Havoc at Home: Sewing is for the Birds
So when we bought Brooks, he was rocking the 80's typical camper fabric of maroon, dark green and some awesome floral pattern. While it was lovely in it's own right, it was the bane of my existence. I don't sew. I mean, I can work the sewing machine and create a finished, sewn line. But in general, the cutting, measuring, pinning, ironing, and putting it all together is the part that gets me. Geometry was never a strength of mine. I'm pretty sure I copied off everyone else's papers and scraped by with a low B.
So the thought of SEWING curtains and bench covers for Brooks was not appealing. I asked around to some friends. No one had time. I looked online at having it done, but honestly, the thought of spending $400 to get it done was out of my budget. To be honest, I didn't even have a budget. So I just pinned instead. Late into the night pinning away... not curtains mind you, but blog posts of people who did it themselves! And I got so deliriously tired that I woke up on a Saturday morning and decided to go for it.
I woke Tom up and told him I was heading to the thrift store. I was determined to only buy things I could repurpose and that it all had to center around bright, bold, rainbow colors. And unicorns. Turns out you can find a lot of curtains, sheets and shower curtains in rainbow colors and patterns. Unicorns, not so much. I brought it all home and laid out my finds. Tom says, "Well isn't that... bright!" Which means he is putting up with me.
I pull out the sewing machine and dust it off. The kids coming running at that new exciting sound! Ben says,"Wow. Do you even know how to use that?" Sigh. I took 7th grade Home Economics and my mom could sew. What else do I need to know?!
And so it begins. I figure I will just copy everything that is already there. Not to bad! Tom agrees to take the kids grocery shopping so I can have some quiet time to map out all the sewing and get it done. I figure a few hours is all it should take. I make sure someone finds the iron before they leave, because that never gets used either. A quick run to JoAnn's for some regular old white thread and I'm off!
Let's just say it was a slow process. At 10pm that night I proudly show off my very first completed curtain. I mean, I was PROUD. The sewing wasn't perfect, but it was a curtain! It would HANG! I hold it up to Tom and he says...
"Is that the first one you finished?"
I reply, happily...
He shakes his head and says...
"Oh honey. Just pay someone the money to do it for you."
Crushing blow, people. I tell him that I am determined. I can do it! And off I go back to sewing. And cutting. And pinning. I decide that if I can tackle those curtains, then a bench should be easy. Tom agrees to help with the staple gun so that I don't have to be trusted with a dangerous object. And with the two of us we recover the benches with shower curtains. It is also possible that I took the shower curtain from the kids bathroom. I mean, it WAS the perfect color. And they weren't appreciating it! Zach wasn't very happy and was careful to point out that the curtain looked better in the bathroom than on my benches. Whatever, man. Who asked you!?!
There was one cushion that could not be recovered with staples. It had no plywood and adding plywood would have messed with how it layed on the bed. I figured I would sew it up and then tie off the end with a bow. It took a lot longer to do than I expected, but I think it turned out so cute. And it wasn't too hard to do.
As of 20 minutes ago, I finished the last of the sewing. It is now Tuesday at noon. It might have taken a little longer than I planned and really, I should totally be at work. But I am DANG proud. I recovered 6 bench cushions, including the one that had to be sewn. I sewed 4 curtains with netting tops for the beds, 2 long valances with long sides to cover gaps in the bed curtains, and 4 long window curtains. In a (long) weekend.
So for the final budget breakdown:
2 curtains for long bench: $4.50
Shower curtain from bathroom: FREE
Shower curtain for dinner benches: $1.99
Sheet from closet for bed curtains: FREE
Curtains (cut and sewn to different size) for side windows: $3.99
Curtains for sides of bed: $1.90
Table cloth for valance: $1.91
Firetruck purchased to keep toddler happy during shopping trips to thrift store: $4.84
Total spent on Remodel without Fire Truck: $18.37
Total spent with Fire Truck: $23.21
Things I learned along the way...
1. Plan how long it will take you... then times by 4.
2. Cutting long threads from sewing stinks and takes the longest.
3. Don't let the toddler sit behind the sewing machine with scissors. He will continually cut the thread to the sewing machine and you will spend an hour trying to trouble shoot your sewing machine problem. It will turn out to only be a supervision problem.
4. Rainbows are plentiful. Unicorns are not.
5. Fire Trucks are really expensive. Who knew?