Monday, January 21, 2013

Easy Peasy Curtains

One point of contention in J and I's relationship has always been the office.  When we moved into our new house, it was a no brainer--he could have his man cave, but I claimed the den as my office.  After all, every household manager needs a place from which she can do the managing! 


So we put all the boxes marked "office" into that room, moved in my desk, and there it all sat for the past two months.  The weekends have been busy and after working in an office all day, did I really want to come home and organize more papers?  No.  But the real determining factor was the lack of window coverings on the window.  In the winter, when it gets dark at 5:00, the lights come on and since this room sits right at the front of the house, I didn't want to be sitting in there in my sweats and hair pulled up while the neighbors got a direct view of the inside.

This weekend was the first in a long time that we had absolutely no plans.  I made it my goal to get the office unpacked and organized (more on that later) and figure out window treatments.

We began Friday night by hanging an old sheet over the window so I could get started


Classy, huh? I thought for sure this would get us through the weekend but after running outside to see what it looked like in the dark (it looked exactly like we had hung a sheet), I was determined not to be the trashy neighbor.  After remembering that Jo-Ann's had their home decor fabric at 60% off, off I went.

My heart was set on finding this fabric from Waverly:


It only took two Jo-Ann's to find it and I snatched it right up.  Before I left, J measured the dimensions of the window and I made a sketch


After consulting the nice lady at the cutting counter, we determined 2.5 yds would be just the right amount.  And with the fabric being 54 inches wide, we had a few extra inches to play with--which meant not having to buy a lot more fabric.

Seeing how my sewing skills are still pretty basic, I opted to make these curtains the "no sew" way by getting some hem tape.  (I also took into consideration my patience level--I wanted curtains as soon as possible, with the least amount of whining on my end)

I began by laying the fabric on the floor face down.  Ignore the "helper"--she sees a camera and just poses despite J calling to her from the other room.


I then took the hem tape and folded the salvage edge over it.  Typically you would cut this off, but since I was folding it under it allowed me an extra inch of hem that I didn't have to cut into the pattern for.


Followed by pinning periodically to keep it all in place


I made my way down both sides of the fabric.  The hem tape is heat activated so once they were all pinned, I ironed each side, holding the iron on a section for about three seconds before moving on, removing the pins as you go.  Then you flip the fabric over and iron each section again.

After the sides were done, it was time to cut the panels.  I laid the fabric out again and measured the width.  I divided that number in two and began marking the fabric from end to end:

 
After the marks were made, and measured twice to make sure they really were equidistant throughout the entire piece, I had J come in and do the cutting. 


The "table" is actually an old built in shelf that was in the master closet.  It was just the right length and kept me from having to scoot my cutting mat under the fabric, section by section.

Once the fabric was cut, it was time to hem the new edges:


I did buy a hem gauge, but instead opted to use the hem tape as my guide.  Again, impatience won.  When the sides were done, I finished the top hem as well.

While all of this was going on, J hung the curtain rod:


After the additional hems were "sewn," we hung a panel to measure where we would need to cut the excess bottom fabric off.  Two cuts and two finished hems later, we have the finished product:



 
I opted to go with clip rings from Target because I like the look and it made the curtain super easy to hang.

The office still has a little work to go before it's completely done, so I'll save that for another post, another time.  For now, I can enjoy my space in the evening hours without feeling exposed to the outside world! 

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