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Where to hem and hook curtains?

 
 
Wed 28 Jan, 2009 03:06 pm
I'm making some curtains for a multi-use room in our house. Sometimes it is a guest room (with Murphy bed that folds into a nice cabinet) but most of the time it is a playroom for Mo.

The curtains have to be pretty for guests but not fussy and beatupable for Mo. I bought some pretty but washable fabric and want to do something kind of casual.

The biggest problem is that since we don't have air conditioning we do want to make use of the double hung window for ventilation in the summer, meaning we don't want to always cover the top part of the window.

I came up with a two-stage curtain idea where the curtain is pinned at the top and a few inches down will have these button hoops (I don't know how else to describe them -- the look like the hoops you find on some Asian style jackets)
that attach to knobs on the window frame. The knobs would also be used to tuck the entire curtain behind when you wanted the curtains out of the way.

My questions:

Where should I install the top hooks? On the interior of the window frame, on the exterior surround or on the wall over the whole thing. I envision these hooks as a kind of "jewelry" and think I have found the pieces I want to make them from. Each window would have three hooks for a total of nine altogether.

Where should I hem the curtain? At the interior edge of the frame, the exterior edge of at the floor? (Ususally I would think the floor but as Mo uses this room more than anyone else I think that may be asking for trouble.)

Here's a crappy photo -- I just pinned the fabric to the window, it's still attached to the bolt since I don't want to cut it until I have some idea of what would look best.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v667/boomerangagain/House/guestroom3.jpg

Thanks!
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Butrflynet
 
  1  
Wed 28 Jan, 2009 10:15 pm
Take a look at the different hanging styles on this website. I think the first one is what you are attempting to describe. They call it "Tab top curtains." For the length, it depends on what goes in front of the windows. If it is left blank, I'd raise the hems to the level of the window sill so that Mo's physical activites/foot movements don't get tangled up in the hem of the floor-length curtain and end up pulling the rod off the wall.

From your picture it looks like an ideal place for a row of toy trunks with a double duty acting as window seating in the room. The shorter, sill-length curtains would look good with those too.


http://www.interior-design-it-yourself.com/curtain-decorating-idea.html

Here's the image from that site. I'd do it the way they have it except shorten the hem to sill-length.

http://www.interior-design-it-yourself.com/images/tabtop_curtains.jpg
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Wed 28 Jan, 2009 10:19 pm
@Butrflynet,
Hmm, rereading your post again, are you calling the curtain ties loops?

It sounds like you might be talking about ties to gather up a portion of the curtain and you want to know where to place the hook from which the curtain tie will hang.

Is that a better understanding of what you're asking about?

Something like this?

http://www.interiordezine.com/images/craft/CTB-finished-close-up.jpg
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Thu 29 Jan, 2009 07:06 am
I think you're right about hemming at the sill. It really makes more sense to make the room Mo-friendly.

The loops I'm talking about are more like this:

http://www.staccessory.com/images/ecatalog/chinesebuttoncatalog01.jpg

... but only using the loop side of the button.

Our back fence neighbors just added on to their house and now this room has zero privacy so we don't really want to pull the curtains aside.

So the button loop would attach to a button (knob) on the window frame six inches or so below the top of the window frame. Then, when we wanted to open the top of the window, the entire curtain will fold over to that point -- so I don't want anything attached to a bar.
sozobe
 
  1  
Thu 29 Jan, 2009 07:39 am
@boomerang,
Diamond's such a cutie.

Those (the pretty oriental button and loop things you have above) are called frog closures.

I read your post about five times and I'm still not sure that I'm getting it. Are you saying that you want to be able to expose the top of the window for ventilation purposes while keeping the bottom part covered? So the idea with the frog is to let down the top part and then the curtain would be suspended by only the frogs?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Thu 29 Jan, 2009 07:47 am
I think you've got it!

And thanks for the vocabulary. I would have never thought they'd be called frogs.

The frogs I bought are upholstery weight but I might have to make a pocket and run a tension bar for reinforcement. I just don't want it to look like it's haging from a bar so the frogs might end up being decoys.
sozobe
 
  1  
Thu 29 Jan, 2009 07:55 am
@boomerang,
Cool, that's exactly what I was going to say -- it'd probably look a bit saggy and I'm not sure that's a look you'd want. A tension bar that lines up with the window pane line (as in, 1/4 from the top) would help keep things neater. Then you could just use another tension rod at the top, and remove that when you want to expose the top of the window.

Something more tailored and roman-shade-y might work best, which points towards hemming at the windowsill.

