New Curtains

We have been in the van for 5 months now. It was time to finish the curtains on the front. He loves looking out at the shadows and stars at night, but we will be at a campsite in a couple of weeks and they won’t want to look at his moon.


Thats our bug eyed van and my”conservatory”. These windows needed to be covered in such a way that its still safe to drive. I opted for blinds secured with toggles. I roll them up by hand then secure them with the toggles so there are no long cords to dangle in the way.
Here’s the kit I started with for the two side windows. The front was a bit more of a labour of love.

20130423-204112.jpgIt consists of
some withies from wild woods a bit longer than the windows I wanted to cover.
An old oil cloth table cloth
A calico wardrobe cover
A staple gun and staples
Power drill and screws
First I cut the table cloth in half which gave me a great width but not enough length for the windows. I played around with different permutations of calico borders and decided that oil cloth on top and calico at the bottom worked best for me. The girls agreed horay.

The calico was cut to fit the width of the the oil cloth, it had convenient bound seams which went along one side and the bottom. So the side with raw edges was cut slightly longer to allow for hemming. With the top raw edges I sewed a French seam to join them to the oil cloth.

Sorry photo taken in retrospect, this shows the seam on the back of the curtains.

With a French seam the two pieces of fabric are first sewn together with the wrong sides facing. Next you panic because the messy side is on the outside. Then the right sides are placed together enclosing the messy seam. Ironing at this point greatly improves the neatness of this seam. Finally a slightly larger seam is sewn. Resulting in a seam which looks neat on both sides. Perfect for unlined curtains.

Although if you look closely I didn’t quite catch all the frayed edges of the calico inside. Wouldn’t satisfy Patrick from the sewing bee.

Next I hemmed the calico edge of the curtains, I didn’t finish the oil cloth edges as they will not fray (much she says having had a second look at the photo).

That’s the sewing all done. Next some timber.

I cut the withies to fit the curtain width plus about 1″ on each side for show.
Then cut some toggles from the left over pieces.

20130423-211519.jpgI discovered that if I tried to cut them with a bow saw, as I had used to harvest the withies, this kind of thing happened.

20130423-211828.jpgso I resorted to secateurs, they worked beautifully. You can se the tree rings at each end of the toggle really clearly. I couldn’t get a sharp photo with my phone, but will keep trying and if I do add it to this because they are try lovely.

I stapled the oil cloth to the withies, with staples about 10cm apart.

20130423-212644.jpgThen rolled the oil cloth once round the withy for a bit of extra strength. I placed the cord for the toggles over the curtain before fixing to the wall. The pressure between the wall and the pole should hold this in place and prevent you swearing when it’s all fixed and you can’t get the cord through.

20130423-213036.jpgI then climbed under the curtain to screw the pole to the wall in two places, one each end.
Finally I cut the cords and tied the toggles to one end with a clove hitch. The other end was lopped and tied. My curtains worked. I can tie them up like this

20130423-213720.jpgor this.

Final piccy of my spotty home

Oh and here’s some others I made earlier, for the girls bedroom end of the van. This curtain has a channel for the withies instead of staples and a acid green dogwood toggles.

20130424-224654.jpgHere endeth probably the longest post I’ve ever written.

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