When I first moved into this house I made actual lined drapes with the pleats for my family room. They were necessary because once upon a time the family room was the TV room of the house, and the afternoon/evening sun blazed in and disturbing viewing. But the windows were short, because the family room is in the basement. I made short lined blue drapes, crisp with pleats and curtain hooks. When I think back about them, I am kind of amazed at myself that I got them made as well as I did. No pictures, it was far too long ago. The curtains eventually succumbed to sun fade and cats. It was kind of a sad day when they came down for the last time.
The lesson I learned was that I could make curtains. Now mind you, just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you WANT to.
Six years ago, during a real, honest-to-goodness blizzard when work was cancelled and I was trapped at home, I made a project of making made lined, tab topped curtains for my large new replacement sliding glass door in the dining room. The new door had replaced French doors that I had made lace panels to fit top and bottom inside the frame for the glass. They were not “private”, but very pretty. The door had to be replaced eventually though and I opted for a sliding glass door.
This door is huge, and it takes a lot of fabric to adequately cover it. As luck would have had it, I had a giant piece of lightweight wheat upholstery fabric that was given to me some time ago, and that I found was suddenly begging to become a new curtain. Applying measurements and math, I found was just short enough that I was not going to have enough to make curtains with adequate fullness — unless I got creative. With nothing but snow and time on my hands, I found some brown fabric that I added to the top and bottom, and tabs making my curtain a perfect fit.
The lesson I learned from these curtains is I certainly can make them, but I don’t really like making them. Curtains this size are usually big, bulky, hard to measure in small spaces without using the floor, and really difficult to press on a standard ironing board. I have a short memory.
Four or five years later, and having forgotten lessons, I decided I must finally re-cover the window formerly covered by the crisp blue pleated curtains. An inexpensive upholstery remnant from Pottery Barn, some white fabric for lining and they turned out pretty nicely. This particular window may be wide, but nice and short, so there’s not a lot of bulk required. It helped that the fabric was exactly wide top to bottom to not require much cutting at all.
In December, I stained my bathroom cabinets. Turns out gel stain is apparently communicable. Note the lovely stain spot on the above large curtain. That stain isn’t coming out. At all. Ever. I also noticed that after six years of use, the curtain was pretty worn on the lower right corner too — lots of rubbing by dogs going in and out of the door. The brown fabric had faded, and there was no amount of starch that was going to make them look crisp again.
I also had a big bolt of light beige upholstery fabric that was screaming at me, “make me curtains.” I used the prior curtains for measurements, found a nice coordinating upholstery fabric for the top and bottom, and set out to make curtains.
Now I remember as I’m crawling on the floor — I don’t like making huge curtains. At all. But I’m committed, and here they are. I see errors — this fabric was wider than the original fabric and I didn’t account for that, so they’re pretty full. I also measured the lining without taking the top stripe in account, so the lining is a bit too short. But they’re done and I’ve decided I’m my own worst critic. They don’t have a spot on them so I’m happy.
On to the next project. And it won’t be curtains.