The Sewing Place

Need some advice on making a curtain

Sara-S

Need some advice on making a curtain
« on: April 26, 2021, 12:13:47 PM »
Here is the problems; There is an opening under our stairs, leading to some storage space.
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It measures about 20” x 30”. Like many homeowners here, we covered it with blinds. But they have been up for close to 20 years and recently fell down. Putting them back up was quite a chore and they are almost impossible to keep clean. So if (more likely when) they fall down again, I want to replace them with a curtain, hung on a tension rod.

Curtains with no fancy ruffles or pleats are easy enough but I have a couple of questions.
1) How big do you make the bottom & side hems?
2)Since it will just be a single curtain, would you make it the exact width of the space or a bit larger? If larger, how much larger?

BTW, why didn’t I just put up a curtain in the first place?  I hadn’t yet learned how to sew.
You can't scare me. I taught high school for 32 years.

Efemera

Re: Need some advice on making a curtain
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2021, 12:51:51 PM »
Why not make a nice little mini quilt and hang that....

Sara-S

Re: Need some advice on making a curtain
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2021, 12:57:29 PM »
Why not make a nice little mini quilt and hang that....

Interesting idea, but it would be a little stiff when we need to open it.
You can't scare me. I taught high school for 32 years.

Gernella

Re: Need some advice on making a curtain
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2021, 13:20:14 PM »
Small roller blind, proper little cupboard door to match the surround.
Stash extension 2022 - 2.5
Left at the end of 2021 - 43.2 meters

Greybird

Re: Need some advice on making a curtain
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2021, 13:36:09 PM »
A curtain will be easier to lift aside or slide on the rod, for access, than a blind. Operating a blind from the floor up is awkward. Assuming lightweight fabric I would do the side hems about 1/2 an inch - just wide enough to fold back on itself twice. The hem I would do 3 -4 inches. Alternatively you could give it a lining and just "bag it out".

Sara-S

Re: Need some advice on making a curtain
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2021, 14:23:37 PM »
@Greybird that is helpful. But what do you mean by “bag it out”?
You can't scare me. I taught high school for 32 years.

Greybird

Re: Need some advice on making a curtain
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2021, 14:54:27 PM »
@Sara-S cut the fabric to length +seam allowance (and I don't think I said before - one and a half to two times the width of your opening*) and allow enough at the top for your slot for the rod. Cut the same in lining fabric. Right sides together, sew down the side, along the bottom and back up the other side. You then have a bag of fabric. Turn to right side, press and turn over your top for the rod.

*The amount you allow for the width depends on your fabric, its weight and how gathered you want it to be. An ungathered flat curtain or less than one and a half times just looks mean. 

Lowena

Re: Need some advice on making a curtain
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2021, 16:54:03 PM »
We have doors over here ( in general ) much neater
Triumph of hope over experience :D

BrendaP

Re: Need some advice on making a curtain
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2021, 17:46:52 PM »
For that space I would opt for either a small roller blind which would only need one width of fabric, but would have the faff and expense of the fittings.  Alternatively a curtain on a tension rod which I think should be at least twice the width of the rod.  Not a sheer, but not very heavy either. and probably won't need lining as unless the space behind is illuminated you won't see through it.  Half inch hems at the sides is enough but the bottom needs either about 3" double hem - or weight a smaller hem with the weights which look like a mini string of sausages.
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
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Bodgeitandscarper

Re: Need some advice on making a curtain
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2021, 18:53:01 PM »
I'd definitely be putting a door on that  :)

toileandtrouble

Re: Need some advice on making a curtain
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2021, 19:28:38 PM »
Or hang a mini quilt on a small bamboo pole, just a bit wider and rest the pole on cuphooks at the sides of the frame. Lift off when you want to go into the cupboard
Yarn down:  150g
Fabric down:  0m

Renegade Sewist

Re: Need some advice on making a curtain
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2021, 20:40:52 PM »
Or hang a mini quilt on a small bamboo pole, just a bit wider and rest the pole on cuphooks at the sides of the frame. Lift off when you want to go into the cupboard

@Sara-S this is what I was thinking. Even a properly fitted tension rod would be easy to pop in and out. Surely you only store items you use infrequently in such an awkward space. I'd avoid a gathered curtain. In this location it would be nothing but a dust catcher. Haven't you said you have asthma? I'd prefer a solid hatch cover to a curtain.

Sara-S

Re: Need some advice on making a curtain
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2021, 20:59:06 PM »
We actually get stuff in & out of there rather frequently. But for structural reasons, installing an actual door would be a logistical nightmare, which is why no one in these homes uses one.
You can't scare me. I taught high school for 32 years.

Esme866

Re: Need some advice on making a curtain
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2021, 07:23:42 AM »
I can see where an actual door would be structurally awkward. I've had to deal with this sort of thing myself.

An easily removable tension rod would be how I'd go. A quilting fabric would even be heavy enough. I'd personally choose a simple print that would blend with the surrounding wood tone of the molding and nearby cabinet. As you can see in the photo, the darker tone of the wood trim literally outlines the existing blinds making the awkward opening stand out. A mottled print in the same color/tone as the wood would be less eye catching.

I'm not a ruffle-y fru-fru kind of person either and a roman blind matching the wall color and covering the wood trim around the opening did come to mind, but what a lot of work.

As much as I don't care for ruffle-y gathers, I never use less than a double width for this type of curtain, as 1-1/2 always looks skimpy to me. I like a 3/4"  hem on the sides, with the rod pocket able to easily cover the rubber tips of the rod. I also like to sew a 1" header above the rod pocket as the installation is easier when you position the rod, rather than have the top of the rod pocket itself against the top of the opening. 2-1/2" to 3" doubled hem should give plenty of weight. Truly no need to line.

I'd also prewash and dry the fabric. If you don't, spilled coffee or the cat heaving up a hairball onto it while you've laid it to the side (guess who that happened to!) can cause it to shrink - and then you've got to do it again.

Sara-S

Re: Need some advice on making a curtain
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2021, 10:20:43 AM »
The question has never been,"Should I use a curtain?"  At this point, DH & I have already agreed that a curtain is the best option for us.  We will use top & bottom tension rods & have ordered fabric. We found something we liked, yesterday.

The question on which I seek advice is how to sew a curtain. Advice on things like how big to make the side hems & such would be helpful.
You can't scare me. I taught high school for 32 years.