One Room Challenge: Sun Lounge (Week 4)

I did it - I made curtains! Well, to be more accurate, I made one curtain. Haha! This week has been a steep learning curve for me, but I'm actually feeling very good about what I've accomplished because I always enjoy acquiring a new skill.

If you're new here, welcome! I should explain that I'm in the middle of redecorating our sun lounge for the One Room Challenge, a project organised by Linda at Calling It Home whereby bloggers do up a space in their home in just six weeks while blogging their progress in weekly bulletins. If you want to catch up on the story so far, there are links to the relevant articles at the bottom of this page. I also highly recommend checking out the featured designers and guest participants who are undertaking this challenge because I am always inspired by the imagination and creativity of other homeowners all over the world. 

ORC One Room Challenge

Since I'm decorating a sun lounge, there are of course lots of windows - all needing curtains or blinds, which I decided to make myself. I'm now questioning the wisdom of that decision since I've never made either a curtain or blind before ... well, not counting one cobbled-together blind I made to cover a door once. But this room deserves better than that, and so I've spent the week learning how to make curtains the proper way. 

The House that Will | One Room Challenge

If you look back at the before pictures of this room, you can see that there were already curtains hanging on the patio doors. These were a pair of unlined readymade curtain panels that I'd bought during a visit to the US last year. Yes, I actually brought home a pair of curtains in my suitcase! I had originally intended to use them for our sitting room makeover but, when they didn't suit there, I realised that they would work really well on the patio doors. So I ordered enough to do the entire room. My plan is to add fullness and lining to the curtains already on the patio doors, and then to make Roman blinds for the windows by using the new curtains as the fabric.

The House that Will | One Room Challenge - DIY Curtains Part I
Ripping open the seams of the readymade curtains in preparation for recycling the fabric.

Recycling existing curtain panels proved more tricky than I originally anticipated because, of course, they are already cut into fixed lengths. So I had to work within those limitations. My task was further complicated by the large-scale pattern because, wherever I needed to join two panels for extra width, the pattern had to match perfectly to create an invisible seam. Matching the pattern along those seam lines caused the panels to become offset from one another, meaning that the usable lengths of fabric were even shorter. 

The House that Will | One Room Challenge - DIY Curtains Part I 

The House that Will | One Room Challenge - DIY Curtains Part I

I plan to do a more detailed post about making the curtains and blinds once the rush of the One Room Challenge is over but, for now, here is a quick overview of the process.  

Pattern Matching Fabric

Pattern matching has been the bane of my existence this week! I started off doing it the traditional way; by laying the fabric panels right sides together and then folding the top layer back and pinning in place.

The House that Will | One Room Challenge - DIY Curtains Part I

It definitely worked ...

The House that Will | One Room Challenge - DIY Curtains Part I

... but I found it incredibly time-consuming. And I had to redo a couple of seams because the match wasn't accurate enough. So I came up with a little cheat! I used a lightbox I had for an old photography project and laid the fabric panels on top of that. This enabled me to see when the pattern was misaligned:

The House that Will | One Room Challenge - DIY Curtains Part I

And when it was perfectly matched!

The House that Will | One Room Challenge - DIY Curtains Part I

This made it a lot easier to join the fabric panels together flawlessly. 

Making the Curtains

After salvaging the usable fabric from the readymades, I started to work on the hem and mitred corners at the bottom of the new curtains.

The House that Will | One Room Challenge - DIY Curtains Part I

I also inserted a lead bead tape into the hem to help give the curtains some weight so that they would hang better.

The House that Will | One Room Challenge - DIY Curtains Part I

Thermal Lining

Unfortunately, we don't tend to use the sun lounge very often after sunset. My hope is that by adding thermal lining to the curtains and blinds, the room will become a more cosy space that we will want to relax in during the evenings. The lining material I got is fleece-lined and is seriously like a thick, heavy blanket! I must admit that its thickness and weight made it a little difficult to work with, but I think it's worth the effort as the extra weight gives the curtains a much more luxurious look and feel as well as the added warmth.

The House that Will | One Room Challenge - DIY Curtains Part I

I sewed the lining material onto the curtain fabric, and added heading tape and hooks ready to hang.

The House that Will | One Room Challenge - DIY Curtains Part I

The House that Will | One Room Challenge - DIY Curtains Part I

It may just be one curtain panel, but it's the first one I've ever made. One of my biggest challenges this week was the fact that I was trying to figure everything out as I went along, so I'm really hoping I'll be able to make the other one a lot quicker now that I (kinda!) know what I'm doing.

The House that Will | One Room Challenge - DIY Curtains Part I

Also, did you notice the new curtain pole? I'm not sure if it's obvious in the photos just how much of an improvement this is. Now there's just two brackets instead of three, giving a much neater look, plus the new brackets are much more elegant than the old ones. I also prefer the new trumpet-shaped finials, and the metal overall has a finer finish.

The House that Will | One Room Challenge

The House that Will | One Room Challenge - DIY Curtains Part I

Progress & Planning

The House that Will | One Room Challenge

The plan for the coming week is to make the other curtain ... and all the Roman blinds. Eek! I'm genuinely starting to worry about the time constraints of this challenge.   

TO-DO LIST:

  1. Clear and clean out the room.
  2. Paint the ceiling.
  3. Paint the woodwork.
  4. Add the beadboard panelling to the feature wall.
  5. Paint the walls (almost done - still waiting for the top coat to fully cure before I can cut in around the woodwork)
  6. Sew four Roman blinds.
  7. Sew a pair of curtains for the patio doors.
  8. Replace the curtain pole.
  9. Buy and make new scatter cushions.
  10. Introduce texture through the accessories.
  11. Replace the plant stand with a new side table.
  12. Add lots of greenery (faux because of Hubby's allergies) to help link to the garden.
  13. Find new artwork for the feature wall.

 

I just keep focusing on the moodboard and my reason for taking on this challenge. 

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I want to thank everyone who messaged me during the week in response to my Instagram stories @thehousethatwill - your encouragement and support means a lot when I'm being attacked by hidden pins lurking in the yards and yards of fabric I'm wrestling with! 

See you back here next week with the last update before the final reveal! 

Related posts:

One Room Challenge: Sun Lounge (Week 5)

One Room Challenge: Sun Lounge (Week 3)

One Room Challenge: Sun Lounge (Week 2)

One Room Challenge: Sun Lounge (Week 1)