Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hardly sewing, but still...

Today I tackled a project that had been staring me in the face every single bloody morning for the past several years.
This is my "dressing area," located in what used to be a teeny tiny half bath, which was attached to a little bedroom that (we think) was occupied by the "Chief of Staff" for the household help, back in the day when this place had a full-time staff of ten (I wish!). About six years ago we took out the bath, created a doorway, and turned the tiny bedroom into a walk-in closet. What was left of the bathroom space (where the commode was) was really too small to do anything with, so I appropriated it for a dressing table.

Here's the issue. The bedroom is on the east side of the house. For part of the year, the sun rises in just the right spot to shine through the window over my dressing table and send a shaft of brilliant light right smack across the center of my pillow.
So much for sleeping late on those mornings.
Hanging some kind of shade has been in the back of my mind for quite a long time now, and today I finally decided to just go ahead and make something -- anything! -- so I could possibly enjoy some extra morning shut-eye.
As is usually the case for projects like this, it was quickly done, leading me to kick myself for not having done it sooner. But no matter; it's up, and we'll see this weekend whether it makes a difference in letting me sleep in.

Project Details

The interior of the window measured 18" x 54", so that was the target size for the shade. I didn't want anything complicated; I just made a long shade, lined with blackout, with a sleeve at the top to run a tension rod through. I then put a second tension rod about halfway down the window and draped the shade over it to create a single fold.
Before going to bed, I will pull the bottom of the shade free of the second tension rod, so it will lay flat the length of the window. In the morning, I'll just pull it up and over the rod again.
There was only one line of sewing (the top edge) in the whole project, too! Everything else was bonded with Sealah tape (which is fabulous stuff). Even the bullion trim was attached with the tape... mostly because I'm not 100% certain I like it. It's left over from a project from years ago, so everything here is entirely from my stash. The gold fabric is left over from doing the bedroom a few years back, and I was happy to discover that I have enough of it left to do shades for the main room as well.
So, gradually, the bedroom is getting decorated. Eventually, more of the windows in the house will get shades or draperies, which will also help with energy efficiency and comfort throughout the year.


  1. I procrastinated about 15 years before making my blackout curtains for the sunny side of the house. Once I finished it, I, too, asked myself why I'd waited so long. They look great and it's amazing how much of a temperature difference there is in those rooms now that the summer sun is around.

  2. All my major projects have a prequel of procrastination. Your curtain looks great!

  3. You are so clever. That window treatment looks wonderful, and it serves a purpose. That's a win-win in my book. Thanks so much for sharing how you created it.

  4. pretty, simple and effective. Fantastic.

  5. Hi there! I found your blog via some posts on pattern review. I am searching for a good drapery liner and saw your comment suggesting Hanes 100% Sateen is the best. I am curious if you still think this is true! I ordered an 100% cotton liner once and it was almost flannel like, very strange. I don't want to make the same mistake twice, so would love to have an expert opinion. The liner does not have to block the light, just filter it. Many thanks in advance for your advice! - Emily

    1. My favorite lining has always been the Hanes Napped Sateen. It's fuzzy on one side and smooth on the other, so it clings to the face fabric better. What you probably got was flannel interlining, which is fuzzy on both sides. It's meant to be used as a layer between the face fabric and the lining, to add bulk and substance to what might be a thin and fragile fabric (like some silks). Hope this helps!


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