Feb 15, 2012

That's a lot of fabric

We finally have window coverings up on every window in the house! I bought half of them and made half of them. Phew...it feels good to be done with this part and be moving onto other projects...and now we can work without the neighbors seeing us through our un-covered windows. :)

When we moved back in we made the decision to go cord-free. We used to have blinds in every window that were controlled by cords. But after a friend tragically lost her 2 year old son to a cord accident, and knowing that we would be on a different floor to sleep than our children are, we nixed the cords and had to start over in thinking through window coverings.

Cordless blind systems and shutters can get really expensive, really quickly. We got custom shutters for two of our bathrooms and the rest of the house has curtains.

The entire first floor has white curtains (with the exception of the kitchen - they're blue) in different fabrics depending on the room. I love printed and bold-colored curtains but I also know myself too well. I like to redecorate and having a neutral curtain lets me change colors as much as I want at a lower expense.

I had to modify several of the curtains to make them the right length...but on the main level there was only one curtain I had to make from scratch...and it was a B.I.G. one. I procrastinated as long as I could and finally got started.

Not long after we moved in to our house the first time...our living room looked like this:
See the window to the left of the Christmas tree? That's the window I'm talking about in this post.

Not long after the picture above was taken we started ripping into this room. The picture below is taken from the same angle and you can see the beginnings of our stairs to the basement. The door to the 3-seasons porch was moved and you can see the frame of the new wall with the window-in-question behind it.
Here's another picture (taken from the same angle) when it was closer to being finished (before the water damage). You can see that we also re-faced the fireplace (the mantel wasn't on yet in this picture).
This room has changed quite a bit again...since we did some re-arranging when the water damage was fixed. Sadly, we were close to being done with our entire finished basement project including the staircase when we found out the extent of the water damage and knew we had to move. We have had the wallpaper for the back wall for 3 or 4 years and it's still not up. We also had carpet chosen and ready to go for the stairs and basement but it's still not installed. We're getting there, though.

And the curtains are a big part of making it feel more finished.

I used 5 yards of linen-like fabric (hey, it looks the same as linen but is way cheaper and doesn't wrinkle) for this curtain. F.I.V.E. Y.A.R.D.S! I had never sewn anything that long before and it was tricky to work with that much fabric and keep the sides and hems straight. Not only that, but I wanted it lined so we're actually looking at almost 10 total yards of fabric in this one curtain. (I double-lined all of the other curtains I made for the house - but only single-lined this one.)

The other big challenge with this curtain is that the hem had to be at a diagonal so it would brush the tops of the stairs. Tricky...for me with my lack of sewing skills.
I stared at the fabric and tried to pin it for about an hour before I got something to work. It looked like this:
To hang the curtain, the hubs had to build a little platform. Scary.
The upper window is the one you originally could see by the Christmas tree in the first picture of this post. The lower window is an egress window in our basement. The pink stuff is insulation that we keep there since it's a thin single-pane window.
Finally we were done and here is the curtain. Keep in mind that the rest of this area is unfinished - and I hope to post progress on this in the coming months!
There is another egress window in the basement and I made a matching curtain for it as well. Yay for progress...and diy. I can't even imagine how much a curtain like this would have cost if I hired someone to make it for me. I think the total for this one including the fabric and everything...was about $65 and it took a total of about 4 hours to do.


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