Thursday, October 22, 2015

Dining room curtains

I adore our dining room.  Now.  It didn't start out so great.  This is what it used to look like. 
It was "fine" except for the random sliding glass door that literally led nowhere. The back porch ended 5 feet away but the door opened to a 10' drop onto a brick retaining wall.  See the railing in the left side of the sliding door? It made no sense to us.  So our options were to extend the porch and roof to the door or to replace the door with a large window.  The latter was less work, and fit our budget better.  

The window was a MUCH better fit to the space. We didn't need the original door. There were french doors 10' away in the living room and a sliding glass door 30' away in the opposite direction leading to the pool yard.  

The next decisions were style, fabric, and trim.  I found this handy reference online.  I liked the idea of the Louis XV with a modified valance.  The draped jabots (side pieces) had me smitten.  A trip to the fabric store brought this wonderful aqua, beige, white fabric into my life. It was perfection and matched my paint exactly.  Trim was extremely high priced everywhere I looked locally, even with a coupon.  However, an Amazon search resulted in 10 yards of this gorgeous beaded trim for less than $35 total- needless to say, I bought all 10 yards.  I may use the extra for my living room Roman shades but that's a story for another day.  The backing fabric is just a plain unbleached muslin canvas- so cheap. 

Now bear with me as I am no artist.  Here is a sketch of my plan with measurements.  My window opening was 79" wide.  I didn't want the scallops to be the same length or width so these measurements just happened to work for me.  I knew I wanted the highest peak to be a 12" drop.  I added 4" to that to get the bottom of the center scallop, and an additional 4" to get the bottom of both sides.  The sketch on the bottom left is the pleated jabot, the right is the unfolded jabot.  I wanted the shortest part of the jabot to fall 2" below the edges of my valance.  Looking at the unfolded sketch, you'll see that the 5.5" wide rectangle is the side of the jabot that wraps around the window.  The pleats were an estimation of distances that I used as reference but didn't end up following exactly.  


To sew the jabots, I laid my aqua fabric and lining right sides together and cut according to my sketch.  This ensured both pieces were exactly the same size.  The jabots were cut opposite to frame the window- make sure to cut mirror images or you'll have one backwards jabot.  I marked my pleats on the right side of the muslin.  Remember, I only used them as a reference.  


I sewed the left, bottom (sloped), and right sides.  I left the top open as a means to turn it right side out.  the top edge was the selvage edge from the fabric and didn't need any finishing for my purposes.  Once flipped right side out, and pressed, it'll look like this.  Your other jabot will be a mirror image- I cannot stress this enough!

The next step was simply top stitching the trim on using a matching thread color.  

Here's a side by side of both jabots- one pleated, one not.  After getting one the way I liked it, I laid them like this and pleated the other to match.   A simple straight stitch along the top held everything in place. 

So smitten- I love them.  

The valance happened in a very similar fashion.  I laid my fabric right sides facing, folded them in half and pressed.  I used a pencil to mark my peaks and center point of the scallops and drew a pleasing curve between them.  Unfold, iron out the center pleat, sew the sides and scalloped edge, turn right side out, iron, top stitch trim, hang.  I dont have a picture of the hanging mechanism as I dont have enough hands to take pictures, hold lumber, and screw it to the wall at the same time.  Basically I used corner brackets to attach a 2"x2" frame to the wall.  It looked very similar to this character: ].  It protruded 5" away from the wall and extended past the edge of each side of the window by 3".   I laid the top (open) edge of the valance on the frame, and stapled it down in many places.  I then laid the jabots on, folding the corner down, and stapled those. 

I added sheers for asthetics.  Rest assured, the wall where the door used to be has been painted and the light fixture in there replaced.  Notice those cool candle sconces made from my leftover kitchen pieces??  To be continued... ;)

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