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quick fix: doorway curtain

April 19th, 2009 · No Comments

red curtainGreat news!  I found my camera cable!  This means I can share with you, gentle readers, the backlog of blog posts that I have in my head.  Today, I give you a Quick Fix project, in the tradition of the Nester’s Ten-Minute Makeovers (because when she asked for links in February I was entirely too busy to think about my house, but I was completely smitten with the idea and I read Every Single One of those linked pages).

the sewing room, before the curtain went upHere is my (horrible, horrible) before picture.

I spent the past week gearing up for a children’s birthday party (the subject of another post), and I knew that I wouldn’t have the time to address this mess.  It’s on the list, but not at the top of the list, so I needed a fast solution.  We use a baby gate as a physical barrier for visiting children, but I wanted to cover the whole thing up.  (This is my craft/sewing space, and also the place where the laundry chute ends up.  Note that it isn’t the laundry room — just the bottom of the chute.)  (Also: It is ON THE LIST.  Long list, though.)

You can see “after” at the top (click for big).  I went shopping for a tension rod, planning to sew some stash fabric into a curtain for the doorway of this room.  While I was in the store, I ran across some table linens that I liked, and I bought a tablecloth that I thought would work.  It was obviously not free, as stash fabric would have been — but narrow side hems are fiddly and slow, and I figured my time was worth more than the cost of the tablecloth.  Ten minutes was plenty of time to sew in a casing for the tension rod, and I was done with my curtain.

Except that I, um, neglected to measure the doorway beforehand.  So the project looked excellent from the top (and, indeed, the tablecloth will fit my table if I decide to take it out of the doorway later), but it was about a foot too short.  I made another trip out in the afternoon for four matching cloth napkins and stitched them on in the evening.  Here’s a detail of the lower edge:

detail of red curtain in basement doorway

You can see that I used a contrasting thread, both to add a little punch and to make it easier to remove the stitching later if necessary.  I also turned the stripe horizontally on the added pieces to eliminate any need for matching and make the whole thing look more deliberate.  Getting the cloth napkins placed the way I wanted them took a little while, but the sewing was still quite fast and easy.  The pleats aren’t actually pleats, BTW; I folded back the edges of the napkins and distributed them evenly along the width of the tablecloth.  I wanted to use all four so that I would have a whole set in the event of dismantling this project.  I’m clever like that. :)

I’m really happy with my results.  Not only is my mess hidden, it makes the room look a bit more finished.  The color picks up the red in our couch and in a Georgia O’Keeffe print (similar to this one) that we have in the room, so I think it’s a great fit overall.  And yeah… I love it.

Tags: daily · quilts and sewing · home · quick fix

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