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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:03 pm 
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HELP!!!

We're taking our feline family to their first ever TICA show soon and we need to dress the cage. There is a theme but that sounds far too much like hard work to me so we're just going to go for something plain and simple (i.e. easy to construct)

I could take the easy option and buy some curtains, however...my mother-in-law is a whiz on the sewing machine so she?s going to make some (I hope ;) )

I've just been admiring <a href='http://www.bengalcatforums.com/forums//index.php?showtopic=123&view=findpost&p=767' target='_blank'>LaVon's Curtains</a> but I can't work out how the back and sides have been attached. Is it all one piece or is it 3 separate pieces? What are the dimensions? Does anyone have a pattern?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 6:42 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Hedi -

Thanks for the compliment on my curtains... if you're ready for a REAL giggle -- I'm going to TRY to explain how I came up with them :ph34r:

I made the cage curtains you're referring to ... I didn't have a pattern, I just took the measurements they gave me, and "improvised" which was an amazing feat - since I'm really not much of a seamstress. LOL

I would have made them MUCH differently, had I realized how hard it would be to keep the corners together, once hung over the wire cage frames. (yes, they were 3 separate pieces, all sewn together at the top edge)

One word of warning... they keep saying the cages are 22" x 22" x 44" -- but they didn't bother to tell me there is 2" of space between the 2 halves of the 44" space... which made the overall dimensions of their particular cages just a fraction OVER 46" long. One reason the top didn't fit, properly.

And even MORE confusing... I was told that in some part of the country, the cages ARE different dimensions, as well.... YIKES :(

I used two colors, so they would be "reversible" -- and cut one piece of each fabric color 24" x 46" (had I known, I would have cut it 48" long, instead.) Then I hemmed the sides and bottom of each piece, sewed the two pieces together, measuring a hundred times (as I said, I'm a terrible seamstress) to make sure that where the seams of the two sewn together hang over the wire frame of the cage, it would hang down 22 1/4 inches. Then I took 2 SETS of the colors and cut them into 24" squares, hemmed each side and the bottom, and sewed the tops together.. also making the "length" of each 22 1/4 inches when hung over the wire at the seams. Then I used a zig-zag stitch, and sewed all three together, at the seams, allowing the top corners of each "square" to overlap the ends of the long piece just a little.

The top was made with a piece of gold "sheer" fabric and cut it in a rectangle 24" x 46" (another mistake) and made four, 4" reversible bands by sewing the ends and bottom of the same fabric used for the sides and table skirt fabric together, then reversing it, and sewing a 22 1/2 inch strip across each of the short ends, and 44 1/2 inch (should have been 46 1/2 inch) strip across both long sides.

It WOULD have worked "perfectly" if I had the CORRECT dimensions of the "double" cage.
I still plan to use them, but I'm going to have to work on them some, to make them hang properly. (sigh)

All in all, to be honest, there are a lot of people who make the cage curtains, here in the US who do a MUCH better job than mine... I think a lot of people just liked "mine" because they are more "talored" looking than a lot of the frilly "ruffled" curtains. (especially for BOY cats)

My biggest suggestions for you and your mother-in-law (if she's going to make them for you) is to talk to an entry clerk, and ask if they can give you the EXACT dimensions, if you want tailored curtains.

Second, if she plans to use 2 different colors, as I did, to make them reversible -- to have SEAMS at the corners, instead of hemming both sides of the back and each end. Then after sewing the two ends to the "back" of EACH color -- put them with the faces (right side) of each fabric together, then sewing the top seam all in one LONG piece. (if she sews a lot, she will know what I mean.)

The table skirt, I made much the same way. (I don't remember the dimensions - but I used "standard table height plus about 6 inches) to tuck the skirt UNDER the front side of the cage.

This explaination is getting WAY too complicated, and if you're not interested, I'm boring EVERYONE... so if you'd like MORE detail... please write an e-mail to me at <f.lavon@att.net> and I'll try to make the directions make more sense. LOL

To tell you the truth, after ALL that work, I went to the show, and there was a vendor selling cage curtains she had already made up, for $65 dollars. And I bought a set from her. LOL
Dagger will be HORRIBLY embarassed, because this set is RED with a lot of silver and white lace (great for christmas or valentines -- but pretty "prissy" otherwise") One of the big disadvantages of buying at a show -- you have to just choose from what they have made, regarding color, design, etc.

I LOVE the fabric that I used, and think I will still try to use them, again, after some modifications - but in all honesty... I probably won't make any more. I'd rather be spending the time it took sewing PLAYING with my cats! :lol: Even though, in all honesty, all the help I got from Dagger and his sister Emma -- was pretty entertaining, in itself.

There are several vendors who sell cage curtains online, but they seem terribly price prohibitive.
I believe there are also some "patterns" out there, I'll see if I can find them again, too, if you wish!

To all others -- sorry for the LONG post.

Hope this helps... or at least makes you think twice about putting your mother-in-law through what I went though :blink:

By the way, at my FIRST show... I just took RAW fabric, 45" wide 2 1/2 yards long, and just folded it longways over the top edge and "draped" it as best I could. Then another piece 45" wide just over 1 yard long, for the "skirt" and put a little bathroom rug in for the "floor" of the cage. Then covered the TOP of the cage with a "lap throw" and allowed the "extra" to hang over the back of the cage. It was a hassle, but functioned.

