Thursday, May 31, 2012

i’m bringing vinyl back. (or: how to turn a rectangle into a circle. take that, math.)

good news: the dining room update is coming along swimmingly.

of course i started out doing it my way: winging.

winging: (v) to fly by the seat of one’s pants; to embark on a project, trip, proposal, etc. without clear and concise plans
winger: (n) one who “wings”

i consider myself a professional winger.

winging it involves painting your chandelier…without taking it down from the ceiling. and roping your friend into standing at the business end of a can of spray paint with a piece of cardboard to catch overspray.

winging it leads to the unfortunate discovery that your well-planned cardboard-as-spray-catching-device didn’t really work and you now have black feet, black misted floors (eek!) and much later you discover black nostrils.

oops.

but on the plus side--winging it gets stuff done. so i’ll be back soon with a semi-completed room update.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

in the meantime…i shared my transformer table (e-e-ooh-ooh-oooh) when i initially talked about my mini d.r. update. and i shared my hopes for a lovely farmhouse style wooden table at some point in the not to distant future. mr. googiedaddy is totally on board and can’t wait to get moving on building this table. but it will be a couple months before he has the time to do so. :(

in the meantime, we live with T.T. (Transformer Table, duh) and her collection of rapidly fraying and stained tablecloths. it was time for a new one…but did i really want to spend the money on a tablecloth for a table we are going to be losing in a few months? i’ll answer that one for you: nope.

i live in a land of daily tablecloth washing—with five small children no meal leaves a table unsullied. that gets old. realllll quick.
and i know right about now you’re asking yourself “shannon, why have you not considered the purchase of a wipeable vinyl tablecloth, thereby eliminating the necessity of such frequent tablecloth laundering?”

well. first of all i say unto you: my deepest congrats on your masterful command of the english language (questioning like a sir).
secondly, and perhaps—no, definitely more to the point here—um, it’s vinyl? and, um, it’s not 1962? and, um, i’m not all hoighty-toighty like that, but, really? VINYL? in a formal dining space???

well.

well well.

i guess i owe you (you imaginary english major with a minor in blogology who is my reader) an apology. because yesterday i bought this guy:

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what can i say? it was homegoods. you know how it is—you go in for one thing, next thing you know you’re clutching a cart full of glassware and clearanced throw rugs while you wrestle a 500 thread count sheet set from another woman’s claws (BACK IT UP SISTER I SAW IT FIRST AND I WILL CUT YOU) and who CARES if it’s full sized and you have a queen THE PRICE IS RIGHT!

::chirp chirp::

no? just me? well let’s just say i may have gotten a touch carried away. and i may have come home with one or two (or five) vinyl tablecloths in my bags.

IS THAT POSSIBLE? yes. a variety. i decided to bite the bullet and see if any of them were even remotely a possibility for the dining room—at least temporarily.

hear me out:
the color—check, awesome.
the pattern—check, awesome.
the price—check, $4.99. super awesome.
the wipeability and un-need-to-launder-ness—SUPER check. awesome x 100.

in fact, the biggest drawback here? (err…besides the whole vinyl thing…)

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our T.T. is a 60” round.

sidenote: truthfully most round tablecloths are designed for a 42” or 48” round. so in my collection i only have one that truly fits a 60” table. the others are really too small—they’re basically the tablecloth equivalent of floods.

but…we can fix that. and how do we do it? with patterns and plans and mathematics? NO!!!

WE WING IT!!!

here’s how:

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okay, so there is some basic guessimating type math involved. if the longest edge of the tablecloth is 102” and my table is 60” across, once i leave a nice 10” overhang on each side that’s 80” leaving me about 20” to play with.
so i lay my tablecloth out with the 60” width centered on the table and about 10” hanging off one edge of the 102” length. then i eyeball a 10” drop on the other side and hack off the rest.

so i now have a roughly 20”x60” piece of tablecloth, and an 80”x60” tablecloth. the 20”x60” piece gets cut in half lengthwise so i have 2 pieces of 10”x60”, which you can pretty much not see at all in the following photograph:

 

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those pieces get centered on the short side of my tablecloth and pinned, right sides together, following the curve of the table. here is another spectacularly unhelpful photo:

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and another:

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followed by a relatively unhelpful series of diagrams, possibly drawn by drunken monkeys:

 

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now sew those new pieces down

you’re going to have a semi-fitted tablecloth with a very wonky hem (yes, that is a technical term)

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so just put it back on your table and trim it even(ish) all the way around.

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congratulations. you have just turned a rectangular tablecloth into a circular one.

scissors beats math. math beats spock.

now you could simply turn under and hem the edge of your tablecloth. but i’m trying to make this some classsssy vinyl, remember? we’re lookin’ to give this vinyl some swagg. whup whup!

so i pulled out the old “endless roll of black piping” first seen here and sewed that on the edge.

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sew right sides together * turn under and topstitch * done

a word of caution—when you sew vinyl (or leather, or pleather, or anything not fabric) you’re not going to be able to hide any mistakes in the sewing. you’re poking holes that won’t get blended into the weave of the fabric, because it isn’t fabric, and there isn’t weave. so sew carefully. (or just throw caution to the wind and go for it—the stupid thing was only $5 anyway.)

and there you have it:

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a not-to-shabby vinyl tablecloth. decent enough that it doesn’t turn my stomach and make me feel like i’m at my grandma’s house.

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right? right? lie to me, please…tell me i’m not just making myself believe it…

oh well. it’s only temporary, the whole project took less time to do then it took to write this post, and most importantly:

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me likey.

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