Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tailor Fitting a Piano Cover

So after 20 years of dreaming, and 7 years of saving funds (with the help of my Mom), I was able to buy a really gorgeous 6-foot, 4-inch grand piano. I got it from a huge warehouse clearance by Tom Lee Music and is retailed at $45 grand. The price I paide was $34 grand. Savings of $11 grand... not bad huh?

It's made by the Steinway & Sons Co. This particular brand, the Boston, is machine-made in the craftsmanship of a Steinway (which are generally hand crafted... as all superior pianos are). The really unique feature is the back rounded end... it is wider than a standard grand piano. This allows for an additional sound of a larger sized piano without taking up more space in the back. Brilliant. Maybe in the future, I can post about how I made my decision to buy this piano.

You are probably wondering why I am talking about a piano in the middle of my kitchen renovation blog. Well this is the issue:

The pathway back and forth from the front door to the kitchen will walk right by the piano. We can't use the back patio door because it opens to a sunken concrete patio which, on one side, has winding steps out to the carport, and on the other side, a wall and dangerous gravel, sure to sprain a foot if you're not careful. It's the reality of living high in the mountain -- lots of steep walks.

I will likely move the piano to the far corner to ensure it's as far away as possible. But it's still not completely out of possible dust and sediment. This is why the scramble to get the piano properly covered. We have used old sheets and covers, but it slides easily off the piano when there is a lot of activity. And I prefer to have a fitted cover that I don't have to worry about or constantly adjust and maintain.

(NOTE ADDED: A friend was confused about why so much trouble to make something tailor fit just for the renovation. I guess I didn't mention that I have to make a piano cover eventually anyway, so I took this opportunity, which I have no work commitments, to get started on it. I will finish the rest after the renovation is over. Thanks Anthony for pointing this out...)

I had bought upholstery material on sale over 10 years ago thinking I would make a slip cover for my then sofa sectional. Two huge rolls. I never got around to it and the sofa has been replaced.

I will attempt to double layer the piano cover.. upholstery fabric on the outside, and microfibre chenille on the inside to attract any dust. If I have the energy, I'll probably make a pleated fringe on the bottom just for a little touch of personal flare. I found out the cost of the microfibre material alone would cost me around $100, where if i got the fake stuff on sale... it would cost me only $15. It was an easy decision except for one problem, they didn't have enough of the cheap fabric -- kind of an "end of the roll" sale. I'm still trying to figure out in my head if i could make it work with 2 metres short of what i need.

So I decided at least get the outer cover done so that the piano has a cover at least. And look online for real microfibre fabric that will fit my budget better.

Last night, I cut out the huge pattern piece for my piano... using old wrapping paper that I taped together.

The front end of it looks long because it will drape over the area where the keys are.

You can see clearly from the pattern in the picture that the back of a Boston piano is not rounded like a typical grand piano, as I mentioned earlier. It essentially gives sound consistent with a piano 4 inches longer, which for a grand, is a substantial addition. by creating less of a curve. For this reason, I have no choice but to custom-make the cover.

I washed the fabric yesterday. ALWAYS wash brand new material before sewing. Yes it's a pain, but shrinkage doesn't change the fabric evenly, so the inital shrinking has to be done or you will end up with a warped product after the first time you wash your finished item. And all your hard work will look... well, lame.

Today... I'm attempting to finish with the fabric cutting and some of the sewing. The project takes up a lot of energy because you are constantly working with massive sizes of material and paper. I can't wait to show you the finished product!!!!!

Ok online shopping i go for some microfibre chenille!

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