Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Honey, I Shrunk the Drapes....

Sometimes a home project that doesn't turn out the way you hoped ends up being a good thing. This was going to be a post about dying my living room curtains. But instead it is going to be a post about dying my living room curtains, shrinking them in the process, and how I fixed it and got a much cuter result in the end.

First, the dying. I'd been searching for the perfect shade of peacock blue dye for going on two-ish years (yeah, I know, my pickiness is an issue - in a lot of areas). I finally decided "screw it, I'm just going to mix two colors and see what happens." They've been the wrong shade of green for two years, and were faded from hanging in the bright, sunny sliders, so would it be the end of the world if they ended up the wrong shade of blue? No.

I wanted something that would go with the blue fabric I lined the back of my bookcases with (left), the fabric I'm planning to recover some pillows with (right) and the weird green color of my chairs (not shown, but it is close to the middle green in the pillow fabric).

I mixed royal blue and teal green dyes, following all the instructions for machine dying (and for cleaning out the machine afterwards). The good news is I am thrilled with the color. The bad news is, they were 100% cotton panels, dyed in hot water. And they shrank. About 3". I left them hang for a week or so, because they do sometimes lengthen or stretch out just from hanging, but was not very hopeful I'd get my 3" back.

I made a quick trip to Joann's to get fabric for another project, and while trolling through the remnant bin picked up a 3/4-yard piece of burlap printed with keys for $3. I'd seen this fabric, and other cute printed burlaps before, but at $10/yard and with nothing specific in mind for it, didn't want to add to my stash. On the drive home I started to think, "hmmm, I wonder if I could do a cute little border on the curtains to lengthen and accent them?" And that is exactly what I did.

I wanted about a 4 1/2" border, so I cut 10", folded it in half lengthwise and folded a 1/2" hem along both long edges, pressing everything down nice and flat with an iron.

 The fabric width was just a few inches longer than the width of the curtain, so I turned the sides in enough to make them the same width, again pressed with the iron, and then I machine basted the new border onto the curtains, leaving it down enough so that they would skim the floor. I basted because I'm figuring with the sun, these curtains may need to be dyed again, so it will be easier to remove. I didn't bother to stitch the side hems and I did not cut off my existing curtains, the new burlap trim more or less just wraps around the panel from front to back and all the potentially fraying edges are folded up inside. I probably could have done some sort of fringe too, but with the cats, I figured I'd better not tempt fate.

It is virtually impossible to get a decent photograph of these doors because of the light coming through them, but here is one half of my finished result.

Quincy is admiring my handiwork trying to see a squirrel without the squirrel seeing him.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...