our OB (that's upholstery-talk for 'Outside back', or, the back of the chair :-)), just along the top, then it's secret squirrel until next week, when we will learn how to attach the back to the frame.  I've always wondered how that was done, now I get to find out!!

In other news of interest, the Head Teacher was quite interested in the concept of using a Rotary Cutter and quilting ruler to cut out - they currently use scissors, and blackboard chalk to mark it up - because it doesn't leave a mark, unlike tailor's chalk, which is almost impossible to get off, apparently - so I'm taking in a cutting board, centimetre ruler and rotary cutter for them to look at.

Madam Late turned up at 9.10 on Thursday, but managed 8.30am on Friday.  She's so far behind (in week two!) she's already having to take catch-up classes.  Ah dear.

And finally, I promised MGF Kaz I would post this picture & brag a little about it:

My lovely Ma and I made this whilst I was in Perth in early February; lots of the fabrics were donated by ladies from the Parkerville Craft Group and Good Works Society, and I did the piecing.  The creative genius, though, with the large cowboy and his lasso, came from my lovely Ma - she photocopied and enlarged the material, then cut out individual pieces for the fence, hat, scarf, pants, shirt, face, hands and feet, then raw-edge appliqued it together - genius.  

You may remember the fabric from 2009, when I made toy bags for Kerry, the beautician. Mum just substituted the lasso for the gun & bingo!  Bob's your uncle.  Or somebody is!

And now, Gentle Readers, I have to go & do... stuff.  Actually, I'm thinking about a nap.  Yesterday was a busy busy day, and I'm up, but not dressed, so I'm thinking... why not?  Ciao!

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