Saturday, January 8, 2011

Drapery Follow-Up

My joy over getting just the right amount of fabric for the draperies for my photography studio was short-lived when I started planning out how to cut the fabric into the correct dimensions.  My first mistake was to not research estimating fabric for draperies before going to the mill to buy it.  I just trusted that I could give the salesperson the dimensions of my windows and he could do the math to figure it out.  It's been a long time since I've used math, and I even had to look up how many inches are in a yard.  It's 36, just in case you are wondering too.

Anyway, I spent hours drawing diagrams and doing various formulas to see how I could get 14 yards of fabric to cover two sliding glass doors and two windows.  However, I always came up short.  I figured out that the salesperson added in the x1.5 for draping, but did not figure in the extra fabric needed on top and on the bottom for the header and the hem.  Without those, the drapes just don't hang well.  The bottom, especially, needs to be weighted down.

I couldn't blame the salesperson, because it's ultimately my responsibility to figure out the dimensions and translate it into yardage ahead of time.  I'm scattered between so many things, different projects, responsibilities, unexpected problems, appointments, etcetera, that planning is not my strong point.  It's more like the sun is shining, the roads are clear, I have a few moments to spare, let's go run some errands.  It usually isn't until I get there that I realize I wasn't prepared.

The sad part is that I cleaned them out.  They don't have anymore of that fabric, and even if they did or could order more for me, I'd be going over my budget to purchase it.  So, I ended up having to only cover one door and the two windows, and cut both the size of the header and the bottom hem down smaller, and cut the amount of draping down to a very subtle x1.3, which is probably okay for a photography studio, because we don't need a lot of folds casting shadows.  If it doesn't hang well, I can add weights.

My next dilemma was to decide whether I wanted to keep the fabric slightly transparent to let in some light and create a softbox effect for the entire room, or whether I wanted to add some blackout lining to the back of the fabric to completely darken the studio and allow me to operate with just the lights and no natural light.  I opted to purchase the blackout lining.  If I want the window covering to be somewhat transparent, I have plenty of other sheer fabrics I can lay over the drapery rods.  In the meantime, I'll handle the uncovered door by hanging a thick blanket over it to black out the entire room. 

My biggest worry is that the windows and doors of this room are always covered in ice and condensation first thing in the morning, so hopefully the lining will protect the fabric from all that moisture in addition to offering some insulation.  Ultimately, I just need to get a drywall company in here to repair the indentations from the old skylights in the ceiling.  A lot of heat escapes through there.  You can look at our roof and see four perfect rectangles where the snow melted and the rest of the roof is covered in snow. 

Now I have to wait a couple of weeks for the lining to arrive.  I ordered it over the Internet, because stores usually don't carry as much yardage as I needed.  When the job is done, I'll take pictures.  In the meantime, I've got to find the right drill bit to install the rods and pray that I don't hit any electrical wires.  Of course, the people who built this house had to string wires to an outlet on the ceiling directly above the window that I would like to cover.  Nothing is ever simple.


In other news, Elle the dog toy is hanging in there.

Just a quick note to advertisers:  If you would like me to review your products or drive people to your website, just send me an email and ask. My email address is listed in my profile. When I go into my comments queue and find 2 or 3 comments in which a plug for a product or website is worked into the response to each post, it feels manipulative and disingenuous.

It's kind of like trespassing on my property without permission when had you just asked if it is okay to walk on my property / advertise on my site, I would have said yes.  Anyway, if you are wondering where all your comments advertising your product and site went, they are in the SPAM folder even though I know you did take the time to to read my posts and give an appropriate response.  I'm a business woman myself, but I would never just walk up to someone else's window and tape my advertisement to it without speaking to the owner of the shop first.


Rising Rainbow said...

Good luck with the drapes. Whether or not you'll have problems with moisture on them will depend on how close they are to the source of the moisture. Lining alone will not protect them from stains, unfortunately. I've learned that lesson the hard way.

I treat those comments like spammers too for all the same reasons. I hate when links are embedded in comments like that.

KarenTX said...

Could you hang the blackout curtains separately behind the drapes? That way you could use them or push them to the side as needed. Also, what about a border in a coordinating fabric for the sliding glass doors? I see that a lot on HGTV.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I was going to recommend what KarenTX said, especially since you are a quilter and have tons of beautiful fabrics you could use. I'd also probably not worried about a header and just used metal curtain clips off of sliding O-Rings. I think this has an attractive, contemporary, casual look, besides being very versatile, too.

Midge is such a cutie :)


Sydney_bitless said...

Ugh, see this is why I do not sew (with a machine)

I hate when people comment on my blog then go by the way here's my website. I feel it's like someone going into a magazine and seeing an ad for example, for microsoft computers and taping a paper over it that says "buy a mac book" not cool at all. I delete comments like that.

Leah Fry said...

You could add a contrasting piece at the top and/or bottom larger than you need so it looks like it's on purpose. Are they curtains or actually drapes? Curtains are so much easier...

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Wow! You gals came up with some great ideas. Thanks.

fernvalley01 said...

Leah fry had the idea ahead of me I was just wondering if you could do the top and bottom in a contrasting or complimmentary color to stretch the fabric. I Agree about the advertising , thre only time I leave a link in a comment is if I am suggesting something in response to the post and want the poster to be able to go have a look

Cheryl Ann said...

I have no advice for you about your drapes. The ones I made for our living room window aren't even! HA! I think you've got some good advice, however!

achieve1dream said...

I'm glad they were able to help you with the drapes because I know nothing about sewing. That dog blanket I made for Jackal is the most complicated I've ever done. :) I can't wait to see the finished drapes.