Friday, April 29, 2011


The material was really wrinkled, so Mom asked me to move the ironing board from the guest room closet to her room. I ironed while she put thread in the bobbin on her sewing machine and then (after it was ironed), started sewing the bottom piece of 4 sections together. We talked while we worked. Mom had me pin the various pieces of material together. Said I did a really good job. Pinning I can do. Sewing with a machine, not so much. Oddly, I don’t mind mending with a needle and thread, but Mom doesn’t care for mending at all.
Mom sewed material together with one seam, then sewed another seam by that one (double-seam so it could be pulled) and then she sewed a zigzag over the ends of the seam, so the material wouldn’t unravel. There were basically 4 panels that were sewed together.
The pieces weren’t identical, so to make sure the green screen would hang properly, I had to even them out. We did this as we sewed everything together. A few times, I had to pull a thread and then cut along where the thread was to make sure it was a true line. To pull a thread, you make a tiny cut in the fabric, then find one of the threads, and start pulling it. As you pull, the material along the thread pulls up too, and you have to push it back down. The thread often breaks, so you have to find the end of the thread, or pull on a thread near it. The area where the thread was feels different, and is a little lighter. Eventually, you can’t pull more thread, and have to cut as far down as you can, until you get to where the little line stops. Then find another thread, and start pulling again. Mom said pulling a thread is hard.
Grandma made a tablecloth where she pulled a thread a few inches in from each side, but she didn’t cut the cloth, and had to keep finding and pulling the same thread. The table cloth was white. Where she’d removed the thread, she wove a red piece of thread in and out of the line. Looks amazing, but you couldn’t pay me enough to do something that hard and tedious. Blech! Grandma was amazing.
At one point, to make sure sections were even, we folded, pulled and flattened out all the wrinkles, then pinned one over the top of another, and used the top one for the “pattern” so they would all be the same side (one end was cut unevenly by the manufacturer - pain in the ass to fix, but it had to be done).
On one end of the green screen , we created a loop-pocket, so you can put a pipe or something in it, and hang the screen. Mom showed me how to use a ruler to make sure the length was correct, and pin it, but I couldn’t keep it straight, so she took over and measured differently while I pulled a thread on the other side.
For some reason (probably the shorter length) I could measure and pin an inch, to create a rolled hem that Mom sewed.
As the pieces were sewed together, and the screen got bigger, I helped wrangle the mass of material, so Mom was free to concentrate on sewing. Sped things up quite a bit.
Still took us 7 hours of working steadily together to get it done.

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