Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Power Issue and "Dad's Ties"

A box containing some of my grandad's ties
A few months ago, my mom was doing a bit of down sizing and sent me a large sack of fabric--mostly non cotton fabrics and this box. I'm thinking about what to do with the fabrics; but, decided to check out the box.

My granddad died in 1991.  His wife, my grandmother, saved some of his ties. She died in 2004. I helped my mom clear my grandmother's house; but, I didn't remember handling this box.

My granddad was color blind. Generally, my granddad wore overalls and the same color/style of shirt when he worked in his manufacturing shop. He built pumps. If he needed to dress up, he would have selected one of two suits that my grandmother would have had hanging in the closet. She hung the whole outfit together so his colors would go together. That's my grandmother's handwriting on the box.

Last Saturday, while I was stitching in the studio, the lights slowly went out, came back on briefly and then went out. I thought we were having a power outage. When I went to check another room of the house, I was surprised that it had power.

I thought that I had tripped a breaker so I checked. . .nope. There was no power to our bedroom or the studio; but, there was power to the plug we had installed in the floor so
The tie selection
I could keep sewing. (I did.) The rest of the house had power. It was just odd that there was no power to the back of the house. My sweet husband called the power company who came out and checked that we were getting a sufficient amount of power from their power box to our house. We were.

My husband decided it must be a wiring issue so he called a couple area electricians. Monday,  he received a call back from one company and he scheduled an appointment with an electrician for Tuesday. I agreed with his wiring speculation on the issue. Although I didn't voice it, I thought the iron might have been the cause.

My husband, prepared the areas--the crawl space, the breaker box, the areas in front of all the plugs. This was no small task! On Tuesday, the electrician took a couple hours to find the issue and to repair it. Part of our house was built in 1928. Part of our house was built in the 60s and part of our house was remodeled in 2011! So following the path of the wiring in the house was a puzzle.

Removing the interfacing
In the end, hours of running the iron on the same circuit as all the rest of the lights between the two rooms, television, phone, clock and sewing machine was the cause. What happened was that as the iron used more power than could be supplied, the wiring melted to the point that the electrical connection was broken and that was why those rooms lost power. The iron should have had its own circuit because it uses so much energy. I'll be using the floor plug so we don't have a repeat issue in the future!

The repair was expensive; but, we are happy that we can turn the light on in our bedroom and I love being able to stitch and listen to ball games again.

During the chaos, I saw this box again and thought. . .hey, I should check those out and take them apart. Yesterday, after the electrician left, I was invited to stitch with some friends. I decided to take the tie project.  I was surprised that there were a couple red ties as well as a couple ties with a wild print. I only remember my granddad wearing green ties and I remember he was ultra conservative! Of the 11 ties in the box, I recognized none of them.
The pile of removed interfacing

My grandparents were frugal--they made sure their items lasted a long time. They were masters at repairs.  They would not have purchased an expensive silk tie when a moderately priced acetate one would have worked as well.

"New" was something saved weddings and funerals. A trip to the dry cleaners was too expensive for their budget. The ties have stains and feel dusty--they were probably stored for years on a hanger in a closet. For the most part, the fabric content is acetate--gosh, it has been a long while since I have seen that as a fiber content. One tie was a wool and silk mix. As for the fiber content of the other eight ties. . .well, the content is a secret because those ties were produced before content needed to be included on the product!

I saved the tags that were on some of the ties. Not all of the ties had a tag. I even had a little help in removing the stitching and the interfacing! My grandmother always said many hands make light work. She was right!

I plan to clean the ties. Cleaning the ties will be my next step. I'll do some research about what might work the best. If the colors run, or the stains don't come out or I ruin the tie, I'm okay with whatever happens. After all, hanging out in a box for the last 27 years wasn't a good solution either!

I don't have a plan for piecing the ties; but, maybe one will come to me while I'm washing them. I can check out Pinterest. I will apply interfacing to the ties once they are clean! Stabilizing all the bias edges will be helpful. This was a good project for yesterday! Have you worked with ties before or some other special item from a loved one? How did you handle it?


Janice Smith said...

Terry, I’ll be interested in seeing how you use the ties. Hopefully, you’ll find some good options. said...

Janice, I saw lots of ideas on Pinterest. I'd better see how many I will have to work with so I'd better see how the ties clean. I'd better do that research!

Diane-crewe said...

thank goodness the electricity just went off and you did not have a fire x Look forward to seeing the tie project come to life x said...

Diane, I was thankful that when the wires melted there was no fire! The tie project is going on the back burner for a bit. Luann shared a product that might be helpful for the cleaning. . .which reminds me that I should order it!