Working In the Dark.....
I am sure that most of you, Dear Readers, can relate to my current dilemma when it comes to dollhouse decor, that it is nearly impossible to see what you are doing in the deep dark back side of the room! Above you can see the attic of Hardwick Hall as it looks in the morning light (if dark gray mornings can be said to be light...!) and even though the dollhouse sits beside a window, not much light reaches the interior of the room. I know it is made more difficult by my choice of color... deep dark midnight blue is supposed to be deep and dark! And this is the atmosphere I am wanting... but it is darned difficult to see to measure and fit the pieces being worked on! I live in an older house, and don't have overhead lights in the room where I am building. Even when I shine a spotlight straight into the house... my own shadow gets in my way the minute I reach in to take a measurement.... *Sigh* So I am sure you will understand when the pieces I am making are not exactly precisely fitted!
But having realized that I must complete the seating area at the back of the room before I can make real progress on the parts that will be in the foreground, I was eager to begin with the seat cushion for the window seat bench, which was to be made of that lovely dark blue-green velvet!
Of course I forgot to take any pictures of the first steps....
here you can see it already stitched together and turned right side out.
Because velvet is very "slippery" fabric,
I am hand stitching the entire cushion.
And because I am planning to stitch
the "welting" around the cushion edges,
I was a little unsure of how much extra fabric
to add for the seam allowances...
so my starting measurements were rather "approximate"!
Here I have stitched the "welting" around all the edges...
see how it shrinks the cushion a bit?
Here it is stuffed with several layers of cotton quilt batting...
Shouldn't we test it for fit on the bench...?
Can you see it in there... yes, it is night again...
Here I have added the tufting......
I wasn't sure whether that would make it wider,
or tighten up the fabric making it narrower....?
Of course I didn't measure before and after so I will never know...!
But the truth is that the cushion was too wide
for that narrow bench...
no matter how much I scrunched it in there...
it hung over the edge.
So I decided to widen the bench seat just a little
by adding an edge and facing trim.
I am sure you can see the seam above...
but it will be covered by the cushion! No-one will ever know!
It helps... but it might not be quite enough....!
Perhaps we can see better by morning light...?
With some pillows borrowed for atmosphere....?
(I know... it's still too dark!)
But I really want to get started on the curtains for the alcove,
Dear Readers, so I ignore the bench....
And start testing the fabric and trim ideas....
same velvet fabric and heavy gold braid fringe....
Can you imagine sitting in this window alcove on a dreary rainy day ....?
Just Daydreaming the day away....?
Here I am testing the beginning of the curtains....
and in order to reach into this space
I have disassembled the roof panels as well as the rafters
so I can reach into the curtain rod...
so I can slide the rings on and off.
In case you didn't know, Dear Readers,
I like my curtains to "work"
as in being able to slide open or closed!
I don't like the permanently glued in place option!
(With the exception of the 144th scale houses!)
So for these curtains I am trying a method I have read about but not tried....
of shaping the fabric by sewing wire into the hems of the curtain!
Above you can see the first panel being tested...(partly sewed)
to see how the "pleats" will work with the wire in the hem....!
I think it is working well!
Here you can see how I am stitching the paper covered florist wire
into the hems of three sides of the curtain....
only leaving the wall side without wire
as it will hang the most naturally by itself.
I am not double turning the hems because they would be too bulky,
but am relying on the pinked edges to prevent fraying.
Once the hems have been sewn with the wire inside,
I am testing the fringe.....
(I know it is too dark to see...!)
Here, I have turned on the spotlight....!
The fringe is attached....
you can see how the wire in the top edge
can be bent to hold a pleat!
And testing the completed curtain.... yes,
I deliberately made it long enough
to drag and puddle on the floor!
I think that adds to the illusion of weight in the fabric.
And then repeat for the second curtain!
Ooohh... come closer!
I am liking this!
But all that deep dark hiding behind the curtains
doesn't change the fact that the bench is still a bit too narrow!
I decide to widen it a tiny bit more....
and to decorate the front to look like carved paneling....
which will certainly distract the eye
from spotting the too deep overhang...
(which still needs another layer of trim...)
But at least the cushion now fits the width of the bench!
(viewed from above... I know, it's dark again!)
And I have realized it is a good thing the bench needed to be a bit wider...
because when the built-in bookshelves are added at each side,
the window seat will appear to be very deeply recessed!
What little of it you will be able to see...
way back there behind the fireplace and the spiral stairs....
Perhaps that will just make it
all the more mysterious and enticing, Dear Readers....
A Deep dark cushioned Windowseat....
A Place for working.. or Dreaming in the dark!