Tuesday, August 23, 2005

continuing in my quest to be better than martha stewart

About 6 months ago, during one of the many many snowstorms of this year, I got the itch to try to sew. I've never touched a sewing machine in my life (I may have touched a needle and thread twice), but our little old house has lots of areas that would benefit from crafty sewing projects. In particular, we have a few nooks and crannies that are perfect for window seats, but because of their odd shape it was hard to find seats that fit into the space well.

I did some research and discovered that sewing machines are not cheap. They are so not cheap that there was no way I could justify buying one without ever having used one. So I scoured Craigslist and found a used sewing machine that was reasonably priced and came with all the pieces (including a manual). Voila!

On a snowy day in January, I dragged a friend who actually knew how to sew out to the Craiglist poster's house in Waltham. She showed us the sewing machine and accompaniments and upon learning that I'd never sewn before in my life, gave me a quick lesson on how to thread and turn the machine on and off. I kept sneaking looks at my friend to see if she thought it was a good deal and she just shrugged her shoulders as if to say, why not?

That weekend I played around with fabric and thread and got to work making this window seat. I even put in a zipper, which my mother-in-law says is a difficult thing to do. It turned out okay although I had several cursing episodes where I had to pull out the stitches on which I'd made mistakes. I also made a dog bed that matched our bedspread. And then I petered out.

Sewing is fun, particularly because the projects are finished so quickly, but between the painting and the gardening and the life that keeps happening, I haven't had the time to sit down and do it.

There is one spot in the house that was in dire need of a window seat, though, and that is the front window. Tango and Murray spend the majority of their days sitting in this window barking at every human, squirrel, dog and vehicle that drives by. I can't tell you the number of times we have driven up to neighbors laughing at the dogs doing their imitation of vicious animals through the window. Up until now, we have positioned a couple of couch pillows into the area and the dogs hop from the chair to the window without too much trouble. Occasionally, though, we'll drive up to see Murray prop himself against the window barking and then POOF! no more dog. You see, they and the pillows fall of the window seat quite often. Clearly, I don't want to have to pay the vets any more for their services, so we needed a new and sturdier window seat.

Ninotchka asked for a picture of my handiwork, so here you go.

Here is my newly completed pillow standing up on end. Very exciting, I know.

Here is the zipper that is rather difficult to sew in. For future reference, remind me not to buy a 12 inch zipper for a 38 inch wide pillow. It does not add to the ease of sliding the pillow in and out of the cover.

This is the finished product- see how it is an odd space? It was impossible to find a pillow that would fit correctly.

In this last picture, you can also see the newest addition to our house and the last of Josh's House Husband duties. He put in all of these new knobs!!!

Old ugly knobs... and my hand, but don't call my hand ugly, please.

New and beautiful knobs! Hurray!

The new knobs are throughout the house now, on all the built ins, and the office and kitchen paneled doors. Don't look at the chipping paint on the built-in, though, I am ignoring that part.


Stevens Avenue Congregational Church UCC said...
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Songbird said...

You're creative, you're clever, and you're not mean! You're much better than Martha Stewart!

(By the way, that other post was me, signed in as my church, of all things!)

HipMamaB said...

WOW! Thats GREAT. SO jealous!! I want to learn to sew!

jo said...

I'm ashamed to say I bought a sewing machine from a friend 5 years ago and still haven't learned how to use it. ireally need to rectify that.
Yours looks great. And I had a great laugh at the disappearing dog saga.

zeebah said...

The cushion's beautiful! And the disappearing Murray story makes me chuckle (as long as he doesn't hurt himself, of course)!

I bought a sewing machine last year, but every time I think about using it I'm paralyzed with fear. Maybe I'll try again this weekend...

Phantom Scribbler said...

I'm so impressed. I never could bring myself to buy a sweing machine, and I'm too lazy to get things tailored or specially made. So our window seat is -- sob! -- cushionless.

You are my idol!

Ninotchka said...

I am so impressed, my friend. Zippers and everything? WOW! I really do need to invest in a sewing machine and maybe even some simple lessons. I just bought more fabric today to make Elle a blanket.

Look at us getting all domestic and sh*t.



Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

I'm such a goober--I love getting new knobs for things. It's such an easy little thing to do to change how a room looks. But they can be so damn expensive! Grrr.

Chris said...

Oh the cushion turned out fabulous! And I love those glass knobs.

I love those home improvement projects that are quick and give you a sense of accomplishment.

alena said...

Hey, I have enjoyed...your blog is informative - even entertaining.

I have a halloween sites. They pretty much covers costumes and masks related stuff.

Thanks again and I'll be sure to bookmark you.