Thursday, November 1

Curtains made from an £8 charity shop pair.

Not long after we moved to this house just over two years ago, I bought a lovely pair of interlined Laura Ashley curtains from a charity shop. From this pair I made a front door curtain, and a pair for our bedroom. However, ever since making the pair for the bedroom, I realized I'd made a mistake - the fabric was too thick, and the horizontal join I'd done meant the curtains didn't hang properly. They were also not wide enough and although they covered the window, every time I drew them I had to fiddle about making sure there wasn't a gap in the middle.

Last week I found a lovely pair of good quality lined curtains, in another charity shop, which I knew would go well with the colour of the wall in our bedroom. They were quite large - three widths of the fabric each and plenty long enough for our window. There was also a gathered pelmet; although I didn't need this it means I've got another three or four yards of header tape to stash away to use in the future. And all this for a mere £8!

I used to avoid making curtains, or at least for other people. I was always afraid of not getting the hems straight, or not squaring them up, or not matching up the pattern properly, but then a few years ago my daughter asked me to make some for her, and I decided it was time I faced the challenge..... I read the rules - !! - and bought a steel one metre ruler and a right angled one, and set to work. They were quite successful and I made a pair for my neighbour as well.

I no longer make them for other people, or at least only very small ones, as I simply haven't the space in this house. When I do make them, the whole process involves a lot of crawling around on the floor and apart from the discomfort of that, they might well end up not straight and squared up and while I can put up with that for us, it's not acceptable if I'm being paid for the job!

I was going to just make this pair narrower and shorter, but in the end I decided it was easier to take them apart completely and remake them. That way I would also have a spare width of fabric to do something else with.

 Even on the floor I only just had room to lay them out -

The next day I couldn't quite believe how much my legs were hurting from all the getting up and down! Good exercise I suppose.

It was hard to get good photos of the finished curtains, but here they are -

Oh the bliss of not having to fiddle about every night making sure there's no gap in the middle! Once again, it was hard to get a good photo -

I should add that we then sleep with them drawn back as I like to see the dark sky and to wake up with the natural light. We do get some light from neighbours across the road shining in sometimes but it's not too bad. In fact I hate sleeping with curtains drawn across, which is one reason why I hope we never have to live somewhere with streetlights outside. I'm all in favour of dark skies and think streetlights should be turned off after a certain time like they used to be when I was a child. (There - I've said it!)

I'm actually really pleased with how these curtains turned out - pretty straight and squared up considering how much crawling about on the floor I had to do. Not bad for, as I said, £8!


  1. Hi Lizzie, your curtains look lovely, well done. I once had a job making very expensive curtains, a professional tip is to carefully draw the curtains back gathering the fabric into pleats, you have to tug a bit at the bottom to get the pleats straight but don't pull too much, then using several strips of fabric tie the curtains then leave them for a couple of days, this sets the pleats so they hang nice. X

    1. Thank you. And yes I read that tip after finishing the curtains - not sure that I'll get round to it but you never know!


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