Thursday, November 18, 2010
The first cut..
With views like this out of our windows, it is so tempting to leave them uncovered. As I write this,however, I am being accompanied by the sound of Gale Force 8, which has caused the ferry - "lifeline" of these islands, to remain tied up on the mainland, where it has been since Monday night. Gales are a fact of life here in Winter, so expanses of bare glass are not really an option.
So, I had the idea to make Swedish, or roll-up blinds in Harris Tweed - very cosy and insulating, and I can roll them up out of the way and enjoy the views during the day. Off I headed to the cutting room of the mill in Shawbost, where you can buy the the most beautiful fabric in a rainbow of colours . Never having attempted such a project before, I decided to start with the small south facing window in James's bedroom. We chose a sunny yellow and sky blue combination. The colours of Harris Tweed are inspired from the landscape, and this reminds us of Summer beach days - golden sand and clear blue sea.
Making that first cut is rather daunting. I am really not a very accomplished seamstress after all and I must have measured more than a dozen times. Once the pieces were cut out - one for the front of the blind and one for the back, I then sewed a long bag.
In the bottom of the bag, I inserted a piece of 1cm (3/8") dowelling - enclosing that with the zip foot of my sewing machine. A strip of velcro along the top, with the hook side attached to a piece of batten, and we fixed it to the window frame with 2 angle brackets.
With the cords in place ( attached to eyelets on the underside of the batten and to the front of the blind) - it works! I am always surprised and delighted when these things work out.
A reasonably successful prototype then. What do you think? Maybe it could be a tad wider at the top, and the seams aren't very straight, and I think I will make matching ties, rather than using plain blind cord, but they do go up and down very nicely. So then, full steam ahead for the rest of the windows - unlike the poor ferry - I do hope it gets underway soon..