Saturday, May 4, 2013

Curtains! They actually happened!

 Bam. Curtains!

It actually happened. I was not lying to you last week, though last week's post did suggest that I would be the one making the curtains, and as it turned out it was really a joint project between my mom and me. Which is wonderful, because if it had been my project alone it would have never gotten done. 

I went to my parents' house last weekend and we made a day of it, basically. That time was on top of the previous weekend's time, when I spent approximately 8 hours ironing, cutting and pinning the panels on my own. So this project probably required 20-24 woman-hours in total. I am not kidding. It was totally masochistic. Of course it would have gone faster for someone who knew what they were doing, but I haven't done a fabric-y project since Home Ec in 7th grade. Thank bejeebus my mom was the one running the sewing machine.

At some point my dad asked me, "Why couldn't you just have bought pre-made curtains?" And I told him honestly that I found this fabric on Spoonflower while we were still planning the kitchen, fell in love with it, and planned to use it for the curtains before considering how much work that would actually be. 

But now they're DONE. We wanted cafe curtains for the dining area because these windows get the best light in the house (not evidenced on this cloudy day) but they are very open to the street. So these let us keep the light but add privacy for things like semi-clothed dashes to the laundry room. 

Ikea Deka
I was having a hard time finding affordable inside-mount cafe curtain rods, and then we found the Deka system from Ikea for $7 each. Score. However, let me put this on the internet for fellow Ikea Deka installers (everyone else can skip along because this will get boring):  I have long prided myself on my ability to decipher and follow Ikea instructions, but these ones had me cursing a blue streak before I found this. Scroll down for the comments. The secret is- on step five, don't tighten the left bracket all the way. Try about halfway. On step eight, it shows clipping the wire even with the end of the right bracket, but you can yourself give a little extra. Then on step 10, you'll be tightening the wire by turning both the left and right brackets. You can see in this photo that my wire was taut before the bracket was fully tightened. I decided I can live with that because it feels really secure but if I wanted to fix it I would just cut a slightly longer length of wire and try again. There you go. Happy installing.

And now some notes for any fellow curtain-making masochists out there: I made each panel the same width as the window and used these instructions for the double-fold hems: 1" on the top and sides, and 2" on the bottoms. These would have been half the work except I wanted to line them, and the best way my mom and I figured to do that was to make a separate panel from the white fabric in slightly smaller dimensions, then sew the two panels together with just one straight seam across the top. I folded back the white lining in this pic to show how it's not attached except at the top. Are there probably other, better approaches to this? Yes. Did we break nearly every needle in my mom's sewing machine and almost have to make a midnight run to the 24-hour Sioux Falls Walmart? Yes. So... take our method with a grain of salt.
Hey, remember when we moved in and the entire house smelled like cat pee and the kitchen looked like this?

We still want to do a backsplash and add more art, but this kitchen is by and large DONE. Dang, that is gratifying. I am a lucky gal and this whole endeavor has been swell. 

One more before shot of the bay window and our just-moved-in disarray. 

I want to eat lunch here every day.

Aaaand I finally found the gif I've been looking for. Happy spring, happy weekend, gang!

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