Y’all, last week was frustrating one! It started with a pink living room drapery fail, followed by me catching a cold, then some sewing machine trouble, and a mystery ailment causing my dog tremendous pain that received a “best guess” diagnosis even after $650 worth of testing.
So let me start at the beginning.
My Pink Living Room Draperies
If you’ll remember, I found the perfect fabric a few weeks ago for living room draperies. It’s this gorgeous soft pink fabric…
Actually, it’s not perfect at all. The only perfect thing about it is the color. Other than that, it’s a terrible selection for draperies.
One thing I always emphasize to people who are learning to make draperies is to NEVER, ever, ever choose a garment or quilting fabric for draperies. ALWAYS, always, without exception, use actual decorator fabric when making draperies, and make sure that it’s appropriate for draperies (e.g., not an upholstery fabric).
Well, I didn’t take my own advice. This is garment fabric — a polyester blend suiting fabric with a bit of a stretch to it, to be exact. But the color was too perfect to pass up, so I bought it. To deal with the stretch of the fabric, the lady at the store suggested using a permanent adhesive spray made for fabrics that doesn’t actually stick until it’s ironed on with heat. So I purchased the fabric, along with some thin cotton drapery lining, and a couple of cans of the spray adhesive.
I spread the fabric out on my table, sprayed the entire can of adhesive spray on the fabric, placed the lining on top and spread it out perfectly so that there were no wrinkles, and then began to iron.
And I ironed. And ironed. And ironed.
One panel took me forever to iron, but I had high hopes. My hopes were dashed as soon as I finished, and tested to see how strong the adhesive was. The lining pulled right off as if there were no adhesive at all.
So then I got online, searched for, and ordered some 60-inch-wide fusible interfacing. I’m sure you’re wondering why that wasn’t my first option, and the reason is because I never could find the exact right interfacing that was 60 inches wide. Even the stuff I ended up buying had a bit of a stretch to it. I went ahead and gave it a try since the stretch in the interfacing was the opposite direction as the stretch in the fabric. (The fabric stretches lengthwise, and the interfacing stretches across the width, but is stable lengthwise.)
That arrived Thursday, so on Friday I gave it a try. It was such a pain to iron on, and one panel took me over an hour to adhere because I had to go over it so much. But it seemed to work! So I went ahead and made the first drapery panel, got it hung, and then began to notice some little puckers. They almost looked like bubbles between the fabric and the interfacing…
These are areas where the interfacing simply won’t adhere to the fabric no matter how much I iron it on, and it looks like bubbles.
Well, I can’t deal with that. Plus, I was very disappointed at how the interfacing completely changed the appearance of the fabric. I absolutely love this fabric. It’s a thick polyester blend suiting fabric, and it’s so soft and has a beautiful drape to it. It also has a brushed appearance to it, like a brushed cotton but much softer. And with the interfacing ironed on, all of those things were ruined. It no longer felt soft, and it no longer had that beautiful drape to it. It looked more like twill, and that’s definitely not the look I wanted.
So after giving it much thought, and still not willing to abandon my beautiful pink fabric, I ended up making an unlined panel, and it looks gorgeous.
It was surprisingly easy to sew. I was dreading it because of the stretch, but it’s actually quite thick (it is suiting fabric, after all), and I didn’t have any problems with it at all.
I have decided to change out the drapery hardware, but I haven’t had time yet. These acrylic rods and the brass brackets have been such an unbelievable pain, and I’m sick of dealing with them. The brackets wrap all the way around the rod (rather than rod sitting in a U-shaped area on the bracket where the rod can be easily lifted off the top of the bracket). Since I have them installed in an area where there’s wall on one side and a fireplace on the other, that means that every time I need to add or remove drapery rings, I literally have to uninstall the entire thing from the wall, slide the bracket off, add/remove rings, and the reinstall the entire thing.
I’m done. I want some curtain rods that are easier to work with. Plus, since these curtains won’t be lined, and I can’t stand the idea of having pink curtains showing from the front of my house, I’m going to replace these with double rods and hang white sheers behind the pink curtains so that the white is what shows from the front of the house. So I’m not looking forward to changing out the drapery hardware, but I’ll be so glad to be rid of these acrylic ones. I love the way they look, but they’ve been nothing but a headache for me.
A Work Table Upgrade
I made an addition to my work table that has been life changing! Okay, that may be overselling it a bit, but it’s pretty amazing.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my tables. Having so much room to spread fabric out has made projects like sewing draperies so much easier!
If you want to see how I built those, I made a video of the process here…
But what would make it perfect was a padded fabric top so that I could iron right on the table. So I headed to Joann Fabrics and bought several yards of this quilted ironing board fabric.
Actually, I don’t think I’m overstating it. It HAS been life-changing. I mean, I went from sewing draperies on the floor and having to drag them back and forth between the floor and ironing board, to now having a huge table covered in ironing board fabric so that it can all be done in one non-back-breaking spot. If it’s not life-changing, it’s pretty darn close.
Anyway, the fabric only comes in 45-inch width, so I sewed two widths together right down the middle with a standard seam, ironed the seam open on the back, and then topstitched on either side so that it would lie perfectly flat.
It’s not quite finished yet. Needless to say, I was anxious to get to the pink curtains, but I plan on cutting off the excess width so that my tape measures can be seen on either side of the table, and then binding the edge with quilt binding.
And then I bought some Velcro for the ends, so I’ll sew one part onto the ironing board fabric, and staple the other part on the underside of the table.
So when I need to use the table for sewing, I’ll just spread out the ironing board fabric and Velcro the ends in place. When I need to use the table for non-sewing projects, I can easily remove it and roll the ironing board fabric onto a tube for easy storage.
FYI, that ironing board fabric is not cheap, so I made sure I had a 50% off coupon with me. Don’t ever pay full price for stuff at Joann Fabrics!
Cooper’s Mystery Ailment
Y’all, there’s something wrong with Cooper that is causing him pain, and it’s breaking my heart. After about three hours and $650 of testing at the vet on Friday, her best guess diagnosis is that he has a pinched nerve. He had no fever, his blood work looked great, and his X-rays showed that his bones are in perfect health. She was actually shocked at how great his X-rays looked because she said that most dogs Cooper’s size (he’s 91.6 pounds) and age (she guesstimated 5 years old) begin to show signs of hip dysplasia, but he has no signs of that at all.
So his organs are fine, he doesn’t have an infection, and his bones are great. And yet, he does this randomly…
And that’s mild compared to other times that he’s done it. The first time it happened, I can only describe it as him screaming in pain. And then literally as soon as I brought him back from the vet on Friday, he jumped out of the car, and as soon as his back legs hit the ground, he started screaming for a solid 6-10 seconds. He finally just lay down in the grass, but as soon as he got up and started walking, he started doing it again for about another five seconds.
Anyway, the vet thinks he has a pinched nerve, and having experienced that myself, I know what agony it can cause. We do know it’s not a bone issue, an organ issue, or an infection. He hasn’t been bitten or scratched. *Sigh* It’s just so sad. She gave us some anti-inflammatory meds and antibiotics, but I just wish we knew for sure that he’s being treated for the right thing.