Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Damask and Houndstooth Curtains
My daughter bought a house recently that had only blinds as window treatments.  She found a curtain that she liked online, a black and white damask with under panels of Houndstooth, but it was less than half the size she needed since her windows are extremely wide.  Armed with a photo of the one she wanted as inspiration, we began searching for fabric to recreate it in a much larger size.
We found the black and white damask easily in an over-sized print, but we had to order the black and white Houndstooth in order to get the larger size she desired.  We purchased a yard of each design plus three yards of lining since the lining was not as wide.  We decided 6 yards of cording would be about right since the top sections wouldn't show once attached to the board, so cording is only needed for the front and inside sections of the side panels.  Four inches of the top of each piece will be stapled over the board, so no need to cord those parts, either.
 I used braided trim laid over the design to get an idea of how we wanted the center panel to look.  The yardstick shows the approximate width of 45 inches across the top. Gift-wrap tissue was used to follow and trace around the main pattern, following the shape created by the cording.  This tissue pattern was used to cut the lower shape so that it dipped in the middle, creating the center section of the window treatment.  The same tissue was used to echo this shape for the outer Houndstooth panels. 

Each piece of fabric was then trimmed with braided cording in black.  The cording is sewn over the fabric which is right side up, using a zipper foot. 
Then, right sides together, a lining was attached to each piece using the zipper foot once again, leaving the top of each section open for turning.  There is no need to sew the upper edges, since these will be stapled down.

A black tassel was added to the bottom edge of the center panel.
 We measured and positioned the outer panels to be four inches more than the edge of the finished window on each side to wrap to the side, or return, making a more professional touch.
Three L brackets were attached to a plank of 1" X 4" lumber, in the length of her window, so that a ledge of 4 inches will be created.  The bottom 'L' of the brackets will be attached to the wall once the fabric is stapled to the lumber.

First, the Houndstooth panels were wrapped to the sides and top, beginning at each end of the wood to cover the side of the lumber and with enough excess to wrap over the top about 4 inches, using a staple gun.  Staple the short side first, then wrap the front section over the top, making a neater look.  I forgot to take photos since I was so engaged with the staple gun.  Attach the opposite side in the same manner.

The damask piece was centered on the lumber on top of the Houndstooth panels and stapled in place.
Finally, the L brackets were then attached to the wall. 
Voila! Easy, inexpensive, and beautiful window treatment.
1. Determine width of window plus a couple of inches longer on each side to give room for attaching brackets.  Purchase 1x4 lumber in this width. In other words, if the window is 68 inches wide, add 4 inches making the lumber 72 inches long.  Add height to allow space to attach 'L' brackets, probably 3 inches or so. Thus, the board will be about 3 inches higher than the window. Hint: mark the drill holes for the brackets before doing anything else: Much easier that way! At least 3 brackets are needed for a wide window to keep the center from sagging.  I suggest placing the brackets a couple of inches inside the edge. (May I add that if you choose a 4 inch L bracket, it will be 4 inches higher than the window.)
2. Purchase fabric.  The two outer panels will not need to touch in the middle since this will be hidden behind the center panel. I cut my fabric in half vertically for the two panels. Determine how long you want the finished panel to be and add 4 inches to the top plus bottom seam allowance.  Five extra inches should be plenty. 
Remember when purchasing fabric to add the 3 or so inches are mentioned above for the brackets plus the 4 inches over the wood so that your finished product isn't too short.  Again, I repeat, if you want your finished panel to be 15 inches from the top of your window for example, add 3 inches for the height of the top of the wood with the brackets under it plus 4 inches that will be wrapped over the top of the wood.  Thus, your finished piece will be 22 inches long prior to stapling and two feet of fabric will be enough to include seam allowance.  Allow for pattern repeat if needed.
We purchased a yard of each design; each was 54 inches wide. The fabric for the side panels was cut in half vertically.  
3. Make a tissue paper pattern for the line you wish to follow. Think bold lines.  Tiny scallops are hard to sew.
4. Cut fabric, making sure patterns are lined up evenly.
5. Attach cording to right side of fabric along inside and bottom edge. The cording will face inward.
6. Sew lining to fabric, right sides together with cording on the inside.  Do not sew top closed.  Turn fabric right side out and press. Cording will now be on outer edge. 
7. Lay side panels on lumber so that 4 inches extend over top of wood, adjusting as needed. Staple side first, then front, using staples to hold fabric in place or use tacks as adjustments are made.  The top will not show, so it does not have to be perfectly neat.
8. Place center panel over wood, ensuring the center of the panel is on center of the lumber.  Wrap over top of lumber and staple.
9. Attach brackets to wall.
10. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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