I'm not sure how it would work if it was on a rod at the 3/4 level but gathered, then the top gathered too. Might work, might look weird.

Any reason not to keep the window 3/4 covered ALL the time, and just forget about covering that top 1/4?
sozobe
 
  1  
Thu 29 Jan, 2009 08:00 am
@sozobe,
Hey, just had an idea -- five pockets with tension rods through them. (Tension rods can be gotten very cheap at Target.) One at top, one at the first window pane line, one at the middle windowpane line, one at the third window pane line, one at the bottom.

Then it would look more symmetrical/ tailored and you can mess with 'em a lot.

I'll see if I can do a picture if that doesn't make sense...
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Thu 29 Jan, 2009 08:06 am
Agree with soz -- I think if you hang them inside the frame at the top then you should hem at the window sill so that the curtain is contained within the frame. I like the tension rod idea... another variation on that theme is to insert dowels at both hanging locations and then placing small hooks on the frame to hold the ends of the rods. Then you could just pull the top rod out and let it hang. The weight of the rod will make it fold over and lay evenly.
boomerang
 
  1  
Thu 29 Jan, 2009 08:08 am
That is a cool idea. I'm going to seriously consider that. I was thinking something floatier but your idea sounds pretty cool.

We looked at those shades that raise from the top and bottom but some are made from that paper stuff and others were outrageously expensive. I was able to buy that remaining bolt of fabric for way less money than one shade would have cost.

Your idea would kind of mimic that.

Hmmmm......
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Thu 29 Jan, 2009 08:17 am
@FreeDuck,
Dowels are a nice idea too, and probably cheaper yet.

OK, here's what I came up with while you people were going and understanding me after all -- geesh...

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d130/sozobe/boomer.jpg

One thing with tension rods is you could make it a little floatier/ poofier if you wanted to. (Arranging the gathers along the tension rods and knowing that it'll stay in place.)

Edit: Window frame in the picture should be window "pane" -- I mean those lines on the windows, as well as top and middle. Whatever their called. Minions or something (that's not it).
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Thu 29 Jan, 2009 08:19 am
On second thought, I think the tension rods are a better idea because they give you more flexibility in placement. They also don't require you to dig holes in your lovely woodwork.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Thu 29 Jan, 2009 08:20 am
@sozobe,
Oh, I really like the 5 different rods.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Thu 29 Jan, 2009 09:52 am
How about having curtains just halfway into the window.
Those windows are so pretty, it would be a shame to cover
them entirely. Something like this here! It's not a good
picture but you can see the curtains halfway in the back.

http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/4717/picture1qq0.png
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Thu 29 Jan, 2009 10:00 am
I can see the 5 different rods thing.. or maybe just the two top lines.

Part of me is rebelling that you can't do regular curtains ala Butrflynet said because of the neighbors. I don't like being forced to not see out into my own yard. So, me, I'd be thinking of, uh, leylandii cypress or a grove of evergreen trees near the back fence.. for eventual privacy or even one tree that would block their window view.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Thu 29 Jan, 2009 10:04 am
The only problem with that idea is that it kind of "ruins" the fabric.

You can't really tell from the photo (photo shows back of fabric) but it has these really cool kind of embrodered tucks all through it. Almost like this:

http://www.joann.com/images/04/75/6/47561_z.jpg

I think anything too tailored or tight will fight with the fabric.
boomerang
 
  1  
Thu 29 Jan, 2009 10:12 am
I'm good friends with my back fence neighbor. They aren't the type to be spying but sometimes you just want privacy -- especially when the room is used for guests.

Our backyard has three huge trees so the only things that will grow are shade lovers.

Also, we're considering putting a pool in that spot in the next year or so.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Thu 29 Jan, 2009 10:15 am
I considered half curtains CJane but they don't give the privacy I would like to have.

Also, the windows face east and during the summer the morning light is pretty intense. I'll want to be able to cover it up.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Thu 29 Jan, 2009 10:18 am
@boomerang,
Pretty!

Is it a silk?

That's what I was getting at with the gathers -- that you wouldn't need to have it too tight if you have tension rods. It'd all be contained within the window frame but you can have gathers and folds and interest, not just pulled tight like a roman shade.

Is covering the bottom 3/4 of the window or 1/2 as per CJane's suggestion a possibility? (Then you could just have it hang loose from there...)
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Thu 29 Jan, 2009 10:28 am
The fabric is really pretty, looks more like satin to me. You even can make some
pillows out of there to match the curtains.
 

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