For each month until my bub arrives (October), I’m having a nesting theme (see here for more details). June’s theme is Bedrooms.
We moved into our house almost a year ago, after having lived in apartments for a few years. It is a beautiful, renovated Queenslander, but the previous owners’ never put the finishing touches on the renovation. One of the things that was missing was curtains and blinds. For the living areas, we bought roller blinds, but for the bedrooms, I decided to make my own curtains and fabric blinds.
I was a bit nervous about making curtains and was looking for a how-to guide in my local craft and fabric store when the two lovely ladies behind the counter took the time to explain to me the different types of curtain heading tapes that were available, and convinced me that curtains were easy to make. With their encouragement, I decided to give it a go!
I made fully-lined curtains as I like a dark room, and it helps keep the temperature down in the hot summers here in Australia. I used a tutorial for curtains at Alternative Windows (lot of great projects here!), and my curtains had a fullness factor of 2.5. I’m a big fan of plain, simple curtains that will last forever, and using other details in a room to add personality, so I bought plain blue cotton fabric for my son’s room and green for number 2’s room.
There were curtain tracks in the two kid’s bedrooms already, and I decided that I wanted to have triple-pinch pleat curtains (where there are 3 pleats, then a flat section, then 3 pleats etc), rather than pencil pleat curtains (lots of tiny pleats, and no flat sections). There are two types of heading tape that you can use – one with two strings that you pull that forms the pleats (for more details, see here), or one with pockets that you insert 4-prong hooks in to form the pleats (see here). (Note: Pencil pleat curtains just have a different type of heading tape.) For the first curtains I made (for my son’s room), I used the first type with the string:
For the second curtains (for Number 2’s room), I used the pocket tape with the hooks. The latter one had a tighter pleat and looked a bit neater, in my opinion. Both were a bit fiddly to form the pleats.
Curtains are a simple enough project for a beginner sewer. It really is just a lot of long, straight seams. The only thing I found frustrating was the amount of material I had to handle. With a fullness factor of 2.5, my curtains were 3.3m wide for each side for the larger windows. When you’ve got your sewing machine on a small desk against a wall, that is a lot of fabric either scrunched up on my lap or against the wall. Measuring and cutting the fabric was also tedious as my table wasn’t long or wide enough to fit the full length and width of each panel. Blind-hemming the curtains by hand also took forever (I do wonder about the decisions I make sometimes!). Once I actually spent some time at the sewing machine, it only took me a weekend to complete each set of curtains (with time for managing a toddler and a husband). In the future though, I think I’ll only volunteer to make curtains for smaller windows and leave the bigger windows to the professionals!
Next project: London blinds.