A Little Privacy

Six months ago (or more), I bought some sheer white fabric to make curtains for our front windows. All we had for curtains were some terrible blackout shades from who-knows-how-long-ago that came with the house. You know, just an opaque plastic sheet that rolls down and springs back up, like the screen for an overhead projector. While I suppose these provide for privacy, they are ugly and block out all the sunlight, so we don’t use them. This means that the whole neighborhood can tell what we’re wearing (or not wearing), and whether we’re watching tv or eating dinner or renovating our house without a permit. We even won a game of privacy chicken against the apartment across the street; those guys kept their blinds open when they first moved in, but not anymore!

So yeah, I bought some fabric to make curtains and decided to embrace my domesticity. I was planning to utilize the late-1800s model Singer sewing machine I inherited from my great aunt, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to thread the thing. Or how to use it at all, really, since I don’t have any homemaker skills to speak of. So I started hand-sewing and now, six months later, I was finished with one half of one curtain. By this point, I was completely discouraged and had given up my hopes of becoming crafty.

Then I heard about this guy who was arrested for indecent exposure after a neighbor saw him through the window. That’s all Aaron or I need, a criminal record. So over the weekend, Aaron’s mom kindly showed me how to use her sewing machine, plus some other handy sewing tricks (a standard hem is 1/4″ fold followed by 5/8″ fold! You don’t need to pin if you iron your hems! And if you cut through the salvage edge, you can rip the fabric in a straight line, no precise cutting required! Who knew?!) In one quick afternoon, the curtains are finished, and the stitches are even and, for the most part, straight. This has re-inspired me to figure out the Singer and make some fancier curtains, or maybe even a slip cover for the couch. Anybody have an owner’s manual for a late-1800s Singer sewing machine I could borrow?

It *almost* looks like real people live here!

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