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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sewing burlap curtains in a hotel room for beginners

My modern son in DC gave me a bolt of burlap (yes wrap your shrubs burlap) and asked me to make curtains with rings in them.

This fused all my sewing brain cells completely but I have been waiting for ages for him to need me to do something so I told him I would do it.

The issues were many when I thought about them. For a start there was the feed barn smell and the fact that I knew this was going to be a pressing challenge. The stuff looked very spring backy to me. I worried about seams and bulk and about the ring things, if I could find them pulling right out of the loose weave and the curtains falling on the floor, which would not be a good thing for my reputation as a sewing and useful mother, which is something I am perennially trying to work on (the useful mother part for adult children who was capable of doing it all fine themselves).

I was pretty freaked out by this job so I called in my consultants.

My daughter, by Skype, told me to forget about trying to seam panels and just to leave the selvages as is in a series of single free-hanging panels which she said was much more modern.


She also suggested binding the cut edges, which I did with purchased bias binding, zig zagged on as I trusted nothing about this project.

I found the rings at Jo-Ann's in Knoxville in the drapery department and tried them on a series of samples. Of course when I pulled on them they pulled right away from the fabric as I knew it would.

Enter consultant number two, my spouse who looked at the whole issue with an engineering eye. His solution, and it worked as is worth passing on, was to cut the holes for the rings (scary I know but the rings come with  a nice little template in the package) and then to rim the cut edges of the hole with some clear drying craft glue to seal the cut edges and when the glue was semi-dried and tacky to then snap on the rings. Of course as the glue  dried completely this helped hold the rings on further.

Worked great and no ring pulling away. Very sturdy. I spaced the rings the same distance as those on the hotel bath curtain.

Here are some step-by-step photos including how I hung the curtain panels at the glue-around-the-ring-holes-stage over the shower curtain rod so it was easy to put on the glue and let it dry.

This was a very fast and easy way to make curtains and the burlap was very cheap ($3.00 a yard and he got some in a cream colour) and actually looks very sharp I think.

And I always liked the way barns smell.


Mary said...

These are the best curtains ever. I like a barn smell too :-)

AlaskaBerninaGirl said...

I like the glue idea, I made a bedroom door curtain for the cabin so it gets used each night we are there and the fabric is pulling out of the rings. I am taking glue next visit and fixing them pronto! Tell your engineer type husband thanks, from the mom of a soon to be engineer type!