Wednesday, May 18, 2011

So You Think You Can Sew a Curtain

In this era of DIY, more and more people are going for the "Effect" of window treatments (And other decorating staples) over the real thing, and while I applaud the efforts and ingenuity of the people getting it done with hem tape or (as I have, admittedly, done long ago), staples, pins, or glue, I think something gets lost when craftsmanship dwindles.

Its like this: my new hairdresser is okay, but my old one was awesome.  The difference?  The new one can block in the shape and generally tame the curls, but the old one delivered the most detailed cut you can imagine, and it made the difference between passable and Where Did You Get Your Haircut?

Our local Half Price Books has an amazing design section (which I am banned from until further notice--every time I go in I spend at least $50.  $50 worth of AMAZING DEALS, but $50 nonetheless).  Case in point: the other day I picked up The Curtain Design Directory, 4th edition, for $4.98, and I have been poring over the vast collection of styles ever since.  (Just to give you a sense of scale, the book is 328 pages, with, in most cases, one style of curtain per page).

Perhaps the greatest thing about this book is the illustrations: simple line drawings that allow you to see the curtain (and accoutrements) rather than getting hung up on the fabric, color choice, etc.  While many of the styles here are quite formal and nowadays many people want a simpler,more pared down look in their homes, it has me wondering where I can put another pelmet box, valance, or tassle trim.

Don't you just love a book that is full of possibilities?

For those of you without a sewing machine or the inclination to teach yourself pinch pleats (it's not so bad, I swear!), there are lots of options.  Last time I was at Joanns, I picked up a little flyer about their new design services--you pick all the materials and styles, they sew them for you.  Same deal at Calico Corners, though of course their fabrics start high and then skyrocket.  Locally, my sister-in-law runs Union Place in Excelsior, where they have been making gorgeous window treatments and upholstery for 3 decades or so.  (Yup, sometimes I go in for a little nepotism).

Of course, you can also ask your clothes tailor if they do work for the home: if they don't, they might have a recommendation, and often the mom and pop shop offers better value than the big chains.

1 comment:

  1. I'm about to sew some pleats, doesn't look too difficult hopefully i don't bite me tongue.


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