Nothing has happened in Narnia since Jan. 19 because I went to Dallas to visit my sister. I’ve come home all fired up to get things finished, so I started this afternoon.
Well, more accurately, I continued this afternoon. Back in early December I bought four 6′ x 9′ drop cloths at Lowe’s. They’re 71% cotton and 29% polyester.
Based on research I did about making curtains out of drop cloths, I washed each one 5-6 times in hot water with plenty of liquid fabric softener. Twice I ran them through the dryer on a hot setting to make sure I shrank them if they were likely to shrink.
When they were finished, they were nice and soft to the touch–much better than the stiff drop cloths I pulled out of the packages! Then I folded them up and waited until I had time to start the curtains . . . that would be today.
I’ll explain the process for each pair of curtains, although of course I repeated it four times. First I folded the drop cloth in half and laid it out on the (fairly) clean floor, making sure that the corners matched up as closely as possible. (If you’re OCD and want them to be perfectly square, you better not use drop cloths!)
Next, I cut along the fold with a sewing scissors so I had two panels of the same size. Assuming my 6′ x 9′ drop cloth started out 72″ x 108″, it had shrunk down to 68″ x 92″. The 68″ side is the perfect height for my curtains, and the 92″ side covers the width of the berths perfectly (there will be a bit more fullness on the shorter berths on the boys’ side). So when I cut each drop cloth in half, I was left with two panels of 46″ wide x 68″ high.
So much for the easy part! I am NOT a seamstress, and sewing machines and I don’t get along very well.
Well, once I got the right-sized bobbin in, we did much better! But you can tell from my tense face that I’m having to concentrate on what I’m doing.
As a sewing project goes, this one wasn’t too bad–just two straight lines on each panel for a total of four straight lines of sewing for a pair of curtains. You can’t beat that for easy!
The second line I sewed was along the folded edge. Its only purpose is to hold down the fabric inside the hem and keep it from fraying as well as to make that side match the double-hemmed sides the drop cloth came with.
In preparation for the final step of making the curtains, I washed them again with an extra rinse cycle to remove all the fabric softener! Note to anyone with allergies: You might want to do that before sewing! By the time I finished four pairs of curtains, I was sneezing my head off!
I don’t want to take a chance that the thread will shrink and pucker my seams, so I’m hang-drying the curtains, and I’ll toss them in the dryer to soften up before I continue.
Stay tuned for the next step–the fun part!