Monday, November 2, 2009

Simple Tea Towel Curtains - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

Last week I talked about how I learned to sew by taking a great sewing course at KW Sewing Machines Ltd. at Frederick Mall. I have spoken to many people since then that while they would love to take the time to learn how to sew properly, they feel comfortable doing simple mends and simple stitches for the things that they need, and love little projects that don’t require too much skill. If you’re a beginner sewer, and want to simply sew straight seams, this is a project for you! You can use any sewing machine for this project, even a simple compact machine. I originally saw this idea in a home magazine a couple of years ago, and after searching for curtains for my own kitchen to no avail, I decided to give it a try.

Tools You’ll Need
Sewing Machine (as I said, any machine will work for this)
Tea Towels (quantity will depend on size of your window)
Measuring Tape
Ribbon (quantity will depend on size of your window)
Empty wrapping paper or fabric roll
Utility Knife
Curtain Rod with hanging hardware

Start by measuring the window. I measured mine inside the frame, but if you want yours to go over your frame, measure accordingly. Be sure to measure side to side, and top to bottom. Next, find the right tea towels. Do NOT go into your linen closet for these, be sure to buy brand new so that they are crisp and new. I used this method for curtains for two different windows. On the one window, I lucked out that the length of the tea towel was exactly what I needed for the curtains, saving me a few stitches, but this isn’t necessary. If possible though, try to get ones that are at least as wide as your window—it’s easier to take some off the sides, then to try to add to them. Once you have found the tea towels, you can find a complimenting ribbon.

For the sewing part, you’re looking at only a few seams. You’ll need one straight seam at the top, large enough for the curtain rod to fit through. You’ll need one to attach the tea towels together (the one I have shown used 2 towels). Pin the ends together, and sew this seam, and press open, then sew down each of these ends. If your towels are too wide, you’ll need to sew seams down the sides first as well. Pin first, and press if necessary. Once the curtains are completed, hang your curtain rod and attach your curtain.

Next, measure the width of your new curtains, and cut what you’ll need of the wrapping paper roll. I used a fabric roll, as it’s thicker, but these are harder to come by, so a wrapping paper roll will work fine. A utility knife should cut it easily. It doesn’t have to be cut perfectly, since it won’t be seen anyway. Determine approximately where you want the curtains to hang to, and measure and cut your ribbon accordingly. Place the roll at the bottom of the curtains and roll up to desired length, and secure with your ribbon. Now you can show off your new one-of-a-kind curtains to your friends!

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes

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