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Monday, January 7, 2013

Transforming the Office Part II ~ Creating Simply Pretty Curtain Panels

Thank you all so very much for all your kind comments on Friday’s Part I post. I spent a few hours on Saturday sewing the curtains for the office and am pleased with the results.  They aren’t to bad for $20 worth of material.

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The curtains are simple panels ~ a design that is perfect for a beginning sewing project. 

When dealing with large amounts of fabric I lay it out on a clean floor and use the grout lines as a cutting tool for straight cuts.

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I lined the drapery with simple inexpensive muslin fabric. There were several reasons for this decision.

~ Fabric intended for curtains always drapes better at a heavier weight.

~  The lining makes the fabric appear richer.

~ Lining extends the life of the curtain by several years as it provides a barrier against sun bleaching and rotting.

~ It provides better insulation against heat and chill.

~ When looking into a window from the outside in, it hands down looks better than merely viewing the backside of a fabric.

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The two large rectangular pieces were placed on top of one another and pinned in place. The fabric edge was folded and measured to the desired width and pressed down with a very hot iron. This is the most time consuming part of the process. I multitasked by watching a movie while I did all the pinning and pressing. :)  The cut edge was then folded under and pressed again creating a hemmed edge of one inch total. You may create a wider edge if desired.

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A simple straight stitch was used. As far as thread selection there were a number of colors I could have chosen, this was what I had on hand.

Once the side and top edges were sewn the entire panel was again given a good pressing with a hot iron. Ironing makes all the difference for a professional look on a finished panel.

Some individuals opt to use fabric glue or stitch witchery ~ a heat fusible product used with a hot iron to seal the fabric edges. This is a good option if you do not have a sewing machine. However you may have to reapply these products when washing or dry cleaning your curtains in the future.

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Once the sides and top have been sewn and the curtain pressed I always opt to then hang the panel up to measure the hem allowance. This  allows you to achieve the exact length you desire.

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Once the hem has been sewn the curtains are then rehung. Professional seamstresses recommended training your fabric so it will lie exactly how you want. For panels such as this you just push the fabric very tightly together on the rod. Then take the fabric fold between your thumb, index and middle finger and pull the fold all the way to the bottom of the drapery. Repeat with each fold. Because my panels landed exactly on the carpet the folds remained. If your curtains are a bit shorter you may want to loosely tie a piece of twine around the entire panel for a week or two until the fabric is then “trained”.

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While this fabric was a bold choice for me I just love it. As a curtain panel.

When I began draping the desk it quickly became evident that the oversized floral print was not working as a desk skirt due to the large scale.

I have found a coordinating fabric that will work much better so the saga continues.

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Until then, it’s curtains for me.

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Happy Monday to you!



Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

The curtains look beautiful!!!! I love that fabric!!

Heather said...

That is some gorgeous fabric! Thank you for the tutorial!!

Amy Jo said...

They turned out beautiful!

Amy Jo

sissie said...

I love the fabric and the panels look beautiful.


Maria Elena said...

Laura, the look so pretty! The fabric is gorgeous!

openid said...

These curtains are fabulous! I love the colors and pattern of the fabric.
Your Friend,

♥ Sonny ♥ said...

your drapes look fabulous Laura.. the pattern is terrific~!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Your drapes look sooooo pretty. I like the fabric. Great job. Hugs, Marty

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

Those are beautiful Laura!
I have a little different way of doing the panels that eliminates some of the pressing. I cut the main fabric the size I want it to be finished, plus seam allowance AND an extra inch per side (long sides). The lining is cut the width plus seam allowances MINUS an inch per side. I sew the 2 sides first. the lesser fabric in the lining pulls the main fabric around to the backside. I sew right sides together and then turn right side out, lay on ironing board with the lining up so you can see the main fabric coming around, and press it all really well, making sure to keep the edges of main fabric the same width on both sides and all the way down the curtain. Not sure that makes sense all written out!
Using your grout lines is a wondeful way to get it cut straight! and the training thing is a must for a professional finished look! Great job!

Jen said...

Gorgeous fabric and beautiful curtains! I love the look. Curtains are the first project on my to-do list for this year.... kitchen, living room, master bedroom... Finding the perfect fabric is the hard part!

Heading off to catch up on your last few posts! Happy Monday!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Love how the drapes turned out, Laura! What a great color and pattern. Very smart, especially where you live, to line them. I'm sure the sun could do a number on the fabric. When we lived in NY, I had full sun on my whole house, all day, and you could see how much better the lined window treatments held up over the years.

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME/Doublewide Decor said...

Good job Laura...and I LOVE that jacket you have on!!

Lisa said...

I love how your office is coming together! The curtains are so beautiful. Absolutely adore the fabric!

Auntie Em said...

Your fabric choice is perfect! The colours make it look fresh and cheerful but the floral makes it sweet and vintage. Great tutorial. I never thought of 'training' my curtains.
Thank you for sharing! :)

Bloggymom said...

Love the fabric... and the color.

Sarah said...

Beautiful fabric, and the photo of you and your cousin is adorable. ;-)

Vel Criste said...

Beautiful curtains! I love the fabric you chose, I wish I could sew! :-)

What I Did Today said...

I'm pinning this for future reference. Thank you!

Denise said...

Laura, I LOVE your gorgeous drapery panels; you did a great job. I really appreciate the tutorial, but unfortunately, I've never learned to sew. Believe me, I'm kicking myself every day over that. This lovely office is really making me want to create an office for myself. :)

Have a wonderful week!

Denise at Forest Manor