Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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What’s wrong with your curtains?

The right curtains can immediately improve a room’s comfort and aesthetics. But did you know that it’s possible to hang curtains incorrectly? It may seem unlikely, but I’ve been in a room this week where the curtains were the wrong length and it was literally the only thing I could look at! Even minor mistakes can make a big impact so, before I invest in any curtains for my new home, I’ve been doing some research into what not to buy. I thought I’d share this advice with you so that you can take a look around your home and make sure your curtains don’t suffer from the four common problems I discovered…

I made my own caravan curtains & blinds – read the blog post here!

1. Too-long curtains 

Off-the-peg curtains can sometimes be a little too long for your room and you’ll end up with extra fabric that bunches up on the floor. If the curtains are really long they can look like a pile of laundry that’s been neglected for weeks! Raising your curtain rod is the easiest way to make long curtains fit your room. Just make sure you raise the rod high enough so the curtains don’t touch your floor. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, the alternative is to shorten the hem of the curtains. I shortened some curtains for my own home and now they are perfect for the space.

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My little vintage caravan project ~ Pull yourself together

Patient: “Doctor, doctor, I feel like a pair of curtains”, Doctor: “Pull yourself together”.

So today I’m sharing my latest sewing achievement in my little vintage caravan project – I’ve made some curtains. And roman blinds too. The roman blinds came about by accident because I thought I’d ordered enough fabric to make curtains for all the windows but when I got to work, I realised that I would need to use most of the fabric for just the main window. Apparently the width of the caravan is bigger than I’d realised. So that left me with two smaller pieces of fabric, which would either make a pair of curtains for one of the remaining windows, or it would make two roman blinds with a bit more effort. So not wanting to pay for more fabric (yes I am that stingy) I opted for the roman blinds.

little vintage caravan project diy makeover

What do you think of my fabric? It’s a blue cotton with TINY stars all over it from Abakhan Fabrics. It was a toss-up between blue and mint green, but in the end I opted for blue, because it would look nicer from the outside against the blue of the caravan. Plus, it’s the colour of the sky and kind of blends into the windows and looks right. I simply stitched a hem around all the edges of the curtains and added some curtain header tape to the top. Job done! Here are the photos of making the roman blinds:

cassiefairy vintage caravan project making roman blinds diy

I hemmed around all edges and then attached a strip of sew-on loop velcro to the top of the blind, saving the corresponding sticky hook piece of velcro for later. Next I stitched a ‘pocket’ for the dowling along the bottom of the blind by turning up the hem by 1.5 inches. I then divided the remaining fabric into 3 and stitched another 2 pockets – 1/3rd of the way up, and 2/3rds up. I inserted the dowels and stitches the ends closed. I hand-stitched 3 rings on each of the dowel pockets on the back of the blind – left, middle and right – and then threaded cord through them, attaching it to the bottom ring with a knot. I then had a little help from hubby to affix a piece of wood above the window of the caravan and stuck the hook piece of velcro to the baton. I screwed 3 eyelet hooks into the baton and threaded the cord from the blinds through and along to bring together as the pull-cord and attached the blind to the baon using the velcro strip.

cassiefairy vintage caravan DIY sewing project making roman blinds

Actually, I’m kind of pleased that I was ‘forced’ to make roman blinds for the side windows, even though they took a lot more time and effort, because I can pull them right up and out of the way. Plus they don’t block out any of the light from coming into the caravan, whereas the curtain-ed window has less light coming in at the sides where the curtains are hanging. After being so used to having no curtains (and therefore lots of light) I was a little bit miffed that I was losing some of precious light just because I wanted to put up curtains. But it’s more important to have the option of privacy for anyone who sleeps in the caravan, and if I’m working in there in the evenings, it’s much more snuggly with the curtains drawn.

little vintage caravan project diy makeover sewing curtains


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Frame your view

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago my lovely writer friend Anna Jones shared her top tips for storage solutions and helped me to kick start my spring cleaning (a bit late, I know!) over the half-term holidays. And it seems that it really inspired a lot of you too – I’ve had many lovely comments, likes and tweets about that blog post, and I’ve heard updates on your own tidying efforts over the past couple of weeks, so keep up the good work guys! So when Anna suggested sharing another interiors blog post, I couldn’t wait to read it and here’s her ideas for making a feature of your windows and making the most of your views:

Using long curtains and drapes to create a stunning feature window is an easy and cost-effective way to add a bit of style and character to a room. Whether you have a small attic window to dress or a large bay-window in your living room, this handy guide will show you the best ways to create a window treatment that can’t fail to impress!

Colours

It is worth spending quite a bit of time thinking about your colour scheme before you venture out to the shops.  Curtains and blinds, especially large ones in the lounge or kitchen take up a lot of visual space and will become a feature focus for your room. Ask yourself how much of an impact you want your curtains, drapes or blinds to create and then go from there. If you want the ‘wow factor’, then go bold with primary colours or strong patterns. If you prefer something subtler try pastel or neutral shades instead.

Photo courtesy of XJavierx

Photo courtesy of XJavierx

Practicality

Long flowing curtains may look fantastic in the catalogues but think carefully about the functionality of anything like this. If you plan to draw your curtains every night then perhaps opt for something less ornate like stylish blinds instead. If your curtains are purely for show then perhaps you can splash out on something more detailed that falls ‘just right’? You should also consider small children when looking at curtain ties and blind cords and make sure they are out of reach of your little ones at all times.

Photo courtesy of  Wegasan

Photo courtesy of Wegasan

Materials

Think carefully about the type of curtains or dressings that you want. Thick heavy curtains will block out more light and keep your room warmer in the winter.  And it’s not just the material that counts towards these factors – the lining does to. A basic cotton lining allows some light to filter through and are ideal for living rooms, bathrooms and kitchens, whereas insulated linings, which regulate heat better, are a good idea if you have a playroom or guest room that get a bit chilly in winter.  And finally, blackout-style curtains are ideal for the master bedroom.  Keeping bright lights at bay and can even muffle outside noise, allowing you to sleep in peace!

Photos courtesy of adrienne_barti & moiraanddobbie

Photos courtesy of adrienne_barti & moiraanddobbie

Accessorise!

Don’t forget about your trimmings when searching for that perfect window dressing! Extra touches such as rods, hooks, tie-backs or quant window cill plant pots that can all add to your look and help you achieve the style you’re looking for. For example, if you want to go for the Victorian drawing room look, then you’ll probably want heavy, velvet curtains. Pair these up with woven cord tie-backs and an ornate mahogany curtain rod and the look is complete. Or perhaps you need a new roller blind for your kitchen and want something that matches your existing style, such as country cottage. You can get customised blinds made to measure in most colours and fabrics these days so take a swatch of colour along with you to find the perfect match.

Thanks to Anna for another excellent interior design article and I hope to be able to bring you more fabulous writing from by Anna in the future. I’m certainly going to be fiddling around with my windows this week – can you believe that there are at least 2 windows in my home that don’t have curtains or blinds at all?! I think it’s time to change that right now!

More interiors articles:

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