April 20, 2011

#90- Curtain Call

Status update- still living in the bungalow, still waiting impatiently for the closing, and still spending every spare second planning, dreaming and designing the new place in my head.  So what does a crazy, design obsessed, DIYer do with a little time to kill and a List of projects?  Scan the list for ones that can be completed now and that we will need to do no matter what.  (If for some reason everything falls through and we don't get The Lodge, I don't want to be stuck with and outdoor sectional we don't have any room for.)

That usually lands me on Ryder's Room, since whether we move or not, Ryder needs to get out of a crib and into a big boy bed stat, and that will require some new decor.  (Although if I could keep that little monkey curled up in his crib until he was 16 I would do it.)  Since the duvet was just delivered, now seemed like a perfect time to whip up some curtains.  Land of Nod has these curtains, which I love, but maybe they're a bit too dark for our room with the dark blue walls already.

Plus, at $35 a panel, I could just hear the Hubs, "You spent $140 on curtains?"  The man just doesn't appreciate good window treatments.  So I went to the fabric store with the duvet in hand and the goal to create a similar style at half the price.

Since I'm betting only my family reads this blog, and since the women in my family are mean with a sewing machine, this tutorial might be a little unnecessary.  But for everyone else, here's a brief version on how it all went down.

Step 1- Plan the design.  To help me decide how long I wanted each section of fabric to be, I used one of the Ikea panels hanging in my bedroom, and marked lines with masking tape where I thought each stripe should go.

Step 2- Cut the fabric.   To make things easier I made each panel the width of my fabric (45"), so I only needed to cut the length.  I took down the Ikea panel and laid it beside my fabric on the floor to help me measure. Before cutting anything, I laid out the various fabric patterns to decide the order and size that I liked best.  I added 4" to the length of my top panel to account for the pocket the curtain rod will go through. I left a couple of inches at the bottom as well so I could hem them once in the room for the perfect length.    

Step 3- Sew the pieces together.  I started by sewing my smallest pieces together first, the white and blue.  I was using a broadcloth so there was no "good side," but for anything with a pattern or texture put the good sides together, and line the edges up perfectly.  Follow the guides on your sewing machine to sew a nice straight line right next to the edge of your seam, about 1/4".

Sewing the blue panel to the white below it.
Step 4- Iron the seams.  Run an iron directly down the middle of your seam on the inside, spreading them apart so it lay more flat. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until all your pieces are together.

Step 5- Add the lining.  We have learned at our house that on rare occasions when the sun doesn't wake Ryder up in the morning, the kid can sleep until 9 or even 10 o'clock!  While those occasions are rare, when they happen they feel like Chrismahaunikawanzika, so it is totally worth the extra step for us to sew in a blackout lining into his curtains.  I simply cut the lining the same size as my panel, (but just a hair less wide), laid the "good sides" together, and sewed the 2 sides. Once you turn it right-side out, iron each seam so that 1/8" of the panel folds back onto the lining side.  This way you will never see the lining from the front of the panel.

Step 6- Create the pole pocket.  First I ironed a 1/2" fold from the top of each panel to create a nice, tucked in edge.  Then I ironed a second seam 3.5" down from the fold I just created to make my pole pocket.  Next I sewed a nice straight line 1/2" from the top edge.  Then I sewed a second seam at the bottom of the pocket pole, making sure to tuck in my lining into the seam. 

Step 7- Cut slits for tabs.  You can use the poll pocket as is, but I like to make tabs for a more sleek, clean look.  To do this the easy way, I simply cut a slits in the back layer of the pole pocket (be very careful not to cut through the front!) I cut 2 slits 3" apart, left a gap of 5", then 2 slits 3" apart again, and continued.  When I hang them I can either keep the rod under all of the pole pocket for a gathered look, or weave the poll in and out through my slits for a tabbed look.  
I used my Ikea panel as a guide to get the spacing of the tabs just right.

Step 8- Hem the bottom edge.  I'm waiting to do this until after I hang them in Ryder's new room to get the exact height, and I'll probably just use some left over hem tape from Ikea at that point to make it quick and easy. Here's the disappointment, I honestly packed these before I remembered to take an after photo, and now they are lost amongst boxes.  You'll have to wait until I hang them in the room for the big reveal. 

Thanks to some 50% off coupons and my favorite discount fabric store Mill End, all 4 panels cost me a total of $37, and that includes the blackout liner!  In comparison to the $35 per panel price at Land of Nod, plus the $42 per panel blackout liners that Target sells, that's a total cost savings of $271! And that my friends is the reason that I DIY.  The cost saving moment at the end of the project always makes it well worth the effort.  Especially since this particular project only took me 2 nap times to complete.  (That's the scientific measurement for spare time in our house by the way, Nap Times, which usually run 2 hours.) 

Anyone else pull out the sewing machine for major projects around the home? Please share so I don't feel like a 4-H nerd.  I try to keep it simple with curtains and pillows, but occasionally pull it out for big projects like slipcovers.  I'm totally envious of people that can make handbags and clothes though.  I try, but they always look a little too much like a home economics project from 8th grade. 

1 comment:

  1. This is really great! Lori & I sewed curtains from bulk material years ago one Thanksgiving day. They turned out quite well, much to our surprise and had them in the downstairs window for a good 8 years. DIY is fun but your talents amaze me :)