Sunday, September 6, 2009

World Market Curtain Panels

I'm crazy for curtains. I love textiles in general, and I really do think that window treatments are the quickest way to bring polish, pattern, and color to your room. Unfortunately, good pre-fab curtains are very hard to find, and if you do come across something in a nice fabric and a nice palette, chances are they will be expensive. Instead, I have frequently purchased fabric (and, on one particularly ambitious occasion, liner fabric, drapery weights, the whole kit and kaboodle) with every intention of getting out the sewing machine. I'm sure if he was in the room with me, Dave would like to call your attention to Exhibit A: the extra-large rubbermaid container in our shed which contains untold yardage of fabulous fabric. (I added the "fabulous"- Dave would a) never use that word, b) least of all to describe my storehouse of fabric.) Of course, I have yet to actually sew a pair of curtains, but this has never stopped me- in my experience, pins or hot glue work just fine if you're going more for effect than actual, functional draperies.

So imagine my surprise (and, probably, Dave' relief) when I discovered the selection of inexpensive curtain panels at Cost Plus World Market (yes, the same store where we bought our spice magnets. And a bath mat. And, for good measure, some Frontera salsa, a light-up rubber ducky, and the licorice candies from Holland for which my Dad has a particular fondness.) Not only did they have solid linen and velvet options in lovely colors at a fraction of the price of some other chain retailers (Pottery Barn, I've got your number), but they also carry patterns that are current without being overly trendy. And at $29.99 a panel, who cares if I'll be so over souzanis by the time we move out of this place?

I will admit, there was a hitch or two. First of all, any time you purchase mass-market items in fabric with a large repeat, you have to be willing to accept a little irregularity. I first discovered this with a pair of Dwell Studio for Target curtains for Clio's room in Brooklyn, where the lines of overscale polkadots did not match up when the curtains were drawn. Similarly, the souzani pattern here hangs slightly differently on either panel due to the irregular rod-pocket folds, making on panel's emphasis on the medallions while the other is on the paisley. Oops. Oh well- you get what you pay for, right? Secondly, the panels themselves are 84", no matter what the hanging method. So when we originally tried out a pair with rings, they graced the floor. But when we ultimately opted for rod-pocket styles instead, the hems were highwaters. Enter my genius mother, who suggested I simply let down the seams. One $4 seamripper and a couple of strokes of the iron later, and voila! Curtains just long enough to work.

And really, in this I am going for effect. Mission accomplished.


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