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..

21 comments:

  1. Brilliant!!

    i'm sewing-challenged myself so even *trying* this, makes you a hero in my book!!

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  2. beautiful beautiful, I LOVE wool, that fabric is divine. How clever, what will you do with the scraps? :) Just found your blog and am so glad to have done so :)

    Claire

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  3. Wow! That is amazing! (I too am sewing-challenged). I do know what you mean about covering the windows. I hung curtains this past summer for the first time in a year. I loved being able to turn around and see out without anything blocking the view.
    These are great and I sure wish I had talent like that!
    The wood frame on that window is gorgeous!

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  4. Like! I love the fabric choice. It would be hard to cover up those beautiful views so I admire your pragmatism.

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  5. Thank you all - I guess no-one enlarged the pictures then.
    I liked the frame too megg - one of the reasons I went for these blinds instead of curtains (drapes)
    Grace - with these draughts, pragmatism wins out I'm afraid.
    Claire - nice to see you here. I am goin to make a couple of Soulemama's art-on the go bags and a pencil rolls for Christmas gifts, and james made a sofa for his teddies out of some scrap wood, so he wants a matching cushion.
    It is fabulous and has that nice oily smell.

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  6. That's really lovely! I think that fabric is gorgeous, it makes me want to touch it and I bet it will keep the draughts out. That sunset photograph is stunning.

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  7. Fantastic and they will be so warm. I have to admit that the calico curtains I made for some of our windows are lovely in summer but a tad cold in winter; our bedroom just has a tartan woolen blanket hanging from two nails!

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  8. Wow, that looks amazing, well done on your prototype xxx

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  9. Stunning view from the window! I think the fabric is beautiful.

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  10. Terrific, though I think I'd prefer different cords as well. We also have lovely views and I like to be able to see out but in winter its nice to keep the warmth in and the chill out.

    Blessings Gail

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  11. THATS CLEVER HOW DO THE ROLL UP? oops typo I love the sky piccies . XXX Don

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  12. An amazing view indeed! Wow! I love your curtains though. What beautiful surroundings you live in! Enjoy your weekend!

    :)Lisa

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  13. Such a beautiful view!!! and the blinds turned out wonderfully.

    Have a wonderful weekend. xxx

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  14. As someone with a sewing maching phobia I am in awe of your achievement!

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  15. Don - it is a bit of magic really. I was amazed that it worked. There are 5 eylets - 2 on the underside of the battern at the back, and 3 at the front (if you enlarge the photo you will see. The cords are threaded through the back eyelets, down and up the front of the blind, then thread through the top eyelets, where they are tied together. Poor explanation,sorry, but it does work.

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  16. You've done such a great job. It looks wonderful. So cozy.

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  17. They look great. Love the colours and you are certainly a better seamstress than me! :)

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  18. These curtains are beautiful. Love the material and color choices! (Yeah, some how I was guided back a a year on your blog ... good thing!

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