Monday, May 2, 2011

Family Room--More Progress

The curtains are finished, the curtains are finished!  Take a look:

I am beyond pleased, they are beautiful!  I was looking for a bright fabric--some sort of print with maybe lime green, orange, or purple.  I couldn't find a print that was bright but this faux silk orangey-red fabric caught my eye and it way only $3 a yard. 

These were tough, though!  I've been working on them here and there for the past 5 weeks--it seems like it took forever to finish.  I had a hard time figuring out a good process (by the 4th panel I had it down) but once I had it down I was cruising.  I'm going to describe here in detail for a tutorial but also for my own future reference (I tend to forget). 

1.  How much fabric do I need?  The walls are 9 feet (108 inches) tall, the curtain rods would be 6 inches from the ceiling and the clip rings would add another inch.  I just put a piece of painter's tape where I thought the rod should go and adjusted the tape until it looked like a good height, just eyeballing.  So, 108-6-1=101 inches plus 2 inches for hemming so I needed a 103 inch long length of fabric for each panel (since 3 yds=108 inches I rounded up to 3 yds of fabric per panel).  I wanted to keep the width of each panel the width that it came in off the bolt (this fabric was 54" wide).  I was making 4 panels.  So, I needed 12 yds of fabric.

2.  Lining the curtains.  I wanted to line these curtains because the fabric I purchased was kind of light and I wanted a full look and because I wanted them to be light-blocking.  I read about using painter's drop cloth for a drapery liner on Centsational Girl's site so I purchased 4 6x9 drop cloths ($9.99 each) from HD. 

3.  The process.  It took me a few trys but I have this process down now.  I don't have any formal training (can you tell?) so please bear with me and my non-technical jargon.
  • Unroll the curtain fabric (I did this on the floor) and cut to 103" long. 
  • Lay the drop cloth on top of the fabric and trim to about 4" narrower and shorter than the fabric panel.  The advice I've read about drop cloths is to prewash before using.  This is good advice because they tend to shrink after drying, the fabric is also a lot softer after washing.  I have to admit I was too impatient to do this for 3 of the panels so I'm in trouble if I have to launder these down the line.
  • Hem (I used iron on seam tape for this) the bottom of the fabric panel 1".
  • Lay the 2 pieces of fabric on top of each other, right sides facing, with the top of the drop cloth even with the top of the drapery fabric.  Here is a little diagram:
  • Pin and sew the right side of the drop cloth to the right edge of the fabric.  Pin and sew the left edge to the left edge of the drop cloth.  Since the drop cloth is narrower than the fabric, sewing the edges together ensures that only the curtain will show when finished.
  • Flip curtain inside out and iron edges creating a small seam on both edges with just the curtain fabric.
  • Flip curtain inside out again (now the right sides are facing).  Pin and stich the top. 
  • Flip curtain again, push out top corners.
  • Iron entire panel and hang using clip rings.
4.  Lessons learned.  Sew the sides first, then the top.  I took out so many seams :(.  Use a heavy gauge sewing needle and heavy weight thread, sew at medium speed.  I broke 3 needles in the process of figuring this out and thought my entire machine was broken (it wasn't).  Use the steam option on the iron for pressing the fabric.  I ended ironing on the hard wood floor with a towel under the part I was ironing.  This was the only way I could contol all of the fabric.  Don't iron directly on the carpet without a towel underneath (I learned this the hard way).  Don't hem the drop cloth, just cut the end and leave it.  After washining you may have to trim the loose threads but it doesn't need to be hemmed and its taxing on the sewing machine (mine anyway).

5.  Hanging the curtain rod.  Here is a shot of how I do the estimating.  I put up the tape and leveled it.  I got up and down the ladder a few times to eyeball the height, just using the tape.  The small vertical pieces of tape mark where the brackets go.

Cost.  $10 per drop cloth x 4 = $40
          Fabric @ $3/yd, 12yds = $36
          Curtain rod $15 x 3 rods = $45  (I used 2 rods for the long set of windows but put them together to look like one)
          Clip rings $7/pack x 4 packs = $28
          Total = $149

Here is the before and after (up to now, this won't be the final after):


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1 comment:

  1. WOW those look great, love your tape idea for the rod....would make measuring way easier. As I am soooooooooo not crafty in the curtain dept.........I'll be sticking to my Ikea drapes for now.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today and checking out my powder room.