Okay, maybe not so wild and crazy...but definitely on a mission this weekend. You saw me post the other day about my rainy adventurous trip to the fabric store. Well, I worked hard this weekend to get all of my other task items done before today so that I could celebrate Presidents Day (Queue President's theme music here...Dun Da Da Dun Dun Da Dun Da Dun Da Dun Dun!) by finally working on the high-water curtains that have been on my "Stupid Little Things" list.
I started this project by assembling all of the needed materials for the day's work:
What you see here is a vanishing ink sewers pen (the ink vanishes after 24 hours!), sewing pins, iron on hem tape, fabric scissors, and a measuring device. Things that are not pictured, but that were also used frequently throughout this project were an ironing board/iron, a yard stick, spray bottle, fabric (of course!), and a sewing machine.
Once I had all of my materials I looked around for a large area that I could use as a work surface.
Turns out my dining room table is just about the size I needed my curtains to be when they were finished, so I figured it would be a good thing to use as a reference.
I pushed the chairs away from the table and against the wall, then I took a damp cloth to wipe down the table. I didn't use any type of cleaning product because I didn't want any chemical residue to get on my fabric.
Next, I ironed the curtains and the piece of gray fabric to remove any wrinkles. This helps the fabric to lay flat when you are measuring and cutting.
Once all of the fabric had been ironed I measured the gray fabric and used the yard stick to draw a reference line across the width of the fabric.
I wanted the main portion of the gray panel to be 24" finished and I wanted a 3 1/2" trim on the bottom. To incorporate enough fabric for the hem, I cut two pieces at 26" each, and two pieces at 4 1/2".
Next I determined how much fabric I would need to cut off of the existing curtains so that the panels of gray fabric would reach the floor. I wound up cutting off about 18" from the existing curtain panels, and this included a 1" allowance for a hem.
Once I figured out how much to trim off, I used the same method to measure and mark the reference line as I had before. The line you see is actually the vanishing fabric marker that I mentioned earlier, so don't worry about marking on the front side of the fabric. 24 hours later, you won't see a thing!
Once the existing curtains had been cut to size I pinned the panel of gray fabric to the bottom edge of the curtain panel. When making hems, it is important to visualize how the fabric will open up after you sew the hem. You want to be sure that you place the back-side up, and the front-side down (referring to the gray fabric here) so that when you sew the hem and flip the fabric over you will see the front side instead of the back. The existing (Ikea) curtain was laying face-up, but this picture doesn't show it. Basically, you want the fabrics to be cheek to cheek (face up on fabric 1 touches face up on fabric 2)...make sense...???
After the two pieces of fabric were pinned together I used the reference line I had drawn to sew the hem. Be careful not to poke yourself here. Those little pins might seem harmless, but they can throw a mean right-hook, if you know what I mean.
Once both panels had been sewn together it was time to clean up the edges and the bottom hem. All I did here was trim up any extra fabric--still leaving a 1" overhang--then I folded the 1" overhang so that it lined up with the outer edge of the existing curtain. For this portion, I used the edge of the table to line up the edge of the curtain so that I knew I had a straight edge to use as a reference. (Side note: You can see my cat, Zach in the background.)
Next I used the sewing hem tape and iron-pressed a hem on the bottom and the edges. This was a really easy way to get the job done, and it leaves a nice, clean edge when finished.
As soon as the hems were all hemmed, up to the curtain rod my new curtains went...and just in case you didn't notice, they're touching the floor!!! The best part about this entire project is that since I found the fabric on sale at JoAnne's, this whole thing only cost me a whopping $3.50!
Here's a closer view: (I know the pictures make the fabric look purple, but don't be fooled, it really is gray.)
Now, they are even a smidge too long, but I would rather they be too long than too short. It really makes me want to jump on fixing the sheer curtains behind them soon too. Having curtains that finally look right really make make the others an eye-soar.
Oh well...another day...another project. For now, I'm just going to bask in the glory of having two curtain panels that touch the ground and look as they were meant to look!
Once everything had been sewn I only had a few scraps of material left over. Talk about cutting it close! I was a bit worried about not having enough fabric, but thank goodness it came out okay. I'm already scheming up some plans for these scraps as well, so be on the lookout for an update in a future post.
Have you ever attempted to make or extend curtains for your home? How did the project turn out? I hope that this post will help out if anyone is thinking about taking on a new curtain sewing project in the near future. Be sure to let me know how it goes!