Saturday, June 19, 2010

Simple Sewing Saturdays: Volume Six: The Useful Curtain

Today on Simple Sewing Saturdays, we are going to explore the very simple yet useful skill of The Basic Cafe Curtain. With all the '50's Turquoise Themey thing going on around here, it is just expected that my New Kitchen Curtain should be in that genre.  I was contemplating the style of the window treatments (never called that by the way, then) that graced the kitchens of yesteryear.  And truthfully, I could only come up with the Cafe Curtain, my mom's personal favorite.  Of course, in the pre-polyester blend days, I spent quite a few of my Saturdays ironing the blessed things, ruffly and pure cotton and abundant.  So not to drift to far from The Original, I shall utilize the style and even the fabric of the day, to decorate my very 21rst Century Dandy Window.  So your thinking, 'Deb!  Where did you get such wonderful fabric?!' In honor of my New Counter tops, new window and dare I say it, my new kitchen floor, I found myself cutting into one of my precious Vintage Tablecloths, which whittles down my collection to a mere 20....or so.....I had used this beauty outside one summer, so it has battle scars: a bit of rust from a pot, grayish hem for being outside with it's skirts dipping into rain...It has seen better days. This table cloth was a smallish one and cutting it in half was going to give me enough fullness for my window.  If you're starting with fabric from the bolt, you just need to measure the window's width and double the amount for the width of curtain for fullness.  I'll cover this mystical feature on another SSS.
. First things first:  I trimmed off some of the Nasty Bits, taking with it, it's own nice little hem, so the first thing we'll have to do is make new hems.  Top Photo: Press under 1/2 inch.  Then do it again  Stitch close to the folded edge. Do this to all four sidesOn the top of the curtain, you will then fold down, again, approximately 2 inches, depending on how much you want to ruffle at the top of the rod.  Again, you stitch about an inch (I wanted a more subdued 'ruffle' above the rod.)  Then, stitch again another 1 1/2 from that stitching to make the pocket for your rod.Lookit here!  I'm using a measuring tool!!  Okay, it was just for you guys.   I have uncanny ability to 'guess' at measurements.  But I'm usually off a teensy bit. .  For a bit of flourish, I decided to place some of my vintage bias tapes and ricky rack to complete The Look.And as it goes with using rare, older materials, you sometimes run out.  See how close I came to reaching the end?  See the rusty pin holes in my tape?  The rusty holes in the tablecloth/curtain?  Doesn't bother me a bit.  85 % of it is gold so who am I, one who is less than 85% good, to criticize or throw out that lovely 85%?  Nope.  Comes with the Vintage Territory. As you can see, I just folded under the end of the tape and inserted another piece to reach the end.  So you ask, 'But Deb, what if you didn't have anymore of the 19 cent Turquoise Bias Tape from some unknown decade?  No Prob.  I would have just used another color.  That's right.  Tis how I roll.I always like to check on my closeness of hem and in this case, the run of the rick rack and bias tape.  Once the curtain is hanging, it's nice to have a good flow of closeness.Here we are, all pressed and practicing how to hang the finished product.Of course, they won't actually get hung until the Turquoise Counter top is in.  This is just for you. 
What have we learned?  Do not dismiss those lovely vintage things just because they have bad spots.  Work around them, use them in another manner (i.e. place mats, tote bags, etc...) and use their beauty...They won't come around again.......Enjoy!


  1. Love the curtains! I'm about to make mine from (purchased at 50% off) red gingham.

  2. I removed a tag from some of my vintage gingham recently....59 cents per yard! AND on sale as well!! Wonder how long ago that was???

  3. thanks for the help. Calin gave me a link because I'm getting ready to make some fresh summer curtains for my apt. Very helpful. Lovely as well:)


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