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Bargain... never again! THE ROAD TO RETIREMENT.

Ever had a bargain that bit you on the bum?I bought some curtains in a sale and later realised they were much too short.

Then I had a brainwave, I would get some matching fabric and make new tops and cushion covers.

Everyone would be envious of my designer soft furnishings.

Onreflection this was not as easy as I first thought. I needed a partner in crime and persuaded my mate Maz to come shopping with me. Maz has measure everything within We made a day of it, trawling the shops looking for something suitable.

inch of but I'm you The material wasmuchmore expensive than the original curtains andwewere on the point of giving up probably reckless when we found the perfect match.

The sales lady demonstrated how to make eyelets in the curtain tops - measuring, folding and cutting the holes to clip on each eyelet.

It looked so easy! Just space out the rings, mark a circle in the middle of them, then cut little holes all across the top of the fabric, blast it with the steam iron, place half the eyelet underneath and bash the top one into place trapping all three layers of fabric in a neat flourish.

Oooooeeer! Maz was almost comatose scribbling down the instructions. It was daunting, even for me.

We had a very long lunch discussing our plans.

The next evening we began the project. Having to line the whole heading with buckram was a challenge, nobody told us it would stick to the fabric when we turned it the right way round and ironed it - we got creases on creases. Arrrrgh.

Maz is a very cautious person, who has to measure and pin everything within an inch of its life, but that's not for me, I am what you would probably call reckless.

Mazda shifted from foot to foot with the measuring tape dangling around her neck while I grabbed the material, muttering, 'Hmmm, that looks about right' and without a pin in sight stabbing a hole and trapping the fabric in an eyelet before she could blink (at this point she was very glad they weren't her curtains). But it wasn't all nerve-wracking, we had some fun making them, pretending to "an its life, what would to be performing an operation and shouting 'clear' every time one of us went in with the steam iron for each of the eight eyelets.

call We were amazed at the finished article.

It looked very professional but then it had to be attached to the original (short) curtain.

Unpicking the heading tape on the ready made curtain took ages and I was so hot my glasses were sliding off my nose, so we were flagging when we got to the point of sewing the two bits together.

I noticed how creased the bargain curtains were and decided they would have to be washed and ironed before hanging.

Just one problem Maz declared - the fabric for the tops was dry clean only!

Back to the drawing board and off to the laundry with the offending curtains.

Having washed and ironed the bottom pieces in readiness for our next session I'm not at all sure that they haven't faded and I'm hoping they didn't shrink.

Somehow I think my bargain is turning out to be a nightmare.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 21, 2011
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