Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Craft Basket Wednesday

One of my favorite blogs to read is Knit Together.  Every Wednesday, she hosts 'Craft Basket Wednesday', and I've been itching to participate.  Today, I am finally getting around to it! 

When we purchased our home 3 months ago, just about all the windows were bare, except for blinds in the kitchen and kids' room.  So, I decided to be adventurous (and Susie home-maker-ish) and make my own window treatments.  With the help and consultation of a friend who has a better eye for design than yours truly, I picked out my material, and set to work on my first home project =)  Oh, and a word to the wise...taking three small children, 5 years old and younger, to the fabric store is NOT advisable!  Get thee a babysitter...I cannot emphasize this enough.  The kids were trying to hide in the fabric and I was trying to make was not a pleasant trip (and I am not one of those parents whose kids are always clean and put together..I have outdoor kids who are, as a general rule, covered in dirt for the majority of their life - not a good mix with fabric).  Anyway, I ended up going with Roman shades for the living room...not a task for the faint of heart!  It was fun, don't get me wrong, but let's just say that I got VERY familiar on how to use a seam was definitely a learning experience.  However, after much trial and error (and 4 or 5 Sunday afternoons with my husband watching the kids), I am proud to say that they are hanging on my living room windows, and they look just beautiful!  My husband even likes them, so I am a happy girl!

Here is the pattern I went with (it matches great with my current wall color, but leaves room for change if I want to ;):

I lined it with drapery fabric (to keep the sun/heat out), and I used a strip of fabric with plastic rings sewn on it for the shade cord to run through(as opposed to sewing each ring on individually O_o):

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!:

I used nylon string for the cord pull, and a nifty little cord cleat to keep the shade open:

Done! (trust me...this took way more work and thought than the pictures allow for):

The first time I pulled the shade open, it looked like this:

And I wanted to cry!  Because it looks ridiculous.  No problem, just takes a little fluffing to get it just this:
Ahhh...much better.

And, the other window (please ignore the pile of junk on my end table):

I haven't put the weight in the bottom of it, so it doesn't pleat properly yet:
This will have to suffice until Phil gets home from Lowe's today with the weight (what a great husband I have!)

If you've never made a Roman shade before, I used a tutorial from Jen Duncan's 'What's New' Blog.  I just realized that I didn't put a set of rings down the center for the bigger window like she suggested....oh well.  They still look nice!  I can always add some later if I so desire.  I really like these shades because we have such large, open windows, and these do a fantastic job of keeping the sun/heat out, and with summer right around the corner that will come in very handy!  And, on the flip side, they still open all the way to let lots of our current spring sunshine in =)  Finally, you can see that the windows already have nice looking window dressings on the outer trim, so this particular kind of shade doesn't hide that the way curtains or drapes would.  So, A+ from me for both functionality and fashion.  I think if I had more sewing experience, these would have come together quite quickly.  All in all, a fun project!  Now, I just have to finish the kitchen and's a sneak peek at my bedroom window treatments:

I opted for a traditional valence/curtain's the valence:

More to come when I am finished!  And, go on over to the Knit Together Blog to see what other moms are working on. 


Amy Caroline said...

Great job!!! I have always wanted to try making Roman blinds, but sometimes sewing scares me, lol. And I will second that about children at he fabric store!

Impatient Griselda said...

Those look great--that's pretty darn good for just moving in 3 months ago!

Josette said...

I love the fabric you chose!! I know what you mean about the fabric store and children. I have to bring my double stroller, strap one on me, and have a huge "talking" before we even step into the store.

My kids are usually covered with dirt too :)

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