It's Curtains for the Gauze

There are a few things that have been bugging me about our guest room for a while. One, I still haven't done anything about that big, blank wall on the south side of the room, and two: those totally sheer, totally cheap-looking, totally gauze-like curtains that were left there by the previous owners. In a room with such light colors throughout, these curtains just made the room look too cutesy, too much like a nursery.... which this room will not be turned into for quite some time. We needed some curtains that would add a more structure, mature look.

After a quiet few weeks on the home-decorating front, Eric and I deemed last weekend "Get S*&#! Done" weekend, and the top priority on my list? Call it curtains on those curtains.

I headed out to Jo-Ann Fabric on Saturday, bringing along one of the pillow shams from the guest room bed. I wanted to find a fabric close enough to the purplish/magenta color found on the comforter. The stars were aligned, because I managed to find some thick, drape-quality home decor fabric that matched the color almost perfectly - and I found it in the "as is" discounted section of the store! When I brought the bolt up to the cutting desk, I asked the woman why it was being sold "as is." She unrolled the bolt and we noticed there was some adhesive residue near the end of the roll. As I knew I'd be making curtains, I said I'd work to get the adhesive off with rubbing alcohol, and if it didn't all come off, I'd do my best to ensure the less-than-perfect portion of the fabric was used on the inside of the pocket rod, once sewn. I ended up getting five yards of this durable, thick, perfectly-matching fabric for $32. 

I planned to make these curtains in the same no-sew style as I did for all the rest of the curtains I'd made for the house. But because these necessitated a pocket rod, I needed to pull out the sewing machine to make the pocket. I happily stitched away on my first panel until I noticed I am a complete jackass and forgot to change the color of the thread to match my fabric - bright white stitching on maroon fabric does not look classy, you guys. Now, remember, although I love keeping myself busy with projects around the house, I'm incredibly lazy, and didn't want to spend any time ripping out the long stitch I'd just made to my soon-to-be curtain panel. So I dug through the craft room, opened up my "grab bag" of ribbon I'd purchased from a Value Village thrift store weeks earlier, and found some old rick-rack a shade of sky blue that matched the color of the guest room comforter perfectly. Fantastic! I would cover up my tacky white stitch with some pretty blue rick rack, adding visual interest to the top of the curtains.

You guys, this rick-rack was old vintage. Check out what I found on the inside of its wrapper.
Teenage glamour, indeed.

After realizing I had no idea how to attach rick-rack to anything, I called my mom and she said I should just try stitching a straight line right down the middle.
Not perfect, but too shabby for a first timer! 

After sewing the pocket rod pocket, I simply hemmed up the additional sides by my no-sew method - good ol' Stitch Witchery and an iron. I repeated the process three more times, and was elated when I discovered I had JUST enough blue rick-rack for all four panels - with just four inches left over!

The final result:

Before, with the cheesy, gauze-y curtains:

And after, with the much better-looking, matching, handmade curtains.

Ahhh... You guys, I feel so much better. Those sheer curtains not only looked tacky, but they provided absolutely no barrier from sunshine pouring into the room, which I'm sure our overnight guests have not appreciated when woken up by the sun at 6 a.m. They also just fit so much better in the room - they match, they're more "mature"-looking, and they drape perfectly to pool on the floor for about half an inch. And my little "oops" moment when sewing them, with the ensuing recruitment for a strip of rick-rack, turned into a great opportunity to add detail and interest to the curtains - talk about turning lemons into lemonade!

Total cost of our new curtains? $32 for the fabric, and probably about 20 cents for the rick rack, which came in a grab-bag of about 15 different spools of vintage ribbon that I paid $3 total for at Value Village. 

I'll keep the gauzey curtains stashed away for a while to see if I can somehow use the fabric in the wedding - creating fabric flowers or table skirting or ribbon or something - never let scrap fabric go to waste! 

What "oops" moment have you taken advantage of to create an even-better-than-planned outcome? All it takes the the ability not to freak out, and some creative thinking!

1 comment:

  1. New curtains look great Rachel. I need to make some soon, but I'll have to stick with the no-sew method...either that or buy a sewing machine. My younger brother's baby blanket had rick-rack along the edges, and he loved to scratch it. I remember my mom restitching more on several times. She would run the sewing machine back and forth b/c that was his most favorite thing about it - all the little stitches. Some babies like their thumbs, but my brother preferred his rick-rack. :)


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