Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

A Doh! Moment

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Tuesday, November 29, 2011

With a possible water cutoff coming this afternoon* I decided to drop everything and wash some fabric. One of my biggest headaches comes when I pull the fabric out of the dryer to iron or fold it. Between the crappy light in the utility room and my aging eyes sometimes it's a challenge to tell one side of the fabric from the other. This is particularly true with cotton solids. It's no problem when I'm at the sewing table and have more than adequate light, but the utility room isn't a place I generally think of as needing to be flooded with daylight bulbs. It has a cool CFL bulb. Even my shiny newish bright white dryer has a strange color cast.

My sewing table is literally on the other side of the wall, so it's not as though I have to go a long distance to check the fabric. But there are days (today was one of them) when I just want to fold the fabric, dammit, and be done with it. Depending on the size of the cut and how I plan to use the fabric I may fold it wrong or right side out. Call me lazy, call me in a hurry (I was today), but wouldn't it be nice to quickly tell which side was which?


Before I wash I hold the fabric with the right side facing me, and put a notch in the right side selvage, like so:


When I pull it out all I have to do is find the notch. If I'm washing a remnant with no selvage I'll cut off the upper right corner. Just enough so I know.

Now, if it's fabric I plan to use later (as opposed to the next couple of days) I'll mark it like this:


No, I'm not so blind as to get confused as to the wrong side on that particular fabric, but it makes for a good illustration, no? The other thing I'm going to do is mark fabric content on some pieces. My current projects make use of a lot of remnants. Generally it's not that difficult to tell what I've got and whether a piece will be appropriate for the job. But anything that cuts down on mistakes is a good thing.

Note that the tape goes on the wrong side of the fabric. I'm using blue tape, which shouldn't leave any residue behind. But if it does, it won't be where it shows. 

*Why am I sharing this tip? Because I'm in a bit of a limbo for a moment. The water may get cut off in a quarter or an hour. Or it may not. You see, there was a note on the door this morning stating that the water would be cut off at 2:45 until 8:00 to fix a break. However, the date written on the notice was yesterday. Now maybe when I went out to the store yesterday they turned the water back off and on, but I was doing laundry, cooking, and generally using water all afternoon. There was water all over the street when I came home from the store. But we had water service. I thought they were working in preparation for tomorrow's cutoff. So I don't know if I missed yesterday's notice or someone wrote the wrong day on this notice. I'm not seeing any evidence of trucks on the street, so maybe not. But you know if I hadn't been ready the water would be out for hours.

Yes, there's also a planned cutoff for tomorrow to replace a valve somewhere along the line. Tomorrow is all planned out, with strategic trips for quick errands in places with "facilities." So now you know some of the reason for the earlier frustration today. So I'm going to stop and do that last run down the hall, just, you know, in case.
Tags: Life

Filed under: Life            


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