Off With the Blinds

I hate blinds. I really do. They are not soft, and they flap in the wind most ungracefully, they get tangled up and snap off, and leave me with 8 foot strips of plastic that I'm too lazy to take down to garage, afraid to throw away (can I ever find one in same colour to get my deposit back?), and don't want to store in the living room. I also object to the sound they make, the whole pulley mechanism offends me, and the fact that you can't discreetly spy on the courtyard, not that I ever would. Or have. Cause that's creepy.

One of my ongoing life projects is to replace all blinds wherever I'm at with curtains. Sometimes I get a little over zealous and replace closet doors with curtains as well, but this isn't good for the garage (storing the doors) or the not-Ikea-meets-old-Russian-lady look I'm trying hard not to project. Anyway, my mother got me some fabulous curtains at a garage sale ($20!) and they went in our bedroom. They are a silky red chiffon type stuff, backed with lining, and what I later learned is called an interlining, or, "awesome soft inside stuff that blocks out light". It also has some insulating properties, I learned later, so garage sale curtains kept getting cooler.

My grandma brought me some brilliant fabric from Ukraine. Think green, gold, bits of flowers and leopard print. 59" wide, 10 meters or so. I had enough for two panels and some throw pillows, or three panels, with a wide band of some other fabric attached. I couldn't figure out how to gracefully hang 3 panels on a window, that wouldn't look ..stupid? So, even though I violated every home design website advice of "twice the window width for proper fullness" I opted for the two panels and throw pillows. Good thing too, because no matter how much I eyeball and measure, I inevitably come up 5" or some other critical amount short.

Luckily, in the case of two panel this only meant that the rod pockets aren't as wide as I'd have liked, and the bottom hem isn't 4" like I read it ought be, unless I "fake it". Right now, 5 full evenings of blood, sweat, and tears, and living room furniture all moved around so I can have floor space to scrawl around 10 meters of fabric.. later I have them hanging up. The bottom hem is basted. The top is done, save the brown banding I need to add. There's even a good chance they are the same length. They aren't "twice the window width" full, but I told myself (and Jesse) that they'll be mostly open, so we can pleased with their appearance 80% of the time.

I wanted the awesome, Pottery Barn catalogue, Extra Length On The Floor look. But I think it was lost on the tye dye brown shag carpeting. So, until we firmly decide we dont' need our deposit back, and rip out said carpet for some nice cheap wood floors, I took up the curtains. I may take them up more, still.

I even added the lining and interlining. Hanging alone, the drapes let in too much light, and looked sad:

Interlining was a patchwork of bits, since it came in a too narrow width of 55", I had to use it width-wise. (is that a word?) And having sewn it all up, the next day, when the sun came up, and shone through the layers, I realized that the seams aren't hidden, but instead form a distinct shadow pattern on the curtain that spells out, "clueless ". It was also too short. Note for future reference: always run interlining to the bottom. Or close to. In as few pieces as possible.

Luckily, Jesse saw an impending nervous breakdown and took charge of taking seams out (3 times!) for me to go again. May be if I made use of things like, ..basting. And not, like, holding a ruler at bottom, and eyeballing a straight line, and imagining all four layers have maigcally lined up perfectly straight as I stitch them together. (3 times). Interlining came from JoAnn's, and went on sale to 2.99/yd promptly after I bought it, so I dispatched Jesse to get a price adjustment. I LOVE this country. Price adjustments! Who would have dreamed?

Lining was going to be JoAnn's but got beat out by Ikea's Lenda Curtain:

For 19.99 they already had the side hems, (that I had to unstich, to fold interlining into and stitch back up), and that pre folded, factory - likely -to -be -straighter -than -anything -the -irnong -board -and -I come -up -with -line, made me very happy. I had already folded, ironed, came up wrong, and refolded, reironed various hems on the curtains (there are really ONLY 4) far too many times. Not too impressed with the quality of Ikea linen (looks to be thread count of about.. 4.. ) but it's a lining, and i'ts a pretty beige colour that doesn't look offensive from the outside, and did I mention the hems? I cut off the tab top, folded it into the rod pocket fold in the back of the curtain on top, and hemmed the bottom folded over interlining on bottom.

Semi Finished Living Room Drapes:

Next to come, Brown Banding, and the making of green See Through Tulle Fluff (that currently sadly hangs from clips in picture)

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