Last month I spent my two weeks annual leave completely redecorating our bedroom (and bathroom!) whilst my OH was away on cadet camp. It’s easier to decorate when he’s not around as he hates all the disruption and gets very grumpy!
I just about managed to sew a new set of curtains for when he came back…well they were sewn enough to hang up to keep the light out, but they needed hemming and titivating. Over the last two days I’ve finally got round to finishing them.
The fabric is a gorgeous linen weight by Porter and Stone called Isabelle, it’s got beautiful magnolia blooms with a background of duck-egg blue. I bought it on eBay, I just ordered a metre to start with, just in case it wasn’t what I wanted, but I loved it as soon as I saw it. My colour scheme was duck-egg blue and plum and this included them both. I’ve had a feature wall in dark plum for a few years and I wanted to keep that with the rest of the walls in the duck-egg. I wanted a calm, restful bedroom.
The pattern has quite a big pattern repeat of 24″, I think this must have been the traditional size of the printing rollers as I’ve had quite a few this size. I just meant I potentially wasted a fair bit as my curtains were 71″ deep, so I needed about 78″ for a decent hem and the top turnover. Don’t worry, I have plans for my waste!!
As the fabric is light in colour I used a blackout lining, it feels funny on the inside and does make the stitches look a bit dark (I think the ‘rubber’ comes through) but it does the job at keeping the bedroom dark.
I like triple pleats on curtains, I bought some special curtain tape which gathers them into triple pleats automatically. If I’d sussed it out a bit better first I would have centred the pleats better.I still had the triple hooks left from the old set of curtains, I like these ones with the four prongs as they hold the pleat nicely.
The curtains went together pretty easily, the patterns matched up fairly well, I just had two lengths in each curtain so it was straight forward to sew. Yesterday I started hemming. I bought some bias binding to hem with a couple of weeks ago (it avoids the bulky turnover) and it is hiding somewhere in my sewing room, all 6m of it! So I turned under the fabric instead and hand-stitched the hem. As it’s a linen weight it has pressed pretty neatly. I made a 4″ hem to give a bit of weight to the bottom.
I like buttons on my triple peats, I think they neaten it up and add a bit of interest. Ideally I’ll have tassels as well, hanging down from the buttons… I wanted just the right shade of plum for the buttons, not too harsh but enough to make a feature. I couldn’t find the right shade so I covered the buttons with the Isabelle, choosing bits that had the most purple on. I might have been better just going for plain duck-egg as they do seem to disappear now the curtains are up. I’ll keep my eye open for the right shade of plum, maybe at the Knitting and Stitching Show in November, then I would like duck-egg blue tassels with glass plum beads on….
Whilst I was stitching the buttons on I also stitched through the triple pleat to make it neat. It makes a big difference but it is hard work. Stitching through a triple pleat you don’t just have six layers of fabric and six layers of lining you also have six layers of curtain tape…don’t you just hate it when the eye end of a needle goes through your finger!! My mosquito’s (artery forceps) came in very useful for pulling the needle through!
With the curtains hung I turned my eye to the first length of wastage…last year at Tea & Tents I made a lampshade at a workshop run by Kirsten Clark from Make & Do, I decided to make another, so after a few messages on facebook I found the link to order the kit. They are very simple to make, the fabric is attached to some sticky-back PVC and then stuck on the rings using sticky back tape. It does help for this to have a second pair of eyes as you have to roll the two shaping rings along the very edge of the fabric strip. Once the basic drum shape is made you then spend half an hour tucking the ends in and it’s finished! It sounds a bit Blue Peter-ish but the finished effect is very good and the last one is 18 months old and still looking fine.
I’ve still got my 1m sample length left which will hopefully cover a little chair seat, the leftovers I’m thinking of making a bag with as my current bag is getting a bit worn…so you haven’t seen the last of this fabric!