Thursday, September 7, 2017

New sewing room, again

Yup, this is it:
A retro child’s desk probably from a one room school house somewhere in France. The piece is too big for me to move to another room, no place for it anyway. It will not fit through the doorways and it is super heavy, so I decided to see if I could use it.

As it is built it is too low to the ground and my knees barely make it under the shelf originally built to store books below the table top. Down in the parking garage that belongs to the apartment were a couple of pieces of wood. They were perfect to put under the desk lifting it high enough to make it comfortable for an adult to sit and sew. The distance from the desk top is perfect and I can’t move the seat back so it keeps me where I am supposed to be to sew. I can move the machine so that I get it just where it needs to be.

Now that I have picked up my machine from a friend here in town, and with my few sewing supplies, as the shipment has not arrived yet that has the bulk of my sewing supplies:
 I can sew!

Last weekend, in Paris, at a flea market, I found a vintage sheet. The sheet size is approximately the size for a single bed and has the initials GB:
Now I am not an expert at embroidery but I do know quality. The maker of this sheet was of average skill. It is not as beautiful as some that I own or have seen. The faggotting fancy edge is twisted and not straight. This sheet was a perfect candidate to make some American style pillow cases.  The middle initials will be nice to use on a couch pillow project I would like to do in the future.

A standard American pillow measures 20 x 26 inches. So a standard pillow case should be around 23 x 31 inches. Because of the design  I needed to get it off the main head used area to eliminate the possibility of leaving a face imprint in the morning, I increased the length by a few inches. Using my trusty Ikea paper ruler I cut it out. My good rulers are in the shipment box. For old linens like this it is not possible to pull a thread to get a straight of grain line as the threads fused together long ago. It barely frays when cut as well.

I took care to match the hem width and then sewed it with my favorite foot:
I love the hemming foot. For a Bernina it is the #10 foot. You become a professional without even trying.

Because I wanted to keep the center initials and due to the small size of the sheet, the pillow case was cut long and narrow. That left the center embroidery intact with lots of fabric around it for what ever it becomes later. It also meant that I had to sew the two side seams. For that I had added an extra inch to my side seam allowance so that I could make a French seam on both sides. The tricky bit was where to cut through the faggotting to make for a nice side seam. For a French seam I like my pintuck foot. After the first seam is sewn on the right side and trimmed, it is turned inside out and pressed so that there is a crisp crease at the sewing line. The Pintuck foot is then used to guide your sewing so again you look like a professional without even trying:
Turning it right side out and giving it a quick press and voilà, J'ai fini! 
What is really fun is that due to taking the design from the two sides of the sheet, the  pillowcases are mirror images of each other. For the picture I folded them in half so that the design was the only part showing. Where the design is is now perfect for showing them off on a bed. Now all I need are the American feather pillows that are in the shipment, that is not here yet.


  1. Very nice planning and result! It's so interesting to see how attachments are used.