dil·i·gence:careful and persistent work or effort

Proverbs 13: 4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Oh, those old things?"

"...I just whipped them up one Saturday afternoon."

That's what I figured I would say when someone asked me about the curtain panels that are now hanging in my office.  The reality?  They were a tad more work than I thought.

I have been wanting to sew some curtain for my office/craft area, and I have been greatly encouraged by both the tutorials I have found all over the internet and by my budding sewing skills.  So, I figured picking out the fabric would be the hardest part.  I found this lovely floral/paisley-ish fabric at Joann's for $10/yard and 30% off.  So far so good.  I needed 5 yards, so for $35 I could have beautiful custom window treatments.

The first thing I did when brought the fabric home was clip it up on the already hanging rods to make sure I liked the colors, etc.  (Not that I had a plan of what to do with it if I didn't like the fabric in the office, but you know.)  Oh, and the fabric was already in 2 2 1/2 yard pieces, because it came from 2 different bolts.  Yes, there was a minute (or 10) of panic at the cutting counter when we discovered the first bolt had only about 4 1/2 yards of fabric on it when I needed 5.  But, we found another bolt with exactly 2 1/2 yards, so I got 2 pieces- each 2 1/2 yards in size.  The fabric cutting lady said I must be a good girl to have things work out so perfectly.  Meanwhile, I was wondering if I really wanted to use all my good luck on fabric, but oh well.  So, when I got them in the office with the already yellow walls and various other things that already live in there, it was love.

Yep, it was perfect!  Here's a picture I snapped before I had done any sewing at all.  Just raw fabric clipped onto the curtain rod and puddled on the floor.  I actually didn't think it was half bad, haha.

But, I knew I needed and wanted them to be finished properly.  So, I decided to hem all four sides all nice and neat.  Of course, any successful sewing project begins with a call to my mom, so I made sure to consult her about where to start.  Since I was going to be using clips and didn't need any rod pockets or anything fancy, I wasn't sure if there was an advantage to hemming the top/bottom first or the sides first.  She confirmed my suspicions and said that it didn't matter.  I figured the top would be hardest, so I started there.  When it came to evening out the cut edge so my curtains would hang straight and not be all wonky, I kind of just winged it.  I made sure to mark the line and iron it very well.  I even did the double fold thing where you keep the raw edge from being visible.  Go me.

Seeing as how I am not a sewer, I am very impressed with myself.  They're not perfect, but they look pretty sweet from a distance.  Oh, and they hang straight which is always a bonus.

So, once I hemmed the top, I cut the selvage off the edges, and zipped up the sides.  Then, it was time to figure out how long they should be.  This was a really time consuming part of the process, which included me crouching on the floor with about 400 straight pins.  Finally, I did get it all pinned up, and I actually just pulled the ironing board over to the wall and ironed the hem while the curtains were still hanging.  But, I did take them down to sew that last hem.  And, here they are all hemmed up and hanging.

Aren't they purty?!  I even tried the trick when you put 2 sets of curtains on the same rod.  I already had the gauzey white ones from a million years ago from Ikea, so I hung them on the same rod to the inside of my new panels, overlapping them with a couple clips.  The white curtains give the windows a bit more interest and soften the edges a little.  So, yeah, I totally love them, I'm glad I got them up and that I blogged about it.  The part I didn't tell you yet, though, is that I've only done one panel.  I didn't think I would stop after only one panel, but it took quite a while and I'm also in the middle of 2 other projects AND I have episodes of Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice to watch.  Priorities, people!  I hope to get the other done tomorrow.  Maybe once I do, I will show off the whole office, which has been undergoing quite a few changes lately!

So, all in all, I am glad I sewed myself some curtains.  But, it was time consuming and I found it to be somewhat tedious.  Frankly, I might- in the future- really just look for a reason to use the almighty drop cloth as window treatments like I have in my living room.




  1. Nicely done Emily! You picked a beautiful fabric that looks perfect against the yellow walls and white trim! It really adds a burst of color and sophistication to the room!

  2. I posted a comment yesterday and it went MIA... Wanted to let you know that the fabric you chose is gorgeous! Beautiful curtains. :)

  3. disappearing comments?! we don't like that- not one bit!

    thanks for the compliments, ladies. when i laid eyes on the fabric, i knew it was the one for this room. since there isn't any other fabric/upholstery in room, i knew the curtains could steal the show.