Tara Tuesdays - Part 41

Posted on 15 April 2014

Quick note from Emma.  I did have a chuckle reading Tara's blog post, mainly because of how far she's come from when she was struggling into our sewing classes with her really heavy old machine. Now she's hand stitching, making curtains, has worked as a Seamstress for an outdoor clothing company (with an industrial machine) and is now spending a little time to finish her old projects. I particularly love her work in progress photos below, she has a fabulous concentration face and manages to block all noise out when she's trying to do something. Wish I could do the same!  Here's Tara's curtain post...

I know it's only a curtain.......BUT

Making a curtain for my HUGE front door has been a job that has been on my "to do" list for years.....and I mean years. I live in a big old Victorian house which is hard to keep warm at the best of times when it gets particularly cold. The heat just blows out of the letterbox and the door has been crying out for a curtain to keep us toasty and warm for a good while.

It wasn't the actual making of the curtain that worried me, more the "how to do it" as I really didn't have a clue. Fortunately, I have a very clever friend that makes curtains for a living and she kindly offered to assist me with this project. We met up after Christmas last year and measured up and she told me how much fabric, lining and interlining I would need. We arranged to go fabric shopping in the New Year, I was all up for buying William Morris fabric as I adore everything this chap has ever designed but did a sharp intake of breath when I realised this would set me back some £50 plus a metre! My friend Tracy suggested a local discounted fabric shop that we could go to, so we set off to have a look and see what we could find. I was delighted with the fabric that I purchased because it was SUCH A BARGAIN! Normally it would be £35 a metre which was way over my budget. I actually got the fabric for just £2.99 a metre and couldn't quite believe it when they rung it up on the till! As you can see from the picture it has a two flower pattern repeat and is made from quite a heavy duty linen.

Tracy helped me with cutting out the amount of fabric needed for the curtain (2 widths) and I machine stitched the 2 pieces together. She cut out and stitched the interlining for me as this can be a bit tricky as it is very stretchy fabric and showed me how to interlock stitch the interlining onto the main fabric. All of this was done by hand and I really enjoyed this as it was such a therapeutic process. Tracy gave me step by step instructions and we would meet up every week once I completed each stage. During this time the curtain was slowly starting to take shape and was kept on the back of my sofa bed where I would go in and drool over the fabric on most days! What was also nice about making this curtain was that I wasn't in a rush to get it finished so I could actually enjoy making it.

The next stage was the hem where I learnt how to pyramid stitch and do mitred corners which I am very proud of. I inserted weights in the corners and after machine stitching the two pieces of lining fabric together and sewing the hem we then added the lining starting at the side hems. These were sewn by hand using slip stitch then added using interlocking stitches. We then slip stitched the other side and then added the lining to the bottom hem. When I was sewing the lining on and had only the remaining side and bottom hem to do, I was a bit sad as I had enjoyed making this curtain so much I didn't want it to end! Normally when I make something I am all excited at the start, and can't wait to finish it as I am keen to start something new! I think this is typical of most crafters unless it is just me!

The last part of the making process was to tidy up the top and add the heading tape and I found this to be the hardest thing to do. Once we had done this, we added the hooks and had the grand hanging ceremony! I was SO excited about this and so pleased with myself to finally see my curtain hanging at the door in all it's glory.

All in all, with the main fabric, interlining, lining, heading tape and hooks, this curtain cost me £58 to make! You couldn't buy one that cheaply especially if it was made by hand! I am now desperate to make more curtains for my house and keep looking at the ones I already have thinking that I could make them so much better! My next project is a roman blind which Tracy is also helping me with! I already have the fabric for this and this time I AM using William Morris! Watch this space to hear about my progress....

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