Question: Making Drapes and Valances
I haven't written in for a long time because we sold our house we had
lived in for 20 years, bought a "new" smaller and cheaper one, and moved
in November. I've been so busy with the move and the holidays that I've
barely had time to do anything else. The good thing about the move is we
will be cutting our expenses by $300 to $400 a month, and so far I
really love the new place!
Now to my question: Our new house has mini blinds at all of the windows
except the kitchen, but no drapes, curtains or valances! I've been doing
a little catalog looking and the prices for window treatments are
outrageous! I know how to sew, and I was thinking maybe I could make
some of them. Does anyone know of any good websites with directions for
making window treatments? Or do any of you have any suggestions for
attractive but inexpensive curtains?
I love this list, it is so full of great tips!
Nancy Ann in Ohio
Date: Fri Jan 3, 2003 10:38 pm
Subject: Question: Making Drapes and Valances
I'm having the same problem. We moved into a beautiful old home that has 11
windows, including sash windows next to the front door and even a square window
in the front door. For 800 square feet that seems like a lot of windows. And
all of them have ugly mini blinds, except the sash windows and front door,
which are bare and very exposed. Any suggestions for window coverings would be
greatly appreciated. I especially need to find curtain rods that are 12 inches
wide for the sash windows and some way to cover the window in the front door.
It makes our living room quite a little fish bowl.
From: "Sheila Kyer"
Date: Sat Jan 4, 2003 12:02 am
Subject: Question: Making Drapes and Valances
For myself I have a couple of matching silk fringed scarves draped over a
set of fancey black curtain rods in my livingroom The windows are tall and
narrow and have blinds. The scarves go to a costume that I wear during the
Ren Faire during the spring, so the rest of the year they hang in front of
my windows. The blinds keep them from suffering fading from the sun.
For my kitchen, my grandmother made me some simple cafe curtains for my
kitchen/dinning room. They are just two levels of white cotton fabric cut
into rectangles with casings and some blue and white print fabric forthe
ruffles along the edges and accross the top of the top curtain. These were
$1 a yard fabric from wal-mart. They didn't have enough of the blue and
white to make the whole curtain, but htere was enough for the ruffles and
about 4 cloth napkins. I never got the napkins though. My grandma chose it
because the pattern is of blue willow plates and that is what my dishes are.
The curtains are hung from the cheap adjustable curtain rods you can get at
most stores. The curtains cover them completely so it didn't matter.
If you have fabric warehouses in your area you can also pick up some nice
drapery fabrics cheap. In Dallas there are several such warehouses at Peth
and Harry Hines.
If you aren't going to put anything really heavy on them you can always make
your own curtain rods for thos 12" wide windows. Go to your local craft store
and buy the 1/2 thick dowels and some ends for them you like. They have
several. If you like the wroght Iron look you can spray paint them a flat
black. You can pick up hangers for them at either your local Wal-Mart / Fred
Meyer or maybe even there at your craft store depending on where you live.
I would make tag style curtains (it's just because it's one of the easiest and
one of my favorites) then hang them on the dowels and TADA! Wonderful looking
curtains for your two sash windows.
The dowels can be made for any length you need up to about 3 feet if you aren't
using a very heavy fabric to make your curtains from. If you are only doing
the sash windows with them that's fine, they should hold up pretty well no
matter what weight of fabric you are using.
For the front door go to your local wal-mart etc and
get either cafe rods or the little spring rods just a
little larger then the window. Take the measurement
of the door window and divide in half multiply by two
add three inches to the sides (this is for a one and a
half inch seam each side), and two and half inches to
the top and bottom (again this will be for hems). Buy
cheap sheets that will allow you to cut out these
measurements-try second hand stores if you want. Cut
out your fabric to following the above measurements
(you will be cutting out two of these). On the each
verticle side fold over 1/2 inch and then fold over
1/2 inch again stitch down. On the top fold over 1/4
inch and then fold down two inches (double check this
measurement with the rod size) and stitch very close
the the folded edges. Now do the same for the bottom
of both panels. Put hang on rods (one for the top of
the window and one for the bottom of the window).
Next you might want to make sash that will allow you
to sinch in the middle of each panel. Figure out what
size you want (width and lenght-how big or small of a
sinch you want) double that measurement. Fold in half
and stitch near lenghtwise edges and one of the small
edges. Turn out and fold under unstitched edge and
stitch closed. Voila window panels for your door.
My mom used a twig in her "studio" as her rod... it is really cute! That
was a trend in the little shops in Malibu *my sis leaves near there and
frequent the quaint shops*. I picked up lots of white sheer curtains at a
yard sale *actually a church rummage sale* that I am planning on using for a
patchwork canopy for my daughter~ one of these days! Was going to dye them
the colors of her room *yellow, purple, pink* and just sew them together!
Ahhhh... like I said~ one of these days!!!
Just a little idea!!
Didnt see this mentioned here but saw it someplace else that I cannot
remember. Flat bedsheets can be used for curtains. Sometimes a sheet can
be bought for a lot cheaper than the material would otherwise. Also this
helps if you have an unusually large windo and dont want seems. And sheets
come in such a huge variety of colors and patterns that finding one to match
your decor should be not too hard at all. ANother plus is that sheets can
often outlast most curtains you buy, if you consider washing them often
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