Saturday, September 15, 2012

New Blind

Our new kitchen has one window, so I want to be sure to do a good job of dressing it. During the construction process, I threw up a scrap piece of fabric. I folded it over at the right height, sewed a large casing and hung it off a tension rod. This gave us the privacy we needed, and it was a cheerful orange, but it wasn't overly pleasing. And, of course, by the end of the process, it was dirty, splattered with concrete, and just done.
By the time the cupboards were in, it just wasn't doing it for me. But it wasn't a priority while we were still putting the kitchen together. I told myself that when I got the tiling on the back splash done, I could reward myself with the new curtains.

I had bought some great fabric last time I was in Missouri visiting family.
I just love these "lollipop" trees and the printed bias stripe.

So when the tiling was done, I set to it. I made a darling little valance. It was lined. (I strongly feel all curtains should be lined--use the same lining for your whole house, and it won't looked so mismatched from outside. Plus the lining helps protect your fabric from UV damage.)
I also did a relatively large hem with the blind hem stitch. I know, it's the standard way to do curtains, nothing new here. But I am still amazed by the effect of a blind hem. Flat and perfect.
For the actual working part of the curtain, I bought a roller blind kit. Once I had the hardware all set, I sewed together a width big enough for the space. Before I actually finished, though, I taped the fabric to the roller with painter's tape and tried it out to make sure I liked it. (Once I fused the fabric to the backing, there would be no going back!)
So here was the final result:
I thought I would love it. But it's a good thing I tried it out, because it just wasn't right. Both my sister and my mom happened to visit while it was up, and while they both were polite, I could tell by their reactions that they agreed it just wasn't right. Although I'm using some bright colours as accents in the room, the yellow and pink tones of the fabric were completely wrong. The print size of the fabric and curtain design didn't seem to do much for the room either. :sigh:

So it was back to the drawing board, and now with a lot less confidence that I knew what was going to look good. But we had to have a curtain, so I had to press on.

Recently while shopping for something else, I noticed the decorator fabrics were on sale--as good a time as any to look around. What I settled on was quite different from my previous choice:
Both Mom and my sister mentioned blue would be a good choice since it was a dominant colour in the tiles, so that was part of what put me in this direction. I also like the geometric feel of all those circles.

It doesn't really set off the tile design by the stove, but I don't think it competes with it like the lollipop tree fabric did.
And with this heavy fabric, I skipped the valance. (Plus it blocked Troy's view out the window.) When the blind is up, you just see a couple inches of the fabric hanging down:
As a final observation, I will say that I couldn't have done this roller blind without the kit, but that doesn't mean I liked it!

1. The lining fabric was applied to the decorator fabric with an iron-on adhesive. Of course, it wouldn't stick to my fabric! I was ironing for more than 30 minutes and I'm still not sure I got it all secured.

2. There's a flat stick encased in the bottom hem of the blind. The kit gives you some 1/2" fusible tape to secure the hem. It was completely useless and I sewed the hem instead.

3. It was also one of those kits that told you to trim the sides to the right width without sewing a hem on the side. "If" your fabric raveled (as if it wouldn't), they suggested applying fray stop. I didn't even try that method, but turned over a 1/2" hem on each side and sewed it down before applying the lining fabric.

I guess "no sew," "so easy" or whatever you want to call it just doesn't suit my style. It doesn't make it easy when the adhesives don't work. It's lying to people to tell them they don't need to sew. They certainly won't get a good result!

Anyway, my blind is done, it works, and I am pretty happy with the result. (I think I may have to come up with a better "reward" for finishing the tile, however!!)

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