Feb 7, 2013

window dressing

Day 3 of sewing week here is all about curtains...and more specifically, the girls' curtains.

Two or three years ago I came across a picture in Martha Stewart Living magazine (my favorite mag) and it was showing how to mix different floral fabrics together. I know I clipped the picture out but I can't find it. Oh well. The curtains were my favorite part of the room they showed and thankfully, they revealed the fabric source. It was Mood Fabrics.

If you're a Project Runway fan, then you are very familiar with Mood. I was excited to buy something from there and was thrilled when my fabric arrived! (I bought the curtain fabric along with several other fabrics to use in some fun projects.)
The girls' curtain fabric was more expensive than any I had ever worked on before (at that time) so I was nervous to sew them. I measured carefully and cut three panels for the girls' room.

After several hours of work the curtains were finished! (Note: Their room is still a work-in-progress.)
I am in love with this fabric! Even though it is 'loud,' their room is big enough to handle it and just about every color we would ever want to use for decorations, bedding, rugs, etc. is represented in that floral pattern. Here's the link to the exact fabric.
Green, orange, pink, blue, purple, yellow, white, cream, and shades of each!
There was a problem, though. The fabric is a nice heavy-weight canvas-feeling fabric but it wasn't quite thick enough to block the light the way I wanted to in the girls' room. Dark room = a little more sleep for me because the girls will sleep longer.

My solution was to take some old curtains that didn't fit the style of our house anymore, and use them as the linings. They had two layers of lining and were the perfect solution. Here's what the curtains look like from the back:
And here's a shot of the bottom of one of the panels. I sewed the existing curtain into the sides, but left the bottoms open since my curtains needed to be a little longer than the original ones.
Problem #2 was that I only had one pair of old curtains to use...so the third panel had to be lined from scratch.
I lined it using a cheap cotton fabric and then we decided to add a complete blackout lining and insulation-type fabric behind the curtains.

Michael put little cup hooks up in the window frame and then added grommets to the thick, layered fabric so we could hang it up easily.
I could have used this fabric inside the curtains, but it would have been expensive! Cha-ching!! Even with a 50% off coupon at the fabric store, this specialty quilted fabric costs some serious money. The inner layer is a foil-type material like what they use as blankets on athletes after a long race. Interesting stuff.

I cut a rectangle big enough to fit the window and it just sits behind the curtains. When I want to open the curtains and let light in, I can just unhook one side and hide the rest of the fabric behind the open curtain. We did the same thing with all of the windows in the boys' room as well. It blacks out all the light and also helps keep any warm air from leaking out the windows.

That's it for the girls' curtains. But I've pretty much sewn something on every other curtain in the house. I've had to hem most of them, or even make them entirely like the basement curtains.

I also have big plans for the plain white curtains in our family room and dining room...and even bigger plans for our kitchen nook curtains. I can't wait to work on them and hopefully can find time this Spring to do it!

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