Tuesday, 16 June 2015


In a moment of madness, I asked Craig to skip my birthday present and buy some fabric for me to make us some curtains instead.

I'm pretty sure we both wished I'd said something else as it turns out that curtains are very expensive to make - in both time and money! We didn't do any of it in a straightforward fashion either! We called into the fabric shop (Calico & Co.) on a whim on our way home. We picked out the fabrics fairly quickly but sensible heads kicked in and I insisted we go home to measure rather than impulse buying the wrong amount of fabric. I'm so glad we did as I would have completely underestimated the amount we needed!! We then went back but the shop had closed, so had to wait a few days before going back. I was on nights and overslept so we had half hour before the shop closed, it got a bit frantic!

I used the brilliant tutorial and calculator provided by We're In Stitches. The blog posts were quite easy to follow, although I did supplement them with another blog or two when it came to checking I'd folded the fabric correctly for blind hemming and folding down the corners of the curtains.

So what did we buy? Seven metres of a £8.99 p/m green Ikat style fabric from Sandown & Bourne, an additional 7 metres of lovely soft, lining to match it. Oh, and 15(!) metres of another fabric we found in the discounted section marked down from £12.99 to £8.99 p/m. We also bought 15 metres of blackout lining for that as I will be making 3 pairs of curtains from it in order to furnish both bedrooms. Our guests will no longer be blinded by the light in the morning!

I was actually really intimidated at the thought of cutting into £280 worth of fabric! I had to break it down into smaller amounts in my head, so I decided to start on the green fabric which has a pattern repeat of only 10cm and therefore much more manageable than the other which has a 60cm repeat. We also had guests arriving for my birthday BBQ on the weekend and I wanted to get the lounge curtains done so that we'd have a prettier living room. When we moved in, there was a red voile curtain but we prefer proper curtains. Craig had an old pair of velvet style curtains that I washed and it was the death of it - it was constantly shedding red fibres every time it got moved. We had them for over 2 years but it was time for them to go!

So, it only took me 14 hours (and a serious invisible thread machine jam that I didn't think Craig would be able to fix), but I got them done! I started off by making 2 mini practice curtains out of some scrap fabric. This photo shows my usual set up - tablet showing the tutorial or instructions for whatever I'm working on, blasting out Spotify tunes or playing Nashville (awesome, new obsession) or The Good Wife if I'm on an easy bit of sewing!

It took me 3 goes to get the hang of blind hemming but I'm quite pleased with the final results. The blind hem foot that came with my new machine is brilliant! Nice to get use out of the different feet too, I was a bit concerned I was overbuying by investing in a machine I might never get full use out of. I also got the chance to use my overcasting foot and used an overcasting and hemming foot as the green fabric frayed like hell every chance it got. I think it's a very heavyweight cotton/linen type fabric, the roll wasn't labelled unfortunately. 

My camera can't handle the different extremes of the exposure required to get a decent photo unfortunately. The last photo is an acurate colour representation though :D Feel like I've been typing excuses for my camera a lot recently as it failed to properly capture the purple fabric of a zipper pouch too but it was a cheapy £30 bargain from eBay at the start of my course for nights out. I should start saving up for a camera in the January sales. 

Anyway, I do love the feel of these curtains - the lining is really soft and silky to touch, and the curtains have enough weight without having needed to use curtain weights. They are still a bit billowy but when we move I'll be taking these with me and hopefully there's enough width in reserve for them to fit a slightly bigger window! They are also purposely almost too long so that they tuck behind the radiator as this room gets chilly during the winter, so that will help make them more useable too. I love how much brighter the room looks without a dark red curtain, even got Craig to change the lampshade from red to green too. Much better!

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