Monday, March 21, 2011

(Do not) Let the Sunshine in....

The dining room here at Fairfield Manor has a big west facing window.  I have struggled to find cheap  not crappy looking window coverings for this room.  To complicate things for me, it has a north facing window that butts right up against the corner of the west facing window.  Lots of light (too much in the summer - it's like a pizza oven in there), and what the heck are you supposed to do with that dang corner and curtain hardware?  I know, I should have called a curtain hanging wizard long ago and had hardware made for it (I know you can do that, I've seen it at a friend's house who actually spent some dough), but add that to the cost of custom draperies and well, I've mentioned the Earl, haven't I?  He was happy with the macrame-esque things that were hanging in there when we bought the Manor.  Plus, I can sew, people.  So, I've made several stabs at window coverings for the dining room, none really successful.  Until now....

I found fabric for 50% off at Fabric Depot last year.   On a side note, I'm sorry for you if you don't live in Portland, where you can shop at Fabric Depot, it's fabricy/crafty heaven.  Back to my story:  later in the year I found blackout fabric at Joann's for 50% off (surely you have a Joann's in your town?).  I placed the blackout fabric in my sewing room near the Fabric Depot fabric and left them alone for several months.  They didn't spontaneously mate, so I set to work recently.  As I mentioned here, I don't always have what you would call a concrete plan when I start a project.  I did have the Duke hang some hardware for me, though. Using a very fancy saw as big as my dishwasher, he cut a perfect angle on a each of 2 wooden rods, making the dang corner non-problematic.  Now, we needed curtains/drapes (what's the difference?).
I measured the width of the window, added 1.5 times that measurement (for floof and fullness), and cut that measurement in half so I'd have 2 drapes hanging that will gloriously slide along the rod and close out the blasting sun (when it arrives).  I then measured the length and added 2.5 inches for the rod pocket and 5 inches for the hem.   Cut, cut, cut.  Re-measure, cut.  I cut the blackout fabric 4 inches narrower and about 6 inches shorter than the drapery fabric.  I'll explain later, as I go.
I sewed the blackout fabric and the drapery fabric, right sides together, along the long sides, making a gigantic tube with the hem edge and the rod pocket edge open.
Notice that the top of the blackout fabric is not even with the top of the drapery fabric.  The picture shows the top of the drapes (before turning right side out), with the fabric that will become the rod pocket without blackout fabric.
Next, I turned the tube right side out and pressed the edges.  I hope this picture makes clear what I did:
See, the blackout fabric is narrower, so when I turned it all right side out, it created that nice finished edge.  Pretty nifty.  Again you're looking at the top where the rod pocket will soon be.

Time to sew the rod pocket.  I just turned down the top edge, turned under the raw edge 1/4 inch and sewed it down.  I caught the blackout fabric in the sew-down, so it's all tucked and tidy.
If you decide to try this yourself and all the math and the fact that you don't have a plan and you're making up the rules as you go is making you nuts and ready to snatch yourself bald, wad the whole thing up set the project aside....
and fold your SmartWool socks fresh from the laundry.  Go back to it later.

After you've taken a break and perhaps had a cocktail, you are ready to hem.  I did the same thing here as I did for the rod pocket, fold over, turn raw edge under 1/4 inch and sew that thing down.  Except on the hem I had to use someone's freaky wrinkled hand to help....
No, actually, that's a freaky wrinkled hand sewing the right sides together at the very beginning.  Just do as I say, not as I show.  It works fine.  Seeeee.....
One more to make for the narrow north facing window and I'm done!  I finally feel like I've got the right thing hanging there, ya know what I mean?

I sat at the dining room table and ate a salad with croutons made from this and felt pretty dang good about life....

I've linked here:


  1. I love it!!!! AWESOME!!! Love the material, and I miss Fabric Depot!!! There HAS TO BE a better fabric store in this area, I just need to look harder. Right? I need hope here, people!! LOL!

  2. sad sad sad ... no fabric depot ... and ... no hobby lobby! But I am inspired and I do have a JoAnns about 20 minutes away. With 63 windows in this big old house I surely do need to do something.