Sunday, June 6, 2010

The end of the 'long' project...

Have you guessed yet?  

The 'long' project was not only long, at 2.5m, it's also 4m wide when closed...

It's curtains!

Or to be more exact, drop cloth curtains. Made from drop cloths. You know, like for painting. From Bunnings. Two huge panels of gorgeous, thick, natural cotton for just over $40!

Mind you, they don't start gorgeous. They come like this...
Elegant, no! Cheap (for 9' x 12') - yes! (I got mine on special - $20.99 each.)

If you're going to use new drop cloths rememeber - once you remove the plastic, you will want to put them straight into the wash - they stink! The cotton is in a raw state and will need the little bits of 'chaff' washing out - did I mention the smell? (I guess painters are used to stinky smells. They probably don't wash theirs.) I washed mine twice in hot water, with drying time in between to make sure all the shrinkage was done before the sewing and that the fabric would be nice and soft.

Notice the great big black brand-name? Once the cloth was dried and ironed, I cut a strip from one selvedge to the other just under the printing. This is the fabric I used to make the concealed tabs on the top.

Because the strip I cut off ran down the side with a hem (the 9' one) I re-hemmed it. This became a side of the curtain. (The sides were already hemmed when the cloth was made - how cool is that?) The selvedge sides (12' ones) are the top and bottom. I made some tabs for the top, using my curtain rod and how much fabric was in the extra strip as a guide to the size. I used 16 tabs per curtain, and didn't need to use any of the fabric with the brand on it. There were even a few leftovers. 

Once the top was folded over 10cm, and the tabs evenly spaced and pinned on, I machine stiched two long lines across the panels, 1cm from the top and bottom of each tab.

Basically done. I didn't even have to hem the bottom because it's a selvedge edge, though I'm still trying to decide if I like the 'pooled' look at the bottom. (Check out examples of extra long drapes here and here.)  I may still decide to hem them.

In Design Rules, Elaine Griffin says, "Curtains should always be installed as close to the ceiling line as possible in order to visually elongate your windows and uplift your ceiling." And, "Never end your curtains exactly at your window trim. Extending the rod by at least 6 to 8 inches past the outer edge of the trim on each side of the window will let in bushels of light when the curtains are open, makes your windows look gargantuan and show off your lovely curtain fabric too."

And blow me down, she's right you know. Our room looks bigger and grander! (Though I keep expecting them to open to a fanfare of organ music and people to start dancing across my back patio!) The colour also helps make the room larger, as it's similar to the walls.

The nice french seams in the cloth give a little added detail - I decided to go with the pre-joined cloths and have 2 larger detailed panels than smaller cloths and 4 or 6 plain panels.

Anyhoo, the new look is much better than the old, dark, stingy curtains we had before:

(Just ignore the cute egg tree and focus on the blah curtains in the background - I forgot to take a 'before' shot. D'oh.)

One more look...

Ahhh. Much better!

P.S. "But Nature cast me for the part she found me best fitted for, and I have had to play it, and must play it till the curtain falls.Edwin Booth


Toni said...

great job you thrifty thing you, what else could we make from this?

Candy Perfume Girl said...

they're really nice what a good idea:D

Anonymous said...

Easy come easy go.


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