Monday, August 23, 2010

Pottery Barn Inspired Bathroom Curtain

I have an entry!

For what?

The CSI Project, of course. I discovered it on August 15th: and decided to enter this week's challenge: to create something inspired by Pottery Barn. Of course, I thought I'd re-do the powder room upstairs. The Pottery Barn Inspired Powder Room sounds wonderful, doesn't it?

Alas. It cannot be. I almost got it done. But not quite. It's looking awesome, though! You can read about it and see the projects in this post, if you'd like to see a marvelous makeover (in progress. Sort of.)

But I did sew a curtain. A gorgeous ruffled confection based on this one:

from the Pottery Barn Early Fall 2010, Bed and Bath Catalogue.

I did not have a curtain on this window in our powder room upstairs.

(No, the towel does not count!)

You should know that other than curtains, I do not sew. For every finished seam, there is one I have ripped out. This was an ambitious project for me, to say the least. But I was undaunted. I'd never made ruffles--how hard could they be?--and so off I went. What's that saying about fools rushing or something?

On Monday, I ran to the fabric store and found one fabric for the curtain and one for the ruffle. (I didn't realise until much later that the ruffles are made from the same fabric as the curtain. Oh well.)

I ran to the paint store and found the paint that best coordinated with it. Then, I went to many, many stores to figure out whether the colours I had chosen would work with available accessories. When I found the spray paint I needed at Canadian Tire, I declared the project doable, and the next day, Tuesday, I bought my fabric.

Wednesday, I washed it.

And then it sat and waited while I painted.

And painted.

Saturday, realising the CSI project was coming up quickly, I got to work.

1) Untangle the fabric.

2) Iron it.

3) Make the bias strip for the ruffles. I got 11 feet from this 16" x 16" square of fabric.

Indeed I did. I will post a tutorial later this week. (I followed instructions from a book).

But I quickly realised I'd skimped on the width. I'd cut the strip only 1 3/4" wide--somehow I'd totally forgotten about making seams!

I went to bed.

Sunday afternoon, I made two hems: one for each raw edge.

(It would have been really cool if my mother's handkerchief hemmer foot had worked on my machine, but it didn't--even though we both have Kenmore's. She bought hers the year I was born, and I bought mine in 1989, but still!)

After doing the hems, but before I began to sew the thread for the ruffle, I cut the 11 foot strip into two equal pieces. Sewing a hem on either side of the strip, though tedious and time consuming, did give me an advantage. I only had to sew--and therefore pull--through only one thickness of fabric to make the ruffle. That was a very good thing!

(This is about how things looked late Sunday night.)

Essentially, I loosened my tension and lengthened my stitch. I'd discussed how to do this at length with a good woman at the fabric store. As you can see, I sewed it right side down. When I was done, I realised I'd forgotten to take her advice sew my top thread in one colour and bobbin thread in another. Oh well. I put a square of tape on the pull threads.

Gathering the ruffle is not a job for a perfectionist. I probably spent an hour or so, Monday morning, getting it all smoothed and laid out. When the time came to attach the second ruffle, I had my method figured out.

Pull and flatten the ends. Pin the ruffle at each outside edge of the curtain.
(Not like this. See that second pin? Fugeddaboutit. You aren't ready for it, yet!)

No, no, pin the ruffle in the middle of the curtain. Then work the ruffles out on either side. Pin, pin, pin. Then sew. Carefully. Use both hands to hold the sides of the ruffle as you feed it through. It took some time, but I got it done.


Then I hung it.

Too long.

I had to think about it. There was no way I was undoing that hem and those ruffles---and then it occurred to me--refold the top!

Well, hello!

And so it was done.

Shall we see that again?

Ta da!

Please take a look at the other awesome entries here:


There's sure to be some amazing projects.

I'm also linking to


Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I think I like yours better because of the contrast in color. :) Job well done!! Visiting from The CSI Project. Hope you'll stop by and visit me too. :)

Alana in Canada said...

Yes, of course! I love seeing people's makeovers.

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

this is sooo cute! i love the colors- the blue is gorgeous! and it definitely looks better than the towel. ;)

Lyssa said...

Ya I love the color combo on this! You can't go wrong with ruffles! Nice job!!

Leena said...

It came out looking great! Well done Alana!

lauralynn said...

That's a beautiful curtain! You've been really busy--the bathroom looks great.

Cozy.Cottage.Cute. said...

Loving that ruffle on the bottom! I also made a PB inspired shade for this week's challenge. It was so much harder than it looked!

Good job for keeping at it. It looks perfect!


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