Friday, 23 November 2012

Making Eyelet Curtains

Hi everyone,
I've been at it again, sewing curtains out of necessity.

This is the first time I've made eyelet curtains. I already had the side curtains for my living area in a heavy embossed creamy white - bought at a Spotlight sale. I could not find ready made semi sheer curtains to go with them in the color I wanted but I found the perfect material on the bargain table! hehe. Adventures in sewing followed.
Eyelet curtains are the ones with the big rings at the top.
A google and Pattern Review search followed but I could not find information by an ordinary sewist on how to do this type of curtain. Then I found this website  which gave me the basic idea. The rest was trial and error. Here is what I learnt.

Before Making
Take accurate measurements of your window to be covered. An expanding metal ruler is handy for this. Double check them and write them down and take the information with you when buying the fittings and materials.

Spotlight had a extensive range of everything you need for do it yourself window projects. Lincraft has a smaller range.  Bunnings also has curtain rods and fittings.

When buying material buy the length you need plus a generous allowance for the top hem, the bottom hem, shrinkage if prewashing plus half a metre for variations in grain and/or pattern repeats. Nothing is worse than ending up with curtains that are just that little bit too short.

Consider the width of your material. You need twice the width of the area/s to be covered or the curtains will look skimpy.

Thread. Use good quality thread. It will be exposed to sunlight and variations in temperature.

I used a medium  sized Universal needle 90/14, which I needed to discard it after the project. The eyelet tape is very hard on needles and pins. I used the same pins over and over on each seam and also discarded  them after the project.

The eyelet tape. You will need tape according to the width and number of curtains. Be sure you calculate for an even number of rings for each, they are designed to go in pairs and clip together if you like the pinch pleat look.

Separate eyelet rings. They come with the tape but if you want a different color you can buy them separately.

Handling amounts of material this large means they will get dragged on the floor or slide off the table at some point. Do a thorough vacuum, dust and wipe of all work surfaces.

I had ten metres of material which I cut into two lengths for better ease of handling. I serged the edges to prevent fraying, washed and dried them on cool cycle. I was working with a mystery polyester that frayed and shifted easily.

I found the crosswise grain of my material by pulling a thread before cutting. I did this at each edge.

To make the Eyelet Curtains
Get the top of your curtain material and lay it wrong side up.
Turn the side edges in once 5/8". Press. Stitch if you have a material that will not hold a crease. (They will be folded over again and stitched later.)
Press the top edge down 5/8" then over again 1/14 inch. I did this so that the top of my curtains would look similar to the top of my side curtains. If you want your tape right at the top do it like shown in the website linked earlier in this post.
Place your eyelet tape with the plastic tabs, that is the Wrong side Up. Snuggle it into the corner and just under to top fold. Stitch along the fold that is just over the top of the eyelet tape, using a zipper foot so as to get a smooth line when going past the rings.

Stitch along the bottom edge of the eyelet tape, being careful not t shift the material off grain. Fold the side seams over to cover the side edges and stitch.

Turn your curtain over, right side up. Take one of your separate eyelet rings and trace the inner circle with a pencil.

I was worried about fraying so I went around the circle lightly with a glue stick.

Cut just inside the circle.

Press the ring until it snaps in. This isn't hard. I did it with my hands. Repeat all the way along. Do not worry if your material is a little bit taught - it makes the rings go in easier. Trim off any material fibres on the inside, if necessary.

Hem your curtains, hang them up and admire!
Happy Sewing.

P.S. I've run out of picasa! I thought that when this happened I could just upload photos one by one from flikr, but it won't let me do that.
If I had known when I started I would have had one picture per post and then a link to an album or slide show like some other bloggers do. Ah hindsight! Soon though, I will have to  pay both picasa and flikr if I want to produce a trouble free easy to read blog.
Paying means two more corporations that have access to my bank details and two more expenses to keep track of. It's a hassle.
I love sharing photos and don't want a photo stingy blog. While I ponder what to do I'd really like any feedback anyone can give me on this matter.

Edited to add:  I did it!!!!! I resized a photo, saved as a document, then uploaded to here.  While I was researching this I found that photos of 800px by 800px do not count toward the google limit! Yay!

So thank you to Rune and Mary Nana, I've figured out my own way to have photos galore.

Further Edit, Jan 2016:  Photo resizing can be done in many application but the easiest is in Preview if you have a mac. Put your photo on desktop, open it with Preview, click on the little icon that looks like a suitcase then click on the icon that looks like a little square with two arrows. Type in 800 for either the height or the width, whatever is largest on your photo and 'ok'. When you close the photo it will automatically be saved at the new size. Easy!

Thanks, Val.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Pretty Ladies

Hello Peoples,

On Friday I completed some boring but very necessary sewing, tab top cotton curtains for my bedroom to go with my roller blinds and my new pale latte walls. The material is from Spotlight's home furnishings section. It is called 'Paris Couture Red'.

I pre washed it. The shrinkage was about 7cm per metre. Then it was all straight lines and a lot of measuring and re measuring.

I'd love to make every one of these outfits.

The curtains let just the right amount of light through for daytime
and add a dash of colour. A tip. A long time ago I heard a sewing expert say that it is worth the investment to use only the best thread on curtains as they are exposed to sunlight and variations in temperature, so it was Gutterman all the way. 

Ta Da!

There's enough left for a good sized throw pillow.
On another subject it's hard not to notice that Christmas is coming soon. I am thinking of making a bunch of oven mitts out of leftover material pieces and fleece for gifts but I am wondering if it is worth the effort because at the moment it's hard to find the time. On the other hand I seem to have lost enthusiasm for shopping with the crowds. Thoughts?

I'll leave you with a coupe of macro shots.

I've been doing a photo course. Can you tell?

Happy Sewing,

Saturday, 10 November 2012

V8765 Dress

Hello People,
Hot off my sewing machine and worn today is a cotton ikat wearable muslin of Vogue 8765.  V8765   I prewashed this material and did my measurements I promise but my dress ended up a little bit wiggly woo Mad Men Betty Draper-ish..

Squeeze it baby and get out the spanx!

It's almost retro.  I love the bodice on this dress. I need to do a little bit more of a sway back adjustment and add a little more ease overall, but I plan to use a much better behaved material for the next version, a red linen from the stash for a lunch time Christmas party coming up. Then I'll do a Pattern Review. On my part the main area that needed adjustment was the neckline. I raised the whole thing by 1 cm but kept the V the same depth. I have very straight shoulders and don't need so much cut out at the sides on this sort of neckline. I also narrowed and shortened the sleeves a tiny bit. I took these shots then ran out the door to go to a writer's group that I attend. We seem to do more talking about what we are going to write than comparisons of our pieces but it's enjoyable. Oh and I should be sewing curtains instead of blogging. The thought of that is not so enjoyable.

Till next time,