Sunday, March 06, 2011

DIY - Lengthen curtains with fabric strips

Sometimes when you're decorating your home you find exactly what you're looking for. 
  • The right style curtains: large grommets - check
  • A great price: $7 each - check
  • The perfect color: chocolate brown - check
  • The correct length: oops - too short

No problem.  I own a sewing machine, remember? Not only that but I just purchased home dec fabric to make pillows for that room that would work for lengthening the curtains. 

Those too short curtains are the correct length in no time and custom-made for my decor.  Sophia's helping me show-off the new look.

So how did I do it?


1) Determine how much length you need add. In my case it was 7". 

2) Decide if you're going to add fabric to the bottom or insert fabric near the bottom. I'll let you in on a little secret - I choose to insert fabric strips was because I didn't want to re-hem the curtains. 

3) Measure and make a mark where you want the fabric inserted.  In my case I cut off the bottom 12"

4) Carefully remove the stitches from the sides of the curtains.

5) Cut off the bottom portion along the line measured earlier.

6) Cut enough fabric strips to equal the length you want to add.

Bonus Tip:  Measure twice cut once.  I measured once. Not only did I forget to include seam allowances but I measured wrong.  Of course by the time I realized it I had already completed one panel.  Which meant I had to start over.

7) Sew or serge the strips together.

8) Sew or serge the fabric to bottom edge of the curtain.

9) Take the portion of the curtain previously cut off - you know, the part with the hem - and sew or serge it to the bottom of the fabric.

10) Optional: Insert fabric to lengthen the lining.  I skipped this step as the end of my lining will fall below the window sill. From the outside looking in you'll never notice the lining is too short.

11) Stand back and admire. 

And the amount of money you saved on your custom curtains can be our little secret.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Better late than never - Vogue 1018

Did I ever share this one with you?

Vogue 1018 

I didn't think so.  This is the Sandra Betzina skirt I began (and finished) this past December.

Seriously love this skirt.

As in capital L love.

Although I might not love it as much as Shams.  She's made it five times already.

I'm only now starting to think of sewing my second. It'd be a great summer skirt. Assuming, of course, that this winter will actually end. Because there have been days when I'm pretty sure warm weather will never again enter my life. But I digress...

The skirt's a little out there for my work environment, but after some experimentation I believe this basic sweater/cami/skirt combo is tame enough for my office.

Because black is so hard to see details, I tried lightening the photo a bit.  Did you notice I now have gray hair?

The shape comes from the side tucked drape overlay as well as the small tucks near the hemline that create a ruching effect.

Those small tucks were very time consuming. But totally worth it.

It's kinda sad that it's now OOP (out of print). Here's the pattern envelope.

You might find one on Etsy or that online auction site (you know the one) or your local thrift store. Grab a copy when you find and you two will fall in love. With a capital L.

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