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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Here's What We Need.......

Tessie is anxious to finish the tea shop. She is even pitching in and helping here and there.

I decided to do the ruffled valences for the windows this morning. The winds are coming up and a storm is headed this way in the real world, so inside is a better place to be today. Tessie insists that she needs the windows finished before the storm hits. I think that is just a way to get me to work on the tea shop. How could the storm outside possibly get into the tea shop?

The first order of business was to redo the pin board. It was to the point that I couldn't see the graph on the paper.

For those of you that haven't seen me do this before, the basis for the pin board is a piece of acoustical ceiling tile. I work on the smooth back side. As you can see, this one is well used.

I lay sheets of quad rule paper on it, lining it up so that the squares match up on the overlap. I tacked them down and around to the back with blue painter's tape. Then, over that, I wrap a layer of waxed paper. That is to keep the ink on the paper from running onto the fabric that you are working with.

Here you see the valences pinned to the board.

First I cut the fabric twice the width of the area that I wanted to cover and as long as I wanted the valence. In this case it was 1 3/4" X 11". The window area that I wanted to cover was 5 1/2" wide. I just arbitrarily measured the length.

The next step was to run a fine line of white glue all the way around and smear it out. This is to keep the fabric from raveling.

I stitched a gathering thread about a quarter inch from the top. You could do it by machine. I did it by hand. It was faster than getting out the machine out and setting it up.

I pinned the top and bottom of one edge in a straight line, following the graph. Then I pulled up the gathering threads to the width that I wanted to cover and pinned the top and bottom of that side.

Then I pulled in 1/2" of fabric to make a quarter inch pleat and put a pin in the top and the bottom. Each pin has the head facing away from the body of the curtain to make it tight. You should be able to run a fingernail over the center of the pleated area and have the pleats pop right back up after the nail.

Next, you spray them with pump, max hold hairspray. Don't be afraid to get them wet. Let them dry or use a hair dryer if you are impatient.

When the fabric is completely dry, take out the pins and glue them in place.

As you can see, Tessie's curtains are in place and will stand up to gale forces.

I put the shelf in place to see how it fit. Tessie said that she guessed it would have to suffice.

If I had made it any bigger, I would have to add an annex to the building.....Shush! Don't give her any ideas.

She has started a list of things with which to fill the shelves. She used an 11 strip that I cut off of the side of the graph paper......I took the pencil away from her after she ran out of room on the first side and was about to start on the second. It was a struggle, but I won.

I have to go now. She is madly searching for another pencil and I am just as madly hiding any that I can find. Her list is long enough and she hasn't even started planning the attic yet.....

See you tomorrow.


Kathi said...

Your valances and the shelf look great. I'll be making some curtains soon. Thanks for the pleat tutorial.

George the Miniguy said...

Interesting, Casey! I have always used a pleating tool to help me with making my pleats. I'm working on the drapes for Sara's dollhouse right now, and was getting ready to do a post on that. I'm always fascinated by how many different ways people can achieve a finished product. Love your ingenuity and creativity!

Sans! said...

Ahh, graph paper! Ok, will do that. Thanks for the tip.

Deni said...

This is a great Idea! Casey!
As I haven't a pleater I haven't made many curtains so I may just do some now! thank you Again!
OOps another project hahahaa!

Caseymini said...

I can't take credit for the method of pleating. I took a bed class from Judee Williamson many years ago, when I first started out. She uses that method on her bed skirts. I just adapted it to curtains etc. I do all of my curtains this way. I feel it looks more natural and it is more like real curtains hang.

Deni said...

I like the idea of using fray check or glue around the edges of the fabric
I always try to fold down the top & the bottom to make it look nice and I always seem to get in a muddle with the glue going everywhere!
So I will use that method now!

Irene said...

Thanks for the curtain tutorial - very helpful. I usually use a pleater but as you say - a more natural effect. I must try it out next time.

Caseymini said...

Deni, I have used both white glue and fray check. I prefer the white glue because, on some fabrics, the fray check darkens the edge and looks like a stain. Plain old Elmer's white doesn't seem to. Just be sure to smoothe it out with your finger on the back side of the fabric.

Deni said...

Thank you Casey!
We don't have Elmers glue here but I have PVA glue that dries clear can be a bit stiff after though but I can water it down a little

Caseymini said...

Deni, Elmer's is a PVA glue. Unless yours is thicker than cream don't bother thinning it down. Just squeeze it out and apply with a toothpick or use a needle nosed applicator to draw a fine line. Smear it with your finger. I don't bother to let it dry before doing the pleating. It should be fine. It dries stiff, but that is what you want. The curtains will be stiff with the hair spray anyway. You might do a bit of experimenting on some scraps to get the feel of doing it this way. Good luck.

Deni said...

No the Aquadere is quite thin so I will use that as is then!
Thank you for the hints
the last time I made curtains I used paper that I made up a pattern i found and printed it out, that was interesting, I think fabric curtains made your way would be a lot easier to handle