"How did you like your home dec project? Having done a lot of home dec
myself, just curious how you like it compared with making garments."
The answer, Corey (and others), is "not very much." I mean, sure, making living room curtains is OK, but I wouldn't want to have to do home dec on a regular basis. If this is what you decorators do, I kiss your hem -- which I can guarantee looks better than mine.
I'm not what you would call a "math person." I mean, I got as far as calculus, so I should have been able to measure these curtains correctly. The problem is that I approached them the same way I approach Cathy's dress hems: I eyeballed them.
The way I see it, since we're ultimately going to view things with our eyes, what difference does it make what the ruler says? It's like body weight and bathroom scales: Who cares what the scale says if I can't button my pants? Unfortunately, my reluctance to measure -- except for the single time I measured the width and length of my old curtains so I'd have an idea of how much yardage I'd need for my new curtains -- resulted in my having to do a LOT of extra work.
First, instead of figuring out the exact length of each panel I'd need (with hems figured in the measurement), I just cut my six yards of fabric in half, thus creating two even panels, but both too long. So I had to trim both of them when I was ready to hem. I could have avoided this on one of the panels if I'd known the exact length I needed -- does that make sense? I don't think you have to be a math person to figure that one out.
The bigger problems occurred in hemming: getting the length of each panel exactly right, and matching them to each other. I never measured the length of my panels, I just eyeballed everything. The first time I hemmed the first panel, the hem looked great. The only problem was that it was 1 1/2" too short. I had high-water curtains!
I had to rip the seam out and lower the hem an inch. Fortunately it didn't take all that long to accomplish, but it was a PITA. The new hem is much better, and hangs approximately 1/2" above the floor. The hem depth is narrower than I'd have liked (I was hoping for a 4 1/2" hem), but it's fine.
The real headache was hemming the second panel. I had to match the length of the first panel, and the hem also had to be the same depth. I hung the two curtain panels and simply lined up the edge of the first (hemmed) panel next to the second panel. I marked the bottom point in blue pencil. I knew that if I added roughly 3 1/2" (the depth of the first hem), plus 1/2" (the turned-under edge), I'd be good to go. Not so -- and I'm embarrassed to admit that I can't even tell you why. Like I said, I'm not a math person.
I pinned before I sewed this time so there was no seam ripping involved, but on my first attempt, the hem was the correct depth but the panel was too short. I tried a second time -- still too short and the hem was now too narrow. I could think of only one solution: I grabbed one of my fabric remnants from when I'd shortened the panel (the first time), cut a 2" strip, and sewed it onto the bottom of the second panel.
Was it painstaking? Yes, it was.
Did it work? Yes it did.
Is the surgery invisible? No, it is not (at least by day).
But I can live with it!
Most of the time the curtains will be open, and nearly all of the time there will be things blocking the hem, like sewing machine tables, dog crates, and assorted clutter. Plus, who will even notice the hems of my curtains except for me? (And you)
I'm done with these puppies. (I forget to mention that I also hemmed the sides for a more finished look.) Tomorrow I will clean up a bit so I can take beautiful photos. Nobody will ever notice that extra seam and I know none of you will rat on me.
In closing, readers, how are your measuring skills?
Are you more apt to eyeball a measurement than use a ruler or measuring tape? (If so, join the gang.)
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!