Throw those curtains wide

I’ve always been crafty and over time have accumulated my fair share of ribbons, buttons and glitter glue, you know, everyday essential items so when it was suggested that I make curtains as a way to not only save some pennies but to give me the opportunity to get creative, it sounded like a great idea. Last year my wonderful husband gave me a sewing machine and a heap of threads. I was entertained for the whole day just arranging the spools into colour order!

I must confess though that despite lots of admiring glances I hadn’t yet used the sewing machine to make anything useful but instead practised on small pieces of fabric making shapes and testing the different stitches out.

Threads of Glory
Image: Pinterest

We took a trip to John Lewis one evening and wandered around the fabric department for quite some time unable to decide. Choosing paint colours was hard enough so you can imagine how long it took making a decision on what colours to have for our curtains.

I like spots, stripes, pattern, flowers and bright colours whereas my beloved is more classic in his style. This is an important note if you are thinking even ever so slightly about ever-living with another person – you don’t get to have exactly what you would choose anymore because you have to be nice and compromise so that you don’t end up with a room where one of you feels like throwing up every time you enter it while the other feels completely contented. That wouldn’t make for a happy house now would it.

By now I was ready to go home and getting used to the idea of living without curtains.

Positives:

  1. It would be light and airy
  2. You would have a tidy house as you wouldn’t want your neighbours seeing inside and thinking you lived in a mess
  3. Your body clock would be at one with the earth as you’d wake at sunrise.

Negatives:

  1. You would have to have a tidy house as you wouldn’t want your neighbours seeing inside and thinking you live in a mess
  2. Your body would be at one with the earth and you would wake at sunrise
  3. You would have to perfect getting dressed in bed and if you’ve ever slept in a tent you’ll know that is no fun.

But I wanted to make curtains and as these would be for our bedroom it was I would say, a necessity. (see point 3 of negatives above) We, yes we, opted for a grey fabric that while plain meant that we could add colour to our room with bedding. Happily we hopped skipped and jumped outta there.

How hard can it be to make curtains right?  I didn’t think it was going to be easy by any means but it suddenly dawned on me how precise you have to be when measuring especially in the knowledge that you really do have just one shot to get it right.

If you are ever going to make curtains it’s handy to have an extra pair of hands and eyes when you measure the fabric to double, triple, quadruple check it.

Armed with dress makers chalk and coloured pins (some precious curtain making time might have been spent simply looking at the different coloured pin heads instead of cracking on) and metal ruler we were off. I opted to use hubbies metal ruler rather than my fabric one for this job so sadly I couldn’t drape it around my neck to look the part and at least look like I had a clue what I was doing.

Man-Ruler..helpful for straight lines.

Using my shiny new sewing machine was great and after a slow start, I was enjoying the tick tick tick sound of the needle going through the fabric and the hum of the pedal and I got to use my pin cushion that looks like a flower-pot. SCORE.

We opted for lined curtains with a crinkly top. I’m can’t remember what the professional term is, gathered maybe? But I call it crinkly. That was quite simple but adding the lining was the trickiest part. Given that it was my first ever curtain making expedition I am rather pleased with my efforts and the best part is now I can get dressed standing up.

Things I learnt when making my first pair of curtains:

  1. Having a spare pair of hands and eyes is helpful when you’re marking out where you need to cut the fabric. (obviously not actual spare hands and eyes.)
  2. Be confident when sewing. If you go too slowly not only will it take you forever to finish but you’re more likely to sew crooked lines which will mean the curtains won’t hang straight and you could get annoying gaps where the light peeps into the room very early in the morning. (If said room is where you sleep and you don’t want to wake at sunrise this is an important thing to note)
  3. I tried to think of another one and can’t but I thought a list of just two things was too short to be a list.
My first curtains.
Not a very exciting photo – but here they are hanging up and everything!

2 thoughts on “Throw those curtains wide

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