This week I finished a few projects around the house. First, was the red gingham valance peeking out in this picture. Tea of the week: Gratitude Blend (strawberry earl grey).
I’ve been decorating my windows with red gingham since 2012. I think it looks so cheery, like a country farmhouse. Years ago, I must have ordered tons of this fabric (doesn’t sound like me) because I found enough yardage in my stash to complete two valances with only one small piece left over.
I hung the curtains about ten inches higher, and six inches wider (on each side) than the actual windows. This ends up being about six inches below the ceiling. Hidden underneath each valance, on each window, is a brown blackout blind that pulls all the way down, offering full coverage for the windows. I roll this down when the sun comes through this window to keep it cooler in here.
I found the receipt for the (custom) blinds in a kitchen cabinet that the previous owner must have forgotten about. Let’s just say they were very expensive, so they get to stay, albeit, hidden. This is part of the reason I went with valances on these windows – to completely hide the (ugly but functional) brown roll-down blinds – rather than purchase curtain panels.
I can’t find any (good) pictures of my previous homes with the same curtains other than tiny corners sticking out here and there. I had them hanging up in Oregon, of course, and when we sold our home, the new owners asked for them to be left on the windows. I regret leaving them behind only because back in 2012, when they were made, my sewing skills were absolutely atrocious.
The valences looked ok on the windows, but you couldn’t look too close. The new owners must have been horrified to find out the cute curtains were an absolute mess on the back, we’re talking raw edges and an old bedsheet lining. Back then, I didn’t have the patience or know-how to do it better.
This 1″ checked fabric is super sheer and not the best quality, so I lined them (this time) with white muslin. And they are professionally finished: no raw edges, they are the correct width and fullness for the window size, and look amazing, if I do say so myself. Knowing what the last ones looked like made this super rewarding. (Psst…I actually have one of the old ones…not all of them got left in the Oregon house because the kitchen one fell down before the house went on the market. The tension rod failed, the curtain was within the dog’s reach, aaaaand there’s a few big holes in it. The fabric is/was so thin that it tore easily. So, I have a piece of my old handiwork to compare it to.) (I better destroy the evidence.)
TIP if you’re making your own: to calculate width, double the width of the window. The sliding door is about 6′ across, so that valance was 12′ (4 yards) wide. This allows for a nice amount of ruffling. The height was whatever half the wof (width of fabric) yardage (cut at the top fold) was after hemming. So, for a valance 4 yards across, you would need 2 yards, cut at the fold, to make 4 yards. I must have had about 3 yards left. That was lucky!
For the curtain rods, I used the Mainstays 5/8″ rods with the white ball ends from Walmart.
The second project that I finished was the pink crochet-edged pillow from last week. I think it turned out cute and will not stay on the guest bed, but will be joining the blue ones in the living room. I will start my last cushion this week and it will be turquoise with a red crochet edge. Then, I will finally write my all-encompassing pillow post.
I did a thing and ordered some Christmas fabric from here to swap out the living room (crochet) pillows at Christmas time. I think this fabric is so adorable I can’t stand it! I’ve been waiting for Bonnie & Camille’s Christmas collection (pdf link here) since they showed it last fall.
When it arrives, I’ll work on making two pillows, along with a few other Christmas projects. I think there will be some Christmas in July sewing!
Days until Christmas: 183.
Days until I put up my Christmas decorations: 129.
And, finally, after all the math involved in calculating these projects, a funny:
That’s it for this week. I look forward to writing these updates every week!
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