Blinded by the night


Last weekend, I finally got the chance to unpack my long (thanks to weather delays)-awaited sewing machine, and oh, it fulfills all of my hopes and dreams.  It came just in time to deliver us from some very bright nights of sleep.  Between a yard full of ice, street lights, and a full moon, our bedroom was practically bright enough to read in, even with the lights out.  Enter the sewing machine and a trip to this heaven on earth.  I instagrammed some of the silks I found there, but left with a somewhat more practical piece of curtaining.  Nothing better than non-stretch, vertical stripes to get acquainted with my machine.


It wasn’t nearly complicated enough to make a tutorial, so I’ll spare you the play-by-play.  Iron, pin, hem, repeat.  I got heavy lining, which I cut to fit each panel, and sewed both layers together.  My machine was a champ, even through lots of layers (rolled hems with linings, meeting at corners).  Until.  Second panel, last hem, 48″ between me and a done project.  The bobbin thread jammed, I managed to reload it incorrectly (first time with a front-loading bobbin…), and then the needle snapped.  I still haven’t found that tip.


It’s in there somewhere….waiting.

Two overpriced curtain rods later, and our room is much improved.  The splash of color is nice during the day (you can see the reflection of our headboard in the mirror below), and the light-blocking properties are much appreciated at night.


I was pretty pleased with the results, given that I made this up as I went along.  The hidden back tabs were particularly genius, if I do say so.IMG_2119

The only thing that perplexes me is that occasionally, my bobbin thread seems to pick up grease somewhere.  You can see below what happened to my white thread.  It doesn’t happen all the time (obviously), so I’m not sure whether it’ll work itself out with time.  Any thoughts?

And now, for the big before-and-after shot.  Predictably, it’s hard to get a clear photo in a (semi-)dark room, but I think these give a pretty accurate depiction of our results.  The proof is in the pudding, though: I slept until after 8:00 on both Saturday and Sunday.Processed


7 thoughts on “Blinded by the night

  1. Sue Klejeski says:

    I’m almost positive your grease is just a temporary manufacturing thing. You can try a couple things: (1)take the bobbin out and wipe down everything you can see in the bobbin case with a q-tip, (2) do the same thing with the top if you can get to anything (it’s possible that a folded piece of scrap fabric would work better) and (3) just sew a few more yards of stitching on something you can throw away to reassure yourself before you work on that quilt that should arrive today.

    • Holly says:

      Thanks, I figured as much. In retrospect, it’s possible that I shouldn’t have started with a white project, but it doesn’t particularly bother me. Can’t wait to see the quilt top!

  2. kate says:

    Oh I’ve heard good things about that machine! Putting the bobbin in wrong has been the source of basically ALL of my sewing woes. After almost 5 years with my machine (baby is getting so old! haha) I am finally in the habit of making sure I do it right, without having to look at the manual. I often get the grease after something goes awry for whatever reason, I try to just use test fabric until it goes away, which as you can see on your curtains, is pretty quickly! But everything your mom said first. 😉

    Love your curtains btw and the headboard! We’re bedless right now (as in mattress & box spring on the floor) and I have been dreaming of a good headboard for a while…

  3. Holly says:

    Luckily, I was willing to make the curtains a sacrifice on the altar of learning, so the grease doesn’t bother me too much.

    That headboard merits its own post, but basically, it’s just two large (20″ x 30″) picture frames with no glass. Mom and I layered a sheet of foam core board, padding, and fabric, taped it around the back, and hung them on the wall. All told, it took less than an hour and was really cheap compared to a normal headboard.

    • Mary Liz says:

      Please post more about your headboard! I need to figure something out for our bed (although, since part of the bed overlaps with the window, I’ll probably have to build something more than just an easy wall hanger.) I’d love to see a better picture of how yours turned out. That shade of blue in the curtains is wonderful!

  4. Sue Klejeski says:

    I’ve made a headboard by simply cutting the shape I need from a piece of plywood, covering it with fluffy, poly batting and then using a staple gun to attach fabric, stapling it all on the back. I can’t remember if I just pushed it against a wall or made an effort to cover the mess on the back, but either can work. My guess is that we somehow attached it to the bedframe (there are all sorts of places to bolt or simply clamp it in place), but we may have just pushed the whole thing up against the wall. Plywood would work much better than pressed wood because staples actually go into it. There’s a much harder composite wood out there – it’s like the stuff peg boards are made of but without the holes. It’s typically 1/4″ thick super hard and even a serious staple gun cannot penetrate it. (Tony just looked it up and it’s appropriately called a hardboard panel.)

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