DIY Explanation

pour améliorer, meaning 'to improve', is a humble record of our renovation, home improvement and landscaping projects, with our travel adventures thrown in.

28 February, 2012

Officially an Amateur

It's time!

That's curtain time, for the uninitiated. And my face says it all.

But having taken the edge off my nerves with my shower curtain repair, I was ready to at least make a start, one step at a time. So I laid out the fabric (very painstakingly chosen - seen here)

And then it was a matter of measuring it so that I could cut it into four panels.

I discovered that it's really hard to get a straight line across the fabric that actually looks like it's straight - so that each of those little teardrop shapes lines up perfectly with the next one.

Once each panel was cut (we cut them quite a bit longer than the length we actually need, just so we don't waste any of the fabric, and can potentially extend them and reuse them in a different room later on), I folded the edge of each long side over a few centimetres and ironed the fold to make it nice and crisp.

But before I was willing to attack the fabric with the sewing machine, I decided to have a practice run with my orange thread on an old pillowcase. Just to make sure I wouldn't totally ruin my fabric with awful stitching.

And then the dreaded moment came when I had to actually put needle to curtain (or future curtain).

This is my look of intense concentration.

And this was my first hem! Pretty embarassingly crooked I'm afraid, but thankfully the orange thread is almost identical in colour to the orange in the curtains, so it's pretty invisible.

I repeated that process with the other long edge, and then moved on to the bottom hem. I measured in 20cm from the bottom edge of the fabric, and then folded the fabric along that line.

And then I ironed that fold line so it was nice and crisp.

I did then also fold the edge back underneath (and even did an angled fold in the corner so it would look nice and neat from the front, with none of the hem peeking out around the edge), and then I ironed it too.

Then came the tedious-ness of repeating that process with the three remaining panels, leaving only the top edge of each one untouched. This was because I was missing one very important piece of information - how long my panels needed to be! As I mentioned in this post, we had to make a trip to IKEA to be able to buy some curtain ring clips, so I could then figure out exactly how much distance there would be from ring clip to floor.

First though, we had to actually install the brackets for the curtain rods.

And then the rods themselves. We discovered some time ago that the cheapest option for a curtain rod was at Bunnings. $20 for a simple extendable one that comes with brackets. They come with pretty unattractive scroll-like finials, but you can always swap them for something else.

Unfortunately the screws that come with the brackets always break, so we had to use some of our own, meaning they stand out a bit. A touch of trusty black nail polish fixes that problem, though!

So then came our IKEA trip and the acquisition of the long-awaited curtain ring clips, which I eagerly piled onto the rod.

And then I simply ran a tape measure from the floor up to where the fabric would sit in the clip, to determine exactly how long each curtain panel should be.

Four repetitive top hems later (with some measuring and re-measuring of lengths to ensure the curtains would just skim the floor), and then the grand unveiling (or veiling?) could happen!

This was a very big moment for me. I sewed curtains!

And thankfully the bottoms just skim the floor a tiny bit, just as I wanted them to!

When I was first planning curtains for this room, I had thought I would also put a panel on each side of the doorway (the one we built), but because there is very little space between that doorway and our shelves on the left, it wouldn't really work.

Plus, it might have been just a bit much orange in the room having the curtains spread around like that. I think the two panels either side of the big window are probably just enough colour, particularly since I bought a few orange folders to put in my shelves on the other side of the room (above).

The addition of the curtain now makes my gallery wall above my desk even more bright and cheerful (although still unfinished, as you can see - one step at a time).

I think I now officially call myself an amateur sewer. Can you believe I made curtains?!!!

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