August 29, 2012

Curtain Drama, Part 2

Hello again,

Measurements (1.5 X length; add 6" to height)
     I just finished the curtains for my room. This project was full of decisions, starting with whether or not I wanted to buy commercially made curtains or make my own. The window in my new bedroom is rather large (74"x 60"), which means usually means expensive. An added challenge was the amount of light being let through at all times- my room was as almost as bright during the day as at night- which was the whole reason I thought of doing curtains. I needed to make sure I got black out material to solve this problem.

    After looking at multiple stores to curtains, I decided to make my own. All the ones I saw were either too childish (bright colors, sheer, glitter) or too grown up (boring colors, muted tones). I really needed something in between, so onward and upward to the fabric store. I went to Jo-Ann's, and though I will be the first to admit they aren't my favorite craft store, they did have a home decor section with blackout curtain material. The Hobby Lobby across the street did not (...I miss you hancock fabric).
Blackout fabric: middle seam   Make sure so sew both sides of the seam (1/8") so that one side doesn't flap open

     I spent at least an hour in the store being undecided between a green polka dot (flannel) and a green striped (cotton) fabric- they were both cute and I needed something with a bit of color, but not the overwhelming plain purple I had tried first. Because of the direction I wanted the stripe to go, I ended up buying 6 yards of fabric (40% off of course). It was in a section that was supposed to be 30% off, but of course, once it was cut, it rang up for full price- typical. I looked crest fallen, so the nice saleslady cut me some slack and found me a 40% off coupon from the circular ad. The next time I went in, I bought 4 yards of the black out material  (another 40% of course) and I was set.
Sewing the awkward blackout material; I had to roll the right side so that it wasn't in my way while I was sewing

    Sewing should have been easy. Take 3 pieces of fabric, sew them together (=2 seams), do the same with the 2 pieces of blackout material (=1 seam) hem the top, bottom, and sides (=4 seams) and then fold it over the curtain rod and sew again (=1 seam). That is 8 seams total, which is not entirely horrible, I guess. But somehow, I ended up sewing twice that amount. Whatever. Stupid curtains.

    I did all the basic seams, until I had a hug rectangle of fabric. Then I decided to add the black out curtains to the middle of the piece, folding in the edges of the curtain to meet the blackout fabric and form a little pocket. I was going to fold both pieces over to make the curtain channel, but I didn't like how short the curtains looked, so instead I put the blackout fabric on one side and the green on the other and sewed them together 4" below top seam. Hurray, done, right? Wrong.
Lining up the middle of both fabrics, the tape measure come in handy

     When I put the curtains on the pole and hung it, my bottom seam line was crooked. So, I ended up re-hemming the material by placing a tape measure up against the wall and measuring 2" below the window sill trim. Last step was cutting off the excess blackout material so that it hung slightly above my curtain. Finally, blessed darkness when I sleep.

* 6 yards of 43"  fabric print
(change length for different dimensions)
* 4 yards of 54" blackout material
* matching thread (I used white for both materials)
* sewing machine, pins, and good scissors
* measuring tape

Mostly finished curtains, just have to trim the black out fabric so it doesn't hang below the green striped fabric

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