I'm just BARELY getting into all of this. I'm SURE there are people with MUCH more experience who could give you better advice. (grin)
LaVon


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 3:24 pm 
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Hi Lavon

Thanks so much for all the info about the curtains. I?ve been speaking with my seamstress ;) (Mother-in-law) and after much debate I think we?re going to leave making the curtains to the experts? To be honest, I?ve left it a little late now to expect her to drop everything and have me a set of curtains made up for Saturday 18 Dec, especially since she?s doing some jobs for herself that she needs to get done before the Christmas holidays.

We?re going with the idea of taking some loose fabric?(that was a great idea by the way :) ). I know it?s not going to look all that great but the plan is to take some fabric to use but at the same time if we see any curtains for sale at the show, we?ll buy them and use them instead.

I?ve been looking on eBay and there are a few sets for sale but I?m not over keen on them. It?s a shame you don?t have more spare time yourself ?coz you could make/sell your own designs on eBay, I?m sure they?d sell like hot cakes!

Anyway, I?ve printed off your post (the part with the instructions) and passed it on to my mother-in-law (I hope you don?t mind). If we don?t buy any curtains at the show she said she would make us some in the new year which is probably best as we can then get the correct dimensions of the cage. The show info claims that the cage dimensions are 2ft x 4ft x 2ft but after what you noticed I think I?ll wait to find that out for myself!

Thanks again for all the advice, I felt really guilty when I read the post coz it must have taken ages to write, however, the info is invaluable and I?m sure it will be for many others who are thinking about showing and making their own curtains?..even if it is a deterrent :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 11:27 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Heidi -

Remember to take a seamstress measuring tape with you, to that first show!

Also, I just remembered this...

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'><span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'>Take several "medium" binder clips with you</span></span>,

if you take raw fabric. It is INVALUABLE to making the raw fabric hang properly. Also, most people who show always TRY to keep them in their show bags... There are a lot of uses for them. (Like securing the top of the cage, to avoid escapes!!!) Then he explained the reason for calling them bulldog clips -- when the cat is tired of sitting in the cage, if you don't have some binder clips between the 3 little places across that span which are connected, the cat can "BULLDOG" itself right out of the cage.

I had been hearing people calling them "Bulldog" clips, and had NO idea what they meant - But, Larry Snider (owner of Fudge Ripple) from Florida was kind enough to HELP me drape my cat's cage with the raw fabric and use some of HIS binder clips, to hold everything in place.

Although there is occasionally a little tension at the shows, between breeders with TOP cats competing in the same rings... for the most part people are TRULY nice to you, at the shows, and if they know you are NEW to showing... often they are MUCH more helpful than you might expect.

Good luck at the show... I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you to come home with bunches of Rosettes!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 12:06 am 
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Hi Lavon....are these the kind of clips you're referring to? There's a job lot going on ebay, 2cm wide, will they do?
Image


As for the rosettes...I doubt we'll get any. It's a 1 day show but from what I can tell it's the first and only TICA show in the UK and I have a feeling that there will be LOTS of Bengal breeders showing their own top quality Bengals as they will want to take advantage of the Championship status. Don't get me wrong, we adore our girls and naturally we think they are beautiful; however, we're not daft... and we know they both have their faults...If they where perfect, they'd never have been for sale :rolleyes:

Most shows in the UK are GCCF shows but the GCCF does not yet recognise Bengals at Championship status. One of our cat clubs (<a href='http://www.bengalcat.org.uk/' target='_blank'>Bengal Cat Club of Great Britain</a>...see the GCCGB News link) did a lot of work to promote the breed's status but there efforts where declined earlier this year which means even if you're cats a stunning winner at all GCCF shows, it never gets a Championship status :( (So I'm told)

Anyway, we'll let you all know the results. When's Daggers next show?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 5:34 am 
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Heidi -
Those are EXACTLY what I'm talking about! (glad I made it clear) sometimes, well MOST of the time, I ramble so (blush)

Shame about the Championship Status... but your babies are beautiful, and WE know it, and that IS what TRULY matters :)

I'm leaving for Alaska on Dec 22nd, and won't be back until Jan 4th -- so his next show will be sometime in January. I wanted to take him to the show in Louisiana, but it is SO close to my trip, I didn't want the others to feel "neglected" BEFORE I even leave for the long trip.

I've been planning this trip, for 2 years, so now that it's time to GO... I just know I'm going to be SOOOOOOO homesick for my "babies" that it will not be as much fun as I had originally hoped. It DOES help, that my son and my room-mate BOTH absolutely ADORE my cats, and have offered to do everything they can, to keep them from missing me TOO badly.

I'm visiting friends, so I'm sure they will keep me from crying the WHOLE time... LOL

Good luck with YOUR show! Those babies MIGHT surprise you... you never KNOW what each judge will favor. In the show where Dagger got his rosette... I was just SURE the cat that won ALL of the other rings was going to have a grand slam, but ONE JUDGE liked Dagger's overall LOOK better, even though he was 2 months younger and much SMALLER than his biggest competitor!

Warm Fuzzies,
LaVon


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