Monday, August 06, 2007

What I Did On My Summer Vacation* - part deux

*or - How My Mom Is Watching Out For Me

Well, you all know the saga of the house next door, right?

First, it went up for sale. Then, there was all the rhubarb thievery. Then came Operation Gonorrhea. And finally, something I didn't mention here, the new owner* put the house up for rent. There may have also been an incident with some activists in the garden "freeing the rhubarb roots", but everyone involved in that bit of late night, cover of darkness shovelling has been trained to deny, deny, deny. Rank and serial number only!

While I was away in New Brunswick, Mr. Happy kept me apprised of the situation next door. The "For Rent" sign was taken down and it wasn't long before a family of 5 (or is it 15 - I can't yet figure out who lives there and who doesn't) moved in next door.

Ok, so what does this have to do with my summer vacation? Well, I came home intent on doing some work around the house. The plan was to either scrape wallpaper in our bedroom OR to work on the sun porch (sigh - the project that will never get done). These plans were sidelined when we realized that we don't want to traumatize the children next door. It was time for dining room curtains. I've only had the fabric for 5 years. Ahem.

On Thursday morning I bought TWO fabulous Umbra curtain rods at Linens 'N Things** - (half price - yay!) and then I went home to try to figure out how on earth I was going to make the curtains.

After rummaging around in my craft and sewing supplies (wouldn't a craft room in the sun porch be great?), I consulted with my neighbour (source of much wisdom and knowledge). The two of us were standing in my spare room (where the sewing machine lives, for now) looking at the fabric and trying to figure out the best way to make the curtains - drapes? tab tops? just throw the fabric over the rod and be done with it? I had envisioned drapes with pleats hanging on rings. A friend of mine had given me some curtain rings years ago but I didn't know how to attach them.

This is the part where Mom was watching out for me: I reached into a drawer and pulled out a roll of what I thought was some sort of reinforcement for curtains. My neighbour said, "Oh! That's the stuff you need! That goes on the back of the curtain and then the hooks slip up into that tape, see?" And she showed me the little channels for the hooks. I reached into Mom's sewing kit (now my sewing kit) and pulled out one of the hooks she was talking about. Needless to say, I was very thankful that my mom's sewing kit is filled with extremely useful things and that she still seems to be looking out for me.

I'll skip the gory details about the sewing, the lining and the double hems (which are gorgeous, by the way) and just show you the finished product:

curtains 2

The fabric has a yellow threads and dark khaki green threads forming grids on it (fabric people could probably name this style) - which pull in the colour on the walls and the colour of our sofas - which are visible from the dining room. (Our house is small - everything is visible from the dining room!)

curtains 3

Aren't they beautiful? I think I did a pretty good job for someone who only sews about twice a year.

I also made drapes for our bedroom while I was at it. I won't be showing these to you until the bedroom walls are stripped of the ancient wallpaper and painted. At this rate, that could be next summer. I've had that fabric since 1999.

Speaking of fabric (and because this post just isn't long enough), here's the fabric I bought while Becca and I were at Mardens last Monday:

First, this pretty paisley print:

fabric 1

That's for new throw pillows on the couch. It goes quite nicely with the new curtains.

Next up, this vintage looking print:

Safety first fabric

Safety first people! I wish I had bought more of this- we need a couple new curtains in the kitchen and this would be perfect.

This fabric:

Christmas fabric

is to feed my addiction to green. And to make something fun for Christmas.

And last, but certainly not least, a little something for the knitters:

Sheep!  Sheared Sheep!

I just can't wait to use it all. In my new craft room. Sigh.

* The new owner just happens to be an old girlfriend of Mr. Happy. When I told the KOL crew about the new owner, the collective gasp in the room was so strong that a man walking by the coffee shop was sucked in through the door and had a latte in his hand before he knew what had happened.

**apparently the 'n Things refers to curtain rods and potato scrubbers.)


  1. Great curtains! I need to hem mine - any tips on doing the double hem?


  2. I *love* that safety first fabric.

    Good luck with your rental neighbors. I grew up in a wonderful little neighborhood (village) that was built in 1938. By the time I came along, everyone in the village already knew each other, and Mom had babysat everyone. Then when I moved away for 5 years in 1995, something weird happened: all the homeowners bought houses elsewhere and rented out the village houses. When I moved back to the village, it was decidedly more ghetto.

    Not that one rental is going to do that to a neighborhood, or that nearby big-city gangs are going to move into yours like they did with mine. I just always shake my head and click my tongue when I think about what happened to my old little perfect village.

  3. "we realized that we don't want to traumatize the children next door. It was time for dining room curtains"

    What the heck are you doing in your dining room that would traumatize children????

    No, wait. Don't answer that. I have decided I am way happier not knowing.

  4. Oooooh! Your curtains look fantastic! So inspiring. I can't wait to get started on my living room curtains. I've ordered the fabric and I plan to make some tab tops. I hope my Mum is looking out for me too and slipped some invaluable curtain-making tools in my sewing kit.

  5. Anonymous9:31 a.m.

    I was thinking the same thing as Lesley. For now, I'm going to assume it has something to do with your table manners.

    Hey, nice fabric haul!

    Lovely job on the curtains - I really like the colour against your mustard walls.

    Oh, and a late comment: Love Jenn Grant. Her CD has been on heavy rotation chez moe lately.

  6. Bravo! The curtains look faboo. And I can't wait to see what you make with the sheep fabric.

  7. Cool curtains! What a grea tset of fabrics you acquired -- kitsch is good!

  8. which of the KOLers were you? I was scouting them all out, trying to place which ones of your group I recognized from their blogs -- there were some faces that look familiar (and some peopel in the crowd that I KNOW I know from somewhere! but couldn't place).

    It was a good evening, eh?

  9. Whoa... vastly impressed with your curtain mojo. They look great!