Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Curtain Conundrum

Due to my inability to estimate fabric shrinkage percentages, I am in a bit of a conundrum regarding my living room curtains. I had planned to make simple panels that I would hem on each side and clip to a regular drapery rod with ring clips.

I measured my living room picture window and need no less than 84" of fabric to cover it. I would like to hang my rod slightly higher than the window frame and would need to allow for a 1/2" hem on each end. Thus, I rounded up and cut four 90" pieces of fabric.

This was no easy task because, while my dining room table is large enough to accommodate 10 eaters, it is neither wide nor long enough to spread out a 54" wide bolt of fabric and roll out a 90" length. I chose to do this in one of my empty bedrooms. I swept the floor to ensure that the fabric I planned to wash immediately after cutting it would not get dirty. Then I rolled out the fabric, measured, and cut. Perfect!

Remembering the sewing rules I learned in home ec, I knew I should launder the fabric before sewing it. I set my washing machine on gentle cycle and washed my precious curtains-to-be in cold water. My fabric is 100% cotton, so I expected some shrinkage, but not quite this much. My 90" fabric is now approximately 80."

Now what? I could make do with 85" panels; I would just hang the curtain rod right at the top of the window. But with 80" fabric, my window is going to be wearing high waters!

I have decided that I'm going to have to improvise...which is what I thought I was doing by making my own curtains. Apparently I'm going to have to super improvise. I'm going to try to find a coordinating fabric and maybe some fringe to sew a border onto one end of the panel, which will enhance the fanciness of the curtains and prevent me from wasting 320" of good fabric!


Kelsie said...

WOW! I have never heard of fabric shrinking that much! Can't wait to see the finished product... I'm hoping for a picture or two! ;)

anewphelps said...

I haven't heard of fabric shrinking that much either! I think you could sew a just a solid coordinating color strip at the bottom. This style seems to be pretty popular in the stores. OHH and I LOVED your blog about Blondie and the guitar box. I think you should submit some of you guys' conversations to the writers of The Big Bang Theory. :) super funny.

Carina said...

Creativity will come to your rescue. And just think, you'll have a great story about your curtains, now. =)