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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Curtain-y Goodness!

You didn't think it was going to happen, did you? You were trying hard to believe my claims that there were actually curtains made... but the lack of blogged evidence made you doubt, didn't it? Well, guess what... the long-awaited curtains post is here!
This curtain project started a looooooong time ago. It was one of the first projects I tackled, actually. It just hit a big delay.
When I started my nursery project I discussed budget and inspiration here. I knew I wanted BIG panel curtains, but I knew I needed to get them for CHEAP. And that wasn't going to be easy. Erin and I went to a fabric outlet store in hopes of finding something fabulous and cheap... and we actually found several options, though I am indecisive and left empty handed. We found this lovely, bold, geometric pattern in black and white-- and I loved it. It was 8.99/yd which is pretty darn reasonable for the heavy interior (possible upholstery weight?) fabric that it was... but I was needing 6.5 yds for my drapes... and that would put me at around $60 in fabric... which isn't extravagant, but I was hoping to keep it under $50. There was another fabric that I didn't know for sure if I LOVED... but it was much cheaper and had the perfect shade of green, but a deeper shade of blue than I wanted. And it was a very subtle 'texture' rather than bold print like i was envisioning...
But I went for it, because it was in pile marked-- get this-- $2/yd. It was worth the risk of not loving it in the room when they rolled over 7 yards of the stuff for fourteen bucks. I felt good about that purchase.
So I got it in the room, and guess what???
I didn't love it.
Sigh. I was frustrated with myself for not loving it... but it wasn't singing to my soul, and I needed a song.  After staring and sighing at that big roll of fabric for a few days I made the decision that since I only had $14 invested in these curtains I could go ahead and slap them together, then replace them at a later date when I did find something that made my heart sing.
So I went to Target (you know, God's store...) to buy some hardware. I opted for a brushed nickle (to match the hardware on the the dresser) rod and curtain clips. So I could make simple panels and clip them up without worrying about pockets or tabs or whatever. Walking through the aisles at target I passed the sheets and found some lovely green ones... the PERFECT shade of green, actually. And all of a sudden inspiration hit, and I had an idea that might make my unhappy curtains a bit more song-worthy.
Time to get started... I used this tutorial for making professional drapes and this tutorial explaining a blind hem stitch and this curtain post as inspiration for size and style and installation. Armed with all that info... I set out to make me some curtains.
My finished product was to be 90 inch panels, so to allow my self plenty of 'mistake' room and a large bottom hem... I cut two panels 100 inches each. Then I cut 2 pieces of the green fabric the width of the panel and 20" in length. I serged and ironed those green pieces well.

To attach my green... I measured 18 inches from the top of the panel and pinned down the green. right sides of fabric together.

Then I stitched the green down, flipped it up, ironed it well, and top stitched on the right side along that seam.
At the top of the panel, my green accent piece was now longer than my curtain panel. I ironed that hem under and sewed it down for a nice pretty finished hem. Yay.
And that created a green accent for the top of the panel curtains. Looks like this hung up:
To finish the curtains I used that newly learned blind hem skill to finish off all the edges...
(Super excited/proud of this new skill)
(You'll notice I decided not to line these curtains. The fabric was already a heavy weight and we do have blinds on the windows to block light and make it nice and dark in there... so I didn't think it would need extra light blocking power... plus... I am on a budget here, remember? I was too cheap to spend extra money on lining. Don't judge me.)
And from here... we sat for about a month while I tried to convince the husband to fix the curtain rod. It wasn't anchored correctly when we first put it in, and the weight of just one of the panels as I was trying to hang it pulled it out of the drywall. Oops. So he finally got some heavy duty drywall anchors and got that puppy SOLID. Seriously, I could trapeze from that curtain rod now.
I put a nice deep hem in the bottom (about 5 inches...) and they were ready to be hung!
I already had this info on my radar, but recently found this picture which is an excellent visual illustration about hanging curtains:

High and wide! It plays tricks on your mind and makes your window look bigger and grander. (Grander? Is that a word???) Which we definitely needed with this puny thing in our baby room:
But with the curtains up, the same window looks bigger and more balanced on that wall...

 (I know what you are thinking... I could have gone higher/wider, huh?)
But the curtains are officially up, and guess what?
I LOVE them now.
They make my heart sing that happy tune I was hoping for. They are not punch you in the face statement curtains... but simple and nice and just the right ease for the room. I am happy. And happy one more project is complete. Yay.



  1. Grander is totally a word. They look fantastic, love them.

  2. They look so nice! Isn't color blocking the big thing now? Your little guy has such stylish curtains. :)

  3. Amy-- Oh good. Adding it to my regular vocab.

    Danielle-- Why, thank you!