So these curtains have been a long time in the making. The ones they replaced, my mother has just told me, are the same age as me - so not horribly old for a person, but pretty old for curtains!
I found this fabric back at the start of the year, but at full price there was no way I was going to buy enough of it to make these. £35 a metre when you need 14 metres of it plus lining and header tape was just not going to happen. But, then, patience, and some months down the line you take a trip back to John Lewis only to discover that they've reduced it twice to get rid of their last bolt and it is now £17.50 pm. Fabric purchased!
I had cycled into town and decided I probably wasn't going to be able to get it all back on my bike - given this is how they sent it over to the collection point I think I made the right choice. Rolled on a surprisingly heavy and sturdy cardboard pole or not, it weighed ton!
Making the curtains took rather longer than I expected - this was half because I only have Monday and Tuesday without kids trying to help and half because I ran out of energy to lay it all out to finish the one remaining seam. The last curtains I put together were for Sally's new bedroom when we needed to move her out of the nursery. I was about 30 weeks pregnant, and crawling around the floor with a big belly getting in the way I figured all future curtains would be easier. I was not correct. These curtains were a royal pain. Despite having a large space to work in, you still couldn't lay them out flat - but they are now done and hanging, so all the folding and ironing and measuring and pinning and sewing was worth it.
Hand sewing the bottom seam required a few hours of TV - I went with Netflix drama of Good Girls - you've gotta have some good entertainment and watching Christina Hendricks, Retta and Mae Witman get progressively in deeper trouble every episode was pretty good fun. I think the actual sewing took about 3 hours, but I did have to finish the series anyway...
As for the actual sewing, I had to give in after the first metre and go and find the thimble that I very rarely use. It did save a hole developing in my finger, but the second time I dropped it, despite shaking everything out twice it would not reappear. That is of course, until I folded it all up when I was done and discovered it lurking in the corner, which of course meant I had to unpick a section which was just a tad annoying.
I found a use for the #bestwife bowl Ed got me for our wedding anniversary, it's iron as that's apparently what you get for maintaining a marriage for 6 years, and makes a very satisfying ping when you drop things in it.
Changing the curtains mark the last significant milestone of cheering up the living room. The place depressed me at the start of the year and it was one of the things I thought a blog might help motivate me into actually doing. There are still a few things to sort out - toy storage continues to be a challenge, mostly because the kids seem to want to play with things and not necessarily put them away again. I also need to make up some new covers for the cushions to match the curtains - there should be enough left over fabric to make at least a couple and it might finally be time to learn how to do piping. But, in the plus column, we have bookshelves that store at least 80% of the stuff in the room, there are pictures up and a variety of prints and family photos are steadily creeping their way around the room, and the curtains... they really make a massive difference, switching the heavy brown and orange for grey and yellow lifts the space and feels so much lighter. I also cut them about 10cm shorter than the old ones which means they sit above the radiator and that makes it seem a lot tidier.
Next job - Ed's new Garden Office is now finished so he can move out there and I can make the old office in to a book/craft/guitar haven. Many cupboards need to be turned out and storage solutions need to be organised. It's going to be interesting!