17 January 2012

office curtains -- or -- justifying the sewing room

So I built myself this sewing area. And last I checked, I haven't actually been sewing that much lately. But now that I have a whole AREA devoted to it -- and after I insisted that I needed the loft to be MY office so that I'd have room for said area -- I figured I'd better get off my butt quickly and sew some stuff up.

The result? My first curtains! (Not just my first home-sewn curtains, mind you. My first curtains ever. Our condo in LA has plantation shutters that came with the place, and every rental prior to that had icky blinds.)

As of the last post, here's where things stood.

And now, with curtains and some new storage:

It's actually feeling like a real room now. And here's how it went down.

When we first moved in, we bought loads of this fabric to make curtains for the guest bedroom, and I still haven't actually made those. But I knew I had more than I needed, and so I figured I could use it in my office too.

But then I just wasn't loving the pattern in my office. Too much blue. Even the "wrong" side of the fabric, which is the reverse, is a bit too pattern-y for the window I basically stare at all day. So I went digging through my fabric pile, and came to this, which I'd only bought one yard of, intending to make a throw pillow or two:

Astute readers may recognize this fabric from the background in my crafty frame post.

I love this fabric more than I can explain rationally. I'm not really a floral person, and I generally shy away from prints. But there's something about this one that I'm completely drawn to. It's graphic without being busy, and floral but modern. I also just love the color palette and find the overall vibe very soothing.

But again, I only bought one yard. And I did the stupid thing and hung the curtain rod first, as high as the angled ceiling would let me hang it. It was not looking good for this fabric being able to cut it as curtains.

Testing it out on the clips:

So I trimmed the fabric to make the edges square, preserving as much of the yardage as possible, and then did a little math. And I figured that if I used pretty narrow hems, I could just barely make it work.

Using the seam ironing method instead of pinning, I carefully pressed all the hems, one at a time, sewing each one as I went.

I know that a heftier hem at the bottom would help the curtains hang better, but I had not a centimeter to spare! And in the end, it all came out pretty well, except for one or two slightly funny corners, which I'll never see anyway.

Then it was time to clip it all up, and to my delight, the curtains will technically shade the entire window, which in my book makes them real curtains, not just dummy panels. And thankfully they just barely cover the bottom of the window frame.

Of course, I will only ever really see them like this:

Sorry about the weird light. My office is kind of a cave, which makes photography challenging. Adding more light is definitely on the to do list.

So now I've officially made my office better, gotten practice sewing curtains (and learned some good lessons -- see below), and justified both my sewing area and my use of the loft as my office. Good times.

Now for the lessons:

1. If you really love a fabric, buy a little extra. If I'd even just bought a yard and a quarter, my drapes could graze the desk and look so much nicer.

2. If you have limited fabric, measure it out first, before you hang your curtain rod. If I'd hung the rod two inches lower, my curtains would not look like too-short bangs, as they do now.

3. Most importantly, if your drapes are a little short, who cares! They still soften up the space and add some extra layering that makes it all look lived in.

If you're curious, I've made a whole bunch of other office updates too. Stay tuned for the full office tour in the next week!

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  1. Oh man! I have been thinking about trying to make drapes for our living room, and I've been terrified! I'm no sewing genius by any means, but I've made a couple pillows, and I think I could get the seams straight (enough) for some drapes. But I'm scared! HAHAHA We have a giant picture window, so I'd need TONS of fabric to actually cover it. Do you think it's bad if the curtains don't actually cover the window when closed? (we never close the curtains we have now...)

    I love the way your office is coming together! So pretty! :) And such a great creative space!

  2. What great fabric! Love the colors. It looks fabulous in there.

  3. I think it came out great! I agree on the floral fabrics but yours has enough whimsy to not be too flowery! Love your office corner! Super cute!


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