Saturday, June 16, 2012

Week 24 or The Broken Shade

The cord went on the roller shade in my bedroom last week. After sleeping with the light coming in the window for 4 days, I put up another roller shade. The kind that goes "fwap fwap fwap" when you pull it down really far and let 'er rip! Very bachelor pad, but it works for us.

The old shade was a nice thick fabric, a bit off-white with age, but no rips or major stains. Luckily I saw the potential in it before it made it to the trash barrel. I also found washing instructions when I unrolled it all the way. As it turns out, you can disassemble the whole shade, launder the fabric, wipe down the plastic and put it all back together. You just can't replace the cord. Well, I suppose I could have, but I'd been looking for an opportunity to get rid of that shade since shortly after we moved in.

I made one small, lunch size bag. Which I don't have too much use for, but I'm sure my younger daughter will find some stuffed animals or toys to tote around in it. (So I thought, but it's just the right size and sturdy enough to hold a ream of resumes, a bottle of soda and a banana.) I was going to incorporate the flat plastic pull bar from the bottom as a handle. It turned out I'd need to redo the hem that was already there, so I just sewed on a plain handle.

It looks narrow, but that's only
because the bottom is nearly square.
After making such a small bag, I had lots of fabric left over. I have a large tote with my husband's company logo on it. It's quite serviceable as a swim bag, but it's cotton canvas and if you set it on a wet pool deck, everything inside gets soaked and the bag takes for... ever to dry. I'd been mulling over the idea of making a replacement out of the laminated cotton I bought with the intention of making lots of reusable snack and sandwich bags. I couldn't find it when I had the inspiration, and now I had this thick, plasticy shade material which would do just perfectly. Except that it's off-white and our beaches are definitely tinged with black from the coal-fired power plant in town. Whatever.
The bottom section is tucked into the side seam.
Note the W shape.

The fabric goes from top edge to top edge, with no seam on the bottom to let in water. The box bottom is made by just tucking in the bottom section and sewing the sides straight down. It gives an odd sort of triangle, but it's very efficient. I've seen it on a couple of nice-ish bags, presumably because it's really easy to make the triangles the same size and it doesn't add another step to the construction. It's genius whether you're a Chinese sweat shop or a harried seamstress at home. You fold the fabric into a "W"shape along the side seams. The top of the W is the top opening of the bag. The bottom is the bottom edge. The inner peak is the center of the bottom. The height of the inner peak is half the depth (front to back) of the bag. By varying the total height, the peak height and their relationship, you vary the height and depth of the bag.

Not much of a tutorial, but I made the bag and there's still something to look forward to.

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