April 13th, 2012

As mentioned in my last post, I’ve been curtaining.

Closet Curtain
Curtain for a closet

The bathroom off the kitchen has now been covered at the windows, the shower, and around a little closet-like alcove with blue and white striped sheeting. In the thrifty spirit of the 19th century, all of my new curtains to date are recycled from old bed sheets. With some clever cutting and patching to avoid worn spots, the results are surprisingly fresh. And because the fabrics are all familiar, in some cases going back to my childhood on the east coast, they add a particularly homey feeling.

The window and shower curtains for the bathroom used up most of my blue and white fabric (I started with two full-sized flat sheets). As I was folding up the remnants, I suddenly decided that I needed a curtain to hide the area beneath a wide shelf in the far corner of the bathroom. Alas, the piece that remained just wasn’t long enough to reach the floor. But it WAS quite a bit wider than required. So I did what any self respecting 19th-century housewife would do. I pieced it.

Pieced Curtain

Dividing the fabric into thirds by width, I cut off one third (plus 1 inch for seam allowance). I then took the third-width and cut it in two at the vertical center. The resulting pieces were sewn together, then seamed across the bottom of the wider piece.

For the time it took to match the stripes, I probably could have earned the money to buy a brand new length of fabric in the right length. But the satisfaction of eking out all the curtains and finishing with nary a scrap left over was worth far more. And it’s hardly noticeable unless you know what you’re looking for, if I do say so myself.

Can you see the tiny patch I stitched in by hand above the piecing line as well? There were two little holes that seemed quite harmless, but threatened to grow over time.