Don't forget to poke the photos to enlarge!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's Complicated.......

I had a comment from Star this morning on the swags, asking "Were the Victorian curtains the same as the ones today or were they more simple?". A one word answer will do it. Nope. They were definitely more complicated! The Victorians were crazy about fancy decoration. If they could add an extra trim, flounce, or fancy shape to the curtains, they would.

This is the illustration from the front of the book. I don't think that I will get in trouble for showing you this one. This is one of the simpler designs! They were in love with asymmetrical designs and the more layers, the better. This window has three different fabrics. The curtain on the right is what they used to call "glass curtains". It is what we would call sheers. The one on the left would be lace. The top blue one would probably have been a darker color than the illustration and probably velvet or other heavy material. The trim would have been gold braid and gold work embroidery with gold tiebacks. Notice the cord tiebacks all have tassels on the ends. Another use for our mini tassels! The nice thing about this design is you don't have to make anything match. Even the height of the tiebacks on the inner curtains is not the same.

And now for more mini variations. With the pattern that I used yesterday, you can do a double sized window simply by making two of the swag pieces, two of the end pieces and the piece in this photo. All you need to do is first put the two swags over the bar. Then add this piece over the center, between them. Then proceed with the outer jabot pieces as per instructions. BTW, I noticed that in the book the end pieces and the center piece are called festoons. I kind of like that.

This next one is a valence that was used with long curtains. It is simply a 3 sided box with fancy cutouts on the largest side. This is also from the book. In there they show a variation where they put stained crown molding around the top edge of the valence as an accent, with a carved cartouche in the center of the molding. I think I am going to have to try that variation sometime in a formal setting.

This is fairly straightforward. Cut the pieces in the photo out of mat board. Glue them together.Glue a piece of fabric to the front that is about an inch larger all around.

Trim it like the first photo. Make little ears on the top edge. Fold them down and then glue the sides over these.

Trim the outer edge flush with the mat board. Clip the inside edges as shown in the photo. Turn them under with glue. Don't worry about it looking nice on the back side. When you glue the draperies in place the inside will be covered.

Now turn it over to the front side and cover the edges with braid or bunka. Spread some glue on the backside and insert the draperies. I cheated this morning. I didn't want to fuss with draperies, so I put some striped material under the valence to illustrate what they would look like.

Don't forget to poke the little photos to make them big.

The last step is to put it in the dollhouse and enjoy.

Once again, I need to clean up the mess that I made working on these. See you tomorrow.


Star said...

Thank you so much for the reply! I'm delighted to know that Victorian curtains can be over the top.

hopeful said...

OK-so I'm 3 1/2 yrs late finding this blog. It's still great! As for the wonderful drapery book you are talking about here - if it was originally printed in 1889 and the 1979 reprint did not make any changes to it, copyright would be over and it would now be in "public domain" I believe.

Caseymini said...

Hi Hopeful, Welcome and it's not too late.LOL. If you are a glutton for punishment, you can start from the beginning. Just grab a cup of coffee and go to the archives. If you go down to February 2008, that's the start. Then you can just hit "newer posts" at the bottom of each could take you a while......