Monday, March 31, 2014

Yellow Chevron Curtains

When I was designing the nursery I really wanted large yellow chevron curtains. I looked high and low for the pattern I wanted, but could only find very thin (at most 2 inches) chevron designs. I also was not crazy about the colors (the yellows I found were too green). So I made my own. What I thought would be challenging, turned into a marathon project that took a couple of months to finish.

It did not help that I was six, seven, and eight months pregnant at the time. Or that I tried to do this in the middle of a heat wave. But now they are done, and I do love them.

I also attached blackout fabric to keep the room nice and dark for my baby. More on that later.

This post has many steps so I'm breaking it into several posts.

Hand-painted Chevron Curtains

1. Prepare Cotton Fabric: 

Start with regular white fabric. Cut  the curtains to the length desired, making allowances for hemming the edges. Hem all the way around. I like to make the top and bottom of my curtains with slightly wider hems, for weight. Don't worry about attaching them to the rod, I used rings with clips. This also makes it much easier to hang the blackout fabric. 

2. Prepare Blackout Fabric: 

Cut the blackout fabric to match the size of your hemmed curtains. Set aside. You won't need the blackout fabric until the curtains are done and ready to hang. I decided not to sew the blackout fabric to the curtains because the blackout fabric requires dry cleaning. By keeping them separate, and only using the rings to hang them together, it will be super easy for me to take the curtains down and wash the regular fabric (which gets much dirtier). If the blackout fabric gets dirty I can just wipe it down.

3. Preparing to Paint Curtains: 

Lay out your cotton curtain fabric on the floor and tape all four edges with painter's tape. Or if you have the space, you could attaching them to the wall with painter's tape. Just be sure you have a wall you don't mind getting paint on. This would alleviate a lot of the crawling on the floor I had to endure (it was not easy while so very pregnant, I assure you). 

I did a quick experiment and have concluded I prefer the blue painter's tape to the frog tape. That's me.

Measure and Mark the Chevron Design:

This is where things get tricky. My first try was a total failure. This is how your curtains should look after taping.

Creating a grid:

I wanted my chevron design to be one foot from peek to peek. I took a fabric pencil and marked every six inches across the bottom, top and sides. This creates the "grid" you need to mark out the design.

I decided not to draw a lot of lines because they would be hard to erase later. The grid on the curtain is made with rulers and measuring tapes. The image above, is a drawing of what you should do with your curtain. I never got any photos of this part (don't know what happened) so I recreated the process on graph paper.

First and Second Rows:

The best way to understand this process is to make two rows of marks at a time. That way you will be able to see the chevron design as you go.

The first row is already done. It is the row with six inch marks along the bottom of your curtain. I started at the bottom because I figured I could not change it. The top can be adjusted as I decide where to make my loops.

For the second row, I took my measuring tape and stretched it from the six inch mark on the left side (just above the first six inch row on the bottom) to the corresponding mark on the right side of the curtain. I them used my fabric pencil to mark every foot (12 inches) beginning six inches in on the left. These marks will become the first yellow peeks. They are the top of the dotted lines on the diagram above. I was also careful that my horizontal marks matched the vertical marks I had created in the beginning.  Each mark you make in the center becomes either a peek or a valley on the chevron design, so you want them to match up both vertically and horizontally.

I then created the chevron design by taping the curtain. Starting from the left corner on the first row, I stretched the tape up to the first mark on the second row. Then stretch your tape back down from the second row to the mark one foot in on the first row. Continue across the curtain. Remember that each peek and valley will be one foot apart. I will explain how the tape is applied so that each yellow or white row is actually the same width in the next post.

The Third and Fourth Rows:

For the third row of marks, I put my measuring tape on the next (six inches up) left and right marks from the last. These marks are for the valleys, so the marks have to correspond with the marks of the first row. To do this I marked every foot from the left. The fourth row is an exact copy of the second row (see a pattern?). Start six inches in, and make marks for every foot. This creates the chevron pattern. Then tape (see next post soon).

I then continued this pattern. With one foot offset marks for each peek and valley every six inches all the way up the curtain. In the end, you will have a white curtain with horizontal rows of dots one foot apart (if you don't tape as you go that is). Each horizontal row is six inches above the last. Remember that each row is either a peek or a valley. This will help to keep your one foot marks offset from each other. 

Since this tutorial is quite complicated I leaving the rest for next week. Be sure to check back for the taping process, because if you don't tape it right, you will get very frustrated, very fast.

Also, let me know if you are still confused. I will try my best to clean up any confusion in this process.

I promise it is all worth it in the end!

1 comment:

  1. I think people will want to PIN this to Pinterest! The curtains turned out really nice. I am a seamstress yet would have never even thought to come up with a creative idea as you did. You did a great job.


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