Saturday, July 21, 2012

fusible tape review

(pic from the Yellow Cape Cod blog)

 My friend Tiffany wanted these curtains, she is not a sewer (that doesn't sound right) but I am, so we made a trade. Don't you just love trades? The tutorial you ask? (but not really) can be found here at Yellow Cape Cod DIY curtains

To make Tiffani's curtains, we started with Ikea white panels that have a slightly linen texture to them.

Pair of curtains with tie-backs, white


Next, she brought me tan material from Joann's Country Solids collection. We had to return a couple times to buy a few more yards. The problem is the curtains are 57' wide and most fabrics are 40' wide (or 60', but not as common as the 40'), so we ended up cutting lengthwise. Personally, when I make these curtains for me... I'll be buying a flat sheet from Walmart. It's cheaper and easier in the long run and you don't have to worry about getting just the right shade of tan.

Next I washed the curtains to shrink them. I should have washed the tan material as well, but didn't. The downside to washing the curtains is all the ironing to get them nice and flat again and they lose a little shape. I recommend not washing them first.

Measuring: You need to decide how long you want your curtains. Tiffani had hers rods hung close to her ceiling, so I had her measure her rod to the floor - 92 inches. The panels come unhemmed at 98' inches, but shrunk after washing. I used fusible tape (that comes with the curtains) to hem them at 92 1/2 inch and then hemmed the bottom using clear thread. The obvious advantage to clear thread is not having to switch it out often.

Cutting: I cut 3 tan strips 14 1/2 (to allow for 1/4 inch seams on both sides) x 57 1/2 long (to wrap around the edges)

and the bottom strip is 12 1/2 x 57 1/2

If you notice the very top of the panel has about 6 inches of white curtain exposed, The strips didn't line up across the top exactly but I got them pretty close. The white exposed curtain area (white stripe) is 12 inches. 

Next I tried a few different things - and I learned a few things...
So, the black strips for the above pictured curtains have grosgrain ribbon covering the rough edges. I just decided to hem mine.

I bought double stick fusible tape in 1/4 inch size. This stuff is fairly inexpensive and worth the effort. The double stickiness didn't stick very well, but it fuses well and was easy to sew through. It made my edges nice and straight.
*** UPDATE: I found it's easier to place the tape where you want it and quickly run a hot iron over the top to get it to stick. Peel off the paper, fold your material, and re-iron. It works like a charm!

I also used this fusible tape in 1/2 inch to adhere the now hemmed 14 x 57 1/2 tan strips to the drapes. It also worked well, and was easy to sew through. If you are planning on sewing your strips on for a more durable finish, use this. 

Caution: I wouldn't use this product for a 'no sewing' option. I hemmed the curtains using this tape and then washed them and they came out of the dryer halfway undone. If you ever plan on washing your curtains use a stronger bonded product (like the stuff pictured below) 

This is definitely the way to go if you don't want to do any sewing. It's really strong stuff and crap to sew through. It kept messing up my machine, my needle, the thread. Really, it's the way to go for no sewing. 

And that's it really. They were fairly easy. I did sew the strips on after I had bonded them, for durability. Tiffani has small children (fingerprints, etc. kids in general can dirty things up pretty quickly). When I laid out the hemmed strips onto my curtain panels - I measured every few inches before fusing them to make sure my lines were nice and crisp. I think they turned out so cute and I can't wait to make myself a pair.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tutorial, tutorial, tutorials!!!

(pic from Alina's Adventures in Homemaking)

This is the biggest collection of sewing tutorials I've seen. It's awesome!

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