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Lined Curtains ~ For The House on High Street

(This is not a tutorial. This is a summary of a novice sewer making HUGE curtains, for the first time, and only messing up once. ; )

I finally finished my Lined Curtain Project. It only took me an entire summer. I worked at my own pace, and managed to enjoy it. In spite of the sore back, knees, and neck!

Have I mentioned that these lined curtain panels are over twelve feet long? Panels at this length are ridiculously expensive. (They would have cost more than my first car). With this amount of area, the fabric, alone, can be very heavy. And difficult to handle. In one afternoon, I may had gone from knees to standing to bending several dozen times!

The size and weight of these curtain panels would be the least of my troubles. There was also finding the right fabric, determining the amount of yardage to purchase, finding the right hardware…

Oh, yeah. And learning how to sew lined curtains!

I bought a sewing machine a year before we moved into the house, to give myself time to learn how to sew, beyond what I learned in eighth grade Home Ec. class.

So, here are some photos of my progress. From start to finish. This is not a tutorial. I’m not that good, yet.

First, I needed to set up a large work area. I decided to use our large and unfurnished living room.

Since I’m tall, I custom created a work-table.

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20150528_112946The name of the fabric I used is called Magic Carpet, by Waverly. I used my tiled sun-room floor to help keep my initial cuts straight.

Screenshot_2015-09-14-11-23-46The next step was to line up the widths of 3 rows of fabric. Since I’d only be making one panel per window (pushed to the side), I wanted them full and wide enough to cover each window, as well. I think I got the patterns pretty darn straight.

20150529_151758After three fabric widths were sewn together, I ironed the seams flat on the back side of the fabric.

20150731_152856Then, I sewed a 4-inch hem on the bottom of the fabric (panel), and 2-inch hems on both sides.

20150529_193410This is what it looked like after the widths and hems were sewn into place. Here, it actually looks like a Magic Carpet!

20150721_145734The next step was to sew the lining. I started by sewing two and half widths, together. Followed by a two-inch hem across the bottom.

20150616_185917Then, I laid out the lining on top of the back side of the fabric. Oh my gosh, it was so hard laying them both down and smoothing out all the wrinkles! Using a ruler, I went across the bottom and pinned the lining 2-inches above the fabric.

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20150702_163130Then, I sewed one side of the lining to one side of the fabric. I used an ironing board to press along the seam (fabric now attached to the lining). And after that, I did the other side.

20150620_103948Then I had to turn it right-side out and lay it down on the floor. Again. All smoothed out.

Next, it was time for me to finish off the top of the curtain. This was the trickiest part, and ultimately the part I would mess up, on my last panel. I’m still getting over that.

But anyway, I decided to make French pleats. I used Google to find a “curtain pleat formula”, so I knew exactly where to sew each pleat. There are dozens of websites that have a pleat calculator.

20150727_160022This part made me so happy. And, it looked really cool, too. Here, it shows how I pinned the fabric together in sections before sewing to make the pleats.

20150702_175151After I sewed the pleats, I made 3 folds within each pleat and put a stitch through them. And, Voila! French pleats!

20150703_133913I finished off each panel, by hand sewing a few of the rough corners and edges.

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20150703_133904Meanwhile…

Throughout this sewing process, I was working on getting the right hardware for the windows. Fortunately, I found three Allen + Roth curtain rods, on clearance at Lowes! They were the perfect color. A cross between oil-rubbed bronze and the color of our hardwood floors.

20150618_165810Of course, the rings and brackets that matched this rod were discontinued. I had to search high and low to find curtain rings that would fit around a 2-inch wide rod. (Beware. When a description says, “2-Inch Rings”, that does NOT mean 2-inch center diameter. That’s where I was running into trouble.)

20150618_165832I had to custom order the rings at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Fortunately, I had plenty of 20% Off Coupons. I also had to custom order brackets to hold a 2-inch rod AND stick out far enough to clear our blinds. They didn’t come in the right color, so I opted to paint them myself.

20150729_193301Now, you’re beginning to see why this took me the whole summer!

Finally, was the big reveal day. I had somewhat rushed my last panel, the night before, as I was over-tired and growing impatient on getting this project finished. (Big mistake.)

20150731_141711Scott helps out. Hardware is up. Looking good…

20150731_154327Hooks going in panels. Look out, Martha!

20150731_154721First panel hung. Hello, HGTV!

20150802_122257And, will you look at that gorgeous puddle! Reminds me of royal gown!

20151102_153731Almost finished. The last panel is hung.

20151102_153817Whoa. Wait a minute…

20151102_153847_001What the!?

20151102_153857Have you ever laughed and cried at the same time? Oh, it’s a real emotion.

So, when I finished the last of the three panels, I inadvertently cut too much from the top before doing the pleats. This panel here is six inches shorter than the others. No puddle. This reminds me of pants in the 70’s. Floods.

I can fix this somewhat, when I have the time. I can take down the hem, and at least reach the floor. But, for now, my writing chair covers the bottom of this panel so perfectly. So, I’ll deal with this maybe next summer!

The good news is that, from a distance, these window panels look stunning! And, even though it took several weeks, a few back-aches, and one semi melt-down, I’d say I’m happy with them.

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Well, I hope you enjoyed this summary. It took almost as long to upload all these pictures than sew these curtains! LOL

EXTRA Ordinarily Yours

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