Sew Much Better Now

Do you find that the busier things get, the harder it is to convince yourself to do some task that will save you loads of aggravation? Not this time!

With holiday gift sewing about to reach the top of my to-do list, I took a little time last week to tick something else off the list to make it easier and more comfortable. Naturally, it took longer to gather tools and materials from Bill’s shop than it did to complete the project. But the project itself was pretty simple.

My goal was to get a larger tabletop around my sewing machine. I’ve been using the lovely oak table my dad made for my mom when she had this machine. That table was designed to fit in a closet in their house. The small work surface meant I always fought the weight of fabric spilling off the edge of the table as I sewed.

The table I remodeled was made from plywood and a pair of folding banquet table legs bought at Fleet Farm. We’ve had this table at least 15 years, probably more like 20. I figured if my plan was a bust, I could always screw on a new plywood top.

So I took apart Dad’s table and used the hanging shelf as a template. I traced around it, drilled holes at the corners, then cut out an opening with a jigsaw. I drilled four more holes to hang the shelf from the tabletop using carriage bolts, using four blocks of woods as spacers.

The blocks should’ve made the shelf hang level. But with the uneven floor in my shop, I figured I had better check. No amount of fiddling with the tightening of the bolts did the trick, so I finally just shimmed two of  the legs.

One of these days, I may take a pipe cutter to those legs and cut them all down about an inch. I’m going to sew at this height for a while before I go to that much effort. Once of these days, I may also countersink the carriage bolt heads and buff and polish the plywood tabletop. For now, I’ve just stapled an old tablecloth over it. The cloth covering adds too much drag, but a silicon sheet counteracts that well enough. For now.

We’ll see how it goes for a while. In the meantime, I have Christmas gifts to get made. How about you: Is there some small task you could do to make the rest of your holiday gift-making less stressful?

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Donna Kallner

fiber artist, teacher and explorer, inspired by ancient fiber techniques and all the ways contemporary fiber artists give old ideas a new spin

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