Sunday, June 30, 2013

Upcycled Argyle Curtains

 Since our son was born, I've been wanting to make curtains for in his room. My biggest hindrance to making them was my lack of a sewing machine. I had planned to buy one with Christmas money, but when my grandmother learned that I was going to purchase one, she gave me her beautiful antique Singer. She bought it before my uncle was born (60 plus years ago) and sewed a pink blanket for him - she didn't know he would be a boy at that point and was hoping for a girl! Andrew had to order a few replacement parts for it on eBay, but other then that it worked just fine.  Got to love old well made stuff! What sewing I've done has been on older machines, so I felt comfortable using it.

  Before leaving last year to work in Papua New Guinea at a bush clinic, my amazing sister in law Sarah had given me a yard or so of a green, brown and white argyle cloth that she had thought would make beautiful curtains for Perrin's room. It wasn't enough material to make two full curtains, but it looked like enough to make two valances. 

  I also had three brown 54 x 90 inch curtains that had been in the kitchen of our first apartment. Instead of going out and buying new curtains I decided to cut them down to size.

  The windows in Perrin's room were 44 inches long and 31 inches wide.  I wanted the curtains to come to the bottom of the window trim, so I added some length making them 51 and 1/2 inches long.

  I used the 'chalk' from my Ikea sewing kit to help me sketch my measurements to help me cut things to the right length and straight (My coffee cup made a great measuring tape weight).

  Also leftover from our first apartment (and now decorating our downstairs bathroom's only window) I had a valance that I used as a pattern to help me judge the length of the valance. I added a couple of extra inches to the top so I could make a pouch that the curtain rod would go through. I ended up using the pattern of the argyle to help me cut, which made it easy to keep things straight.

  Then came the sewing - I'd forgotten how much I'm not a seamstress! :) My mother is an amazing seamstress and she tried to teach me but yeah.... thankfully I can sew a straight line so I was mostly good! The hum of the machine did bring me back to happy days of listening to my mother sew - that part was nice! I hemmed all four sides and then created a pouch at the top for the curtain rod. I repeated the same thing with the valance.

   Because I didn't want to cover our beautiful window trim, I was limited in what I could use to hang them. I bought two curtain wires from Ikea to hang them with, but that presented me with the issue of having two layers (a curtain and a valance) but only one wire to hang them on. I decided to tack the valance to the curtain. I mostly eye balled it and created pleats (since the valance is much wider then the curtain). I like how it turned out!

  I also made tie back straps. I used the ones from the brown curtains as a pattern and added 9 inches to make them the length I wanted to them to be. 

   Andrew was kind enough to hang the curtain wires for me.

   Now Perrin has curtains in his room and naps much better then before (should have done this a lot earlier). It was a fun little project that did cost me no 'new' money since I upcycled curtains I already had and the argyle cloth was a gift.