Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Happy Accident

This is what I’ve been living with in our guest bathroom for the past two years.  Eek!!  All that stuff that should be concealed behind closed doors... All those skeletons that would rather be stuffed away... I decided it was high time to do something about it.  That meant: curtains.

While roaming the clearance racks at our local Super Center, I found these curtains for cheap.  
They were the exact shade of... what is that exactly?  Aqua?  Blue-green?  Turquoise?  Anyway, they were perfect to match the scheme I already had going on, but I knew they wouldn’t be long enough to cover the entire alcove.  So what to do? 

 Buy this set of curtains as well, of course!  The whole color scheme wasn’t right, but the yellow was perfect.  So I figured I could combine the teal and yellow portion of the curtain panels and get the length I needed.
(PS, they color combo comes from this painting that mr did during our second year of marriage which is currently hanging on the far wall in the guest bath.  It’s based on a photo from our honeymoon - that’s me standing by the sea!  Cute, huh?)

This is probably the most straightforward sewing project anyone has ever done in their life.  Seriously.  At first I considered ruffling some stuff, cutting strips from both curtains and doing alternating colors of ruffles, that kind of thing.  Then I stopped myself before I got in too deep (for once in my life) and thought, who the heck do you think you’re kidding?  I’m not even an average sewer at this point in my life.  I’m mediocre at best.  I can admit this - I feel it’s more important to try and enjoy than to be perfect.
Anyway, I’m glad I opted for easy and straightforward with this project, or I may have ended up in tears as I have with so many of my other projects... as it was, I STILL had issues, and I didn’t ruffle, pleat, alternate or attempt anything fancy shmancy at all.
So, I started by cutting the yellow portion off of the multicolored curtains.  Now I have to figure out what to do with that bright left over fabric.  Hmmmmm... 

Next, I cut off the tab tops, since the yellow was the top of the curtain.  It would have been perfect if it had been the bottom because then I wouldn’t have even had to hem anything, but no such luck.  

So, to show that I have indeed learned from past mistakes, I would like you to pay SPECIAL ATTENTION to the next two pictures: 1) I MEASURED how long the yellow part needed to be and cut it to that length and 2) I then IRONED the hem before I pinned and sewed it.  

Then it was time to repeat all of these steps with the second set of panels.  And that’s when it went south.
I cut the yellow off, I cut the tabs off, and I laid it out on the teal curtain to measure it, just as I had done in the first place.  It wasn’t until after I cut it to the measured point that I realized it really looked quite a bit shorter than the first one.  And why?  Because it WAS quite a bit shorter than the first one.  How did I manage that?  I have no idea.  You see the measuring tape in the picture.  I did actually use it.  I have no idea how I mistakenly measured the second panel so much shorter than the first.  The only explanation I can come up with is that my brain took a hiatus for approximately 20 seconds - just long enough for me to not only measure incorrectly, but to cut incorrectly as well.  Please tell me I am not the only person who has made the rookiest of rookie mistakes.
Well, since there’s no way to add fabric back on (without sewing it back on, of course, and I just didn’t want to attempt that at this point), I cut the first yellow strip to the same (much shorter) length as the second so that the panels would match.
Exhibit A, below, shows you just how upset I was with myself - I did quite the hack job on the first panel as I was re-cutting it.  
Anyway, after I re-cut and then ironed both so that they matched, I went ahead and pinned it up - another lesson I learned the hard way.
Then I just ran a straight stitch to hem them up.
(Once again, I would really appreciate it if you would ignore the CLEAN laundry in the background.  At least it is mostly folded.  Oh, and there's that darn frame project.  Sigh)

Then I ironed the teal curtains because you know how curtains look just out of the package... like someone rumpled them up in a heap and steamed them just like that to make extra certain they would STAY wrinkly and creased for the duration of their lives.  I must admit that the requirement of ironing as you sew is right up there with washing dishes as you cook.  It’s pretty lame to do chores while you are doing your hobby.  Why are the only hobbies that require this the ones that I choose to do?  You never see mr vacuuming the floor so he can read his car magazines or scrubbing the toilets so he can putter around with simple chemistry experiments, do you?  No.  But my life consists of chores, even in my “spare” time.  Please excuse the digression.
So, I ironed the teal curtains so they didn’t look like garbage.  Then I pinned the yellow strips onto the teal curtains just above the teal curtain's hem.  

I used a zig zag stitch with yellow thread to sew them together, just so that it would look kind of interesting and not quite so boring.
And there we have it!  I hung them up with a shower curtain rod, also on clearance.  Not the most stylish hanging system, but it was cheap and it’s only in the bathroom, right?  I’m really glad I finally just whipped it up, since the whole project took about a half hour, mistakes and all.

(in this picture you can see the fun stripes I painted 
on the wall that carry the color scheme. 
 Oh, and my elbow, which doesn't.)

Oh, and speaking of mistakes, as you can see in the picture, the curtain actually reaches from the ceiling to the floor... so that mistake when I cut the second yellow panel?  It was actually a blessing in disguise.  Apparently I mis-measured right at the vary start of the whole thing, when I was taking notes on the dimensions of the alcove.  Thank Heavens for happy accidents!

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