Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Curtains, Curtains, Curtains

When you look at curtains, they appear to be a pretty simple shape - just a few yards of rectangular fabric finished off on each side with a large casing at the top for the curtain rod. Yet construction & assembly of these window features can be amazingly time-consuming! For those of you who've never made curtains, here's a glimpse at the steps involved...

  1. Measure window height and width to determine necessary finished length and width of curtains.
  2. Find curtain fabric that matches room colour and quilt colour and that isn't exorbitantly expensive.
  3. Find lining fabric that complements curtain fabric.
  4. Calculate necessary yardage of each, especially since curtain fabric is 60" wide and lining is 48" wide (6 yards of the first, 9 yards of the second to have enough to piece together for a full lining for each curtain).
  5. Purchase all fabric and 2 spools of complementary thread.
  6. Measure & cut curtain panels after finding a sufficiently large enough space in the condo to lay the large swath of fabric flat on the floor since you don't have a large enough table on which to cut. Remember to calculate 1" on each side and on the bottom for double 1/2" hems to finish off the raw edges as well as 3 1/2" along the top for the casing.
  7. Set up sewing machine, spin a first bobbin with the appropriate thread, then rethread machine so it's ready to sew.
  8. Carefully turn under all edges 1/2", iron a crease, pin as necessary, & zig-zag stitch to help compensate for the slight stretch in the fabric.
  9. Repeat for sides and bottom. For top, turn under 3", iron, pin, & stitch.
  10. Repeat for second panel. Stop to spin new bobbin when thread runs out. Continue.
  11. When finished, iron entire panels and hang on curtain rods to establish appropriate finished length and size of hem.
  12. Decide instead to turn over 3" casing a second time for additional strength. Need to wait for lining panels before sewing, however, so that lining & curtain are attached at the casing.
  13. Turn over bottom hem 1/2", pin, iron, & stitch.

Curtain panels finished!

  1. Spend 2 hours at laundromat to wash & dry 100% cotton lining fabric.
  2. Iron lining fabric.
  3. Measure & cut lining fabric so that finished size will be approximately 1" less in width and length than the curtain panels.
  4. Measure & cut additional lining yardage to piece together to make lining wide enough for panels (given the 12" discrepancy in width of each bolt).
  5. Sew French seams to piece together lining panels (this means put wrong sides together & stitch 1/4" seam, then iron flat, put right sides together & stitch 1/2" seam so no raw edges are showing on the back of the lining panel).
  6. Repeat with second lining panel.
  7. Stop to spin new bobbin and load second spool of thread when both run out.
  8. Turn under all edges 1/2", iron a crease, pin, & stitch.
  9. Repeat on all sides.
  10. Repeat for second panel.
  11. Iron both panels.

Lining panels finished!

  1. Remove curtains from curtain rod.
  2. Lay curtain panel flat on floor. Turn 3" casing down a second time & pin in a few places.
  3. Lay lining panel on top of curtain so that bottom of lining is max 1" from bottom of curtain and sides of lining are 1" from sides of curtain. Tuck top of lining panel under casing turnover at top of curtain panel, re-pin, & stitch.
  4. Repeat with second curtain & lining panels.
  5. Hang assembled curtains/lining on curtain rod.

Phew! No wonder it takes so long! And I haven't even done the tiebacks. But those can wait until another day...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

LNJ says-

Doc J one of a kind curtains. Now I know what to ask for on my next b-date. Fashionable, girly, frilly... what more could a boy ask for? :)

4:24 PM  

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