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Help me design simple curtains for a little cottage.

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I need to make some curtains for a scout camp cabin. It's a cute little '50's cottage, used by families who are visiting their scout at camp. By "cute", I mean "has potential, but needs work". I think some pretty curtains, instead of the bits of paper or cloth or nothing at all that is there now, will help perk it up a bit.


The cabin has two small bedrooms and a small bathroom; I think there are 4 windows total. (There is a living/dining/kitchen room as well, for which there are already curtains.)


I've bought some lovely, pretty bedsheets to make them with. That will give me a lot of fabric to work with.


Anyway, I'm going to use spring tension rods. I have one afternoon to make as many curtains as I can for bedrooms and bathrooms. (There are actually at least three of these cabins.) The windows are small. Maybe 3 feet wide and two feet high, or even smaller. How should I design the curtains?


--I don't want to do cafe tabs for time reasons. A simple rod pocket will be quickest.


--I want the curtains to cover the whole window at night for privacy, but to be able to be pulled aside during the day for light and air to come through.


--Should I do one curtain to cover the whole window, that can be pulled to one side and tied? Or would two panels be a better choice? (I'd kind of like to do a top and bottom panel, or valence and curtain, but that would require two rods, and I'm trying to keep it cheap.)


--I'm thinking of attaching curtain ties to the curtain itself, so they won't be lost and won't need any hardware. (The curtains need to be easy to wash.) Any thoughts about this?


--Not sure if I will use only one fabric, or a combination.


Anyone have some cute pics to inspire me? Thoughts about efficient construction? Tips to remember as I sew?

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I think you are supposed to use the hem that normally appears at the top of the sheet for the bottom of the curtain.


That's a good idea! I think some of the sheets have a bit of decorative trim at the hem, and using the existing hem will save me some sewing time. Thanks!

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I am overwhelmed with the Pinterest pics. Lots of curtains, but most more the full "drapes" style than the simpleness I'm going for.


I like the way this one has the rod pocket down a bit to create a ruffle above the rod. It's about the same window size, too, with the "inset" tension rod like I'll be using.


One panel, or two? Tieback design ideas?

This is the closest to what I have in mind, from here.

Edited by justasque
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For attached tie backs, could you sew on some coordinating ribbon? It would mean a little extra cost, but would save a lot of sewing time.


I like that. I'm thinking that if I sew two ribbons on one side, about mid-way down, I could tie them in a bow on the side when the curtain is full, or tie them around the curtain to hold it back.


I'm also rethinking the "no tab top" decision. I'm realizing tab tops make it easier to pull the curtain aside, because there's not as much fabric on the rod. Since these are small windows, and since the curtain rod doesn't extend beyond the window, I want the curtain to be able to pull as far aside as possible. Not sure about the time investment though...

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This is what I do for curtains:


Home decor fabric is 54" wide. One panel would only work for a tiny window. I do a 4 inch hem on top and bottom and 1-2 inch on the sides. I use curtain clips. I *detest* making lined curtains, so what I do is buy the absolute cheapest sheers from IKEA and just clip them behind the curtains on the same clips. Make sense? This also gives a nice layered look and keeps the fabric from becoming sun faded a bit.


Check fabric.com. Premier Prints is what I almost exclusively use. They have good prices and the fabric is great.

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