Sunday, 15 July 2012

Cosy curtains

Having moved into a new (for us) and bigger house here in Wellington, I realised that new curtains were in order. No curtains mean very cold rooms here in NZ, since particularly rental houses have little heating, single glazing and no insulation. Cosy curtains are a must.

We brought a couple of pairs over with us from the UK. These cream curtains I made for our lounge in the UK about five years ago. It was the first time I'd used pinch pleat tape and although you can't see the tops in this photo because of the pelmet, I'm still pleased with them and like them. I'm lucky they fit one of our lounge windows here!

 They really are too long for the window, but I don't want to change the hem, I might want them longer if we move again!

I also made some cushion covers to match. At the time we had a dark red sofa and dark red accent wall, hence the red piping round the edges.

 The fabric has a kind of leaf embroidered on it

The other set we brought over were some I made donkeys years ago, I think about 15 years ago. For some reason, they didn't stay up long, then I moved and they didn't fit, so ended up packed away. I hadn't the heart to get rid of them. And I'm glad I kept them... Aren't they the most gorgeous colour? They've always been bedroom curtains for some reason, but I like them as they're dark and keep the light out when trying to sleep.

 These are also too long, but, it keeps the warmth in!
A close-up of the gold pattern, the flash went this time so the colour isn't as good!

So the latest addition are these which now adorn our other lounge window. I can hear some of you saying now "Oh, she's got odd curtains in her lounge, how weird!" Well actually they work well. What do you think? Does it really look that bad?

These are a rust colour and are such thick material, I had concerns for my poor machine and if it would cope, but it worked a dream and after cutting out, I think I probably put them together in about a day (albeit spread over a week!) I always line any curtains I make and these have been lined with one-pass thermal lining and we can certain feel the difference. The lounge is positively sauna-like now! Nice and toasty, hopefully we won't need the gas fire blasting out so much!

Like the colour? I think you can sort of see how thick the fabric is too. 
I'm really pleased how they hang. They're great. The fabric came from Fabrics Direct which is a great store here in Wellington for upholstery and curtain fabric. It was a bargain at $8 a metre. The lining cost more!

Mr N is certainly happy and particularly so because I made them up in my new sewing space! Up until now in the UK, I always had to sew in the dining room on the table, having the clear things away frequently for meals, etc. Now we have space and I've got an enormous spare room downstairs. We've bought one of the new micathermic heaters which warms up in two shakes of a whatsit and I've set myself up at one end.

Yes, that is a glass of something white made from fermented grapes! And yes, I ended up throwing the curtains on the floor in a heap, they ironed out! :-)

To end I thought I'd share what happened while I put the curtains up... I was quite happily minding my own business, it was about 10pm (well I had to hang them, I couldn't leave that bit 'til the next day). The steps are normally quite sturdy, but suddenly they moved a wee bit. I decided I'd stood on them strangely. The next day checking the GeoNet site I realised that it was one of the small tremors we experience here in Wellington. Nothing like the one that rumbled and rumbled about two weeks ago! It was certainly odd though!

Anyway, now I need to get on with some more curtains for the small bedroom... These are going to be very plain, made from the dark blue I used to make the spice holder.


  1. Oh you lucky girl, look at all that space. I'm jealous. And no, the curtains don't look odd. The colours actually go well together. My worry is the length. Can you hem the cream one to look like the dark one? Then again if you like it the way it is, I'd say don't pay any attention to me.

    1. Hi Dibs, I really like the space, it's such a change! It would be nice to hem the others, it's just a bit of a job and I might want them longer if we move. Feeble excuses, I know! :-)

  2. Yay for big spare rooms! :) I am going to have to have a go at some curtains soon. Our new house has curtains on all the windows but apart from one set (which are quite new) they are HIDEOUS! I am sure there is no excuses for a seamstress to lack pretty curtains ;)

    1. Curtains are easy, but can be a wee bit boring to make, since they are straight stitching for ages. They can also get a bit confusing/awkward when trying to match up patterns. Pinch pleats, like my cream ones, look great, but pencil pleats like the red pair and brilliant for moving around as you can just let them out or gather them up more if you like.

  3. Your curtains look absolutely great! I love curtains a bit long and pooling on the floor like that, good call on leaving them long. And as you say, you might want them longer in your next house :)
    We don't have heating or double glazing here in Western Australia either, but thankfully our winters are not as cold as NZ.

  4. I like the look of your sewing space Nikki!
    (You've reminded me I need to take some pics of mine sometime LOL!).