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Friday, February 24, 2012

Playing in the Puddles.(Tutorial Time)

No. It's not raining here and I am not running around the back yard, stomping in the mud. It's curtain making time for the radio.

The first thing that I did was wander through my drapery books. I was looking for either valances, cornice boxes or lambrequins to go over the tops.

I know. Mostly, people think, what's the difference? OK. I'm picky. They are three totally different kinds of animal.

The valance is a soft fabric topper that is gathered or swagged across the top of the curtains. The cornice is a hard, fabric covered, box that fits over the curtains, front, sides and top. The lambrequin is also a hard box, but it extends at least half the way down the sides of the curtains. Most of the time it goes all the way to the floor. Now you know more than you ever wanted to know about curtain toppers. So much for definitions.

I started the curtains yesterday afternoon. I decided to puddle the bottoms. That's where the puddles come in.

When I do that, I have to have a "floor" on the pin board, where I can afix the puddles.

So, before I even started the curtains, I was starting the curtains....I am making the curtains five feet wide by 7 feet tall(mini feet). I cut a piece of foam core that was 6" wide and 8" tall. Then I cut a piece 6" by 1 1/2"(floor). I cut two right angle triangles as braces for the outside of the corners. I didn't measure them, but I think that they were about 2" tall by 1 1/2" from front to back. They do need to be an accurate right angle.

I then glued the back onto the top edge of the floor piece and the two triangles to the outside of the corners. It seems stronger that way and if you put them on the inside, they can be in your way while you are working.

I cut the drapery, two for each window, two inches longer than they needed to be for regular curtains(the puddle).

Next, I hemmed them 1/8"on the two long sides with white glue. I used regular Tacky. I leave it open on purpose, so that it will be thicker than usual.

I also hemmed the bottom in the same manner. It isn't necessary to hem the tops if you aren't going to leave them exposed. I'm not, so I didn't.

On the outer edge of each panel(see first photo)I folded and glued a pleat around a length of 1/8" by 1/16" piece of stock to keep the outer edge straight on a vertical line. That way they don't fan at the bottom...Did I mention that I don't continue the wood all the way to the bottom? In fact, it is about a half inch above the floor. That way it doesn't enterfere with the puddles.

Now....Always starting with the outer edge, I pin the first wooden pleat in place on the edge of the five inche area.

Then, one at a time, working from top to bottom, I pin the top, center and bottom. I leave the excess at the bottom free until last. Don't try to pin that part as you go. I did it in the photo for illustration purposes.

When you get this far, do the other curtain on the same board so that you have the set of curtains just as they will be when you put them on the wall. For the puddles, try to get them about the same width and depth and pin them randomly into a shape on the floor. be sure to have some of the edges curved under. This gives them the look of weight that they need.
With my method, you can easily put the curtains in place and see how they are going to look when you install them.

The last step is to spray them with extra hold hairspray. I use Suave Uncented Extra Hold. I do it twice. Let dry in between. Don't try to take them off of the board until they are really, really dry.

Zar and Tessie got in on the discussion of valances, cornices and lambrequins....It was decided, unanamously, that the cornice would work best in the space.

The lambrequin would cut the space and be difficult with the puddles.

I'll bet that you are wondering about the windows...I am going to cheat. There will be beige China silk undercurtains filling the gap...Sneaky...
Just in case you want to do some fancy cornice work, here's the pattern. If you copy it, be sure to fold on the center line to cut it out. That way both sides will be a mirror image.I cut out a copy and folded it. I couldn't quite put it as high as I will install it, because of the pins.

This will give you some idea of what it is going to look like.

Tomorrow, I will be back with the how to on finishing the curtains and the cornice.

Now I am going to go meet April and the baby for antiquing. We are starting him early.

Please don't forget to vote.

See you tomorrow.


Lucille said...

Wow! Quite an undertaking! Thanks for the tutorial, Casey!

Christel Jensen said...

Wonderful curtain tutorial:) Funny to see all the pins with the dolls;)

Drora's minimundo said...

Thank you again for another great tutorial. I'm voting daily, for you of course. I'm sure you'll win again.

Troy said...

Nice tutorial, thanks! I like that fabric too.

Caseymini said...

Drora, thanks for the votes. I am going to need all the votes that I can get this year!

Troy, go to your nearest quilt shop. Maybe they will stock the William Morris Designed fabric. I think that it is one of my all time favorites.

Nina said...

Happy Blog Birthday to Casey, Tessie, Zar, and the rest! I just want you to know how much I appreciate all your hard work on this blog. Not to mention the tutorials, the great information and all the FUN! Thanks again Casey!

Minka's Studio said...

Well, I've learned my new word for the day: lambrequin. Now I can go back to bed! But really, these look great! I hope some day you will have a space that works with the lambrequins just so we can see them!