Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day Six: Bedroom Curtains

Hi, this is a cross-over post between Li Sashay and 50firstcrafts. Each week, my friend Amber tackles a new art. This week features the art of sewing. We are tackling two types of curtains, your traditional drapes and a fancy Roman shade. These are slated to go over Amber's plush king-sized bed. I'm a big believer in curtains as they reduce energy costs on a home or apartment. The typical value is around 30%. This can save you several hundred dollars a year making it a very practical investment. If you have curtains, you have the added bonus of protecting your decor from fading due to UV rays.

Curtains are not an all-purpose fix-it, but they are great addition to any home. The most important part to making good curtains is a tape measure. Accurate measurements are the secret to great curtains. Many curtains feature repeating patterns or must be divided up in a specific manner to look right. The rules are not complicated, but they must be consistently followed.

Part One: Making Drapes

Amber laid out the fabric that she wanted for her curtains. We measured, marked, then cut out. As with all fabric projects for large projects, typical patterns are cut 3-4 inches over the measurements to allow for shrinkage. Drapes are generally made like giant pillowcases. The pieces are assembled inside out with the front being the curtain fabric and the back being the lining. My favorite lining is blackout fabric, which you can purchase at most fabric stores. If you are making a sleeve at the top, you can make this next with a double-folded piece of fabric that is made to fit a dowel or hanging bar. Turn the sleeve inside out. You can use a coat hanger or pencil for this part. There's actually a sleeve-turner that looks like a long coat hanger with a catch at the end which is normally in the notions section and should run you $1-3. It's a handy tool to have, but a pen or pencil works fine. Sew the curtain body to the sleeve (some people do this first).

Leave a space to turn your project. I like to leave at least 4-8 inches on one of the sides. Some people like to put their turns on the top or bottom, but I like to use sides as they seem to be less resistant to gravity.

Part Two: Making Roman Blinds

There are 3 major types of Roman Blinds, the most popular for it's sleek contemporary look is the kind we went with: slotted.

They're much easier to sew and you can find online directions:

As with all beginning sewing projects, a little patience goes a long way. Have a great weekend. Blogger has been having posting problems so we are taking the weekend off and will resume our 40 days of summer on Mon.

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