Monday, March 30, 2009

The Curtain Saga

I love vintage bark cloth. Some years ago, my friend Ingrid, whose hand-me-down clothes I am still wearing, gifted me with this beautiful piece. It had been a curtain in it's previous life but the lining was thin & somewhat fragile. None-the-less, when she gave it to me I quickly hung it in a window to keep some of the summer's heat out. At some point it hit me that this made a very unflattering looking window covering - as tattered as the lining was becoming. The vintage bark cloth was in beautiful condition because the lining had protected it. The size of the bark cloth was, alas, too small for the window that needed covering. Both DH and I had decided that we loved the fabric & wanted to continue to use it. I could find nothing at all similar to it on line -and the price for vintage bark cloth seemed prohibitive to me anyway. I decided that I would fashion a larger curtain around the beloved bark cloth piece. No easy matter as it turned out.

I decided that linen would give a similar look - a bit rough and all - so, after browsing a well known on-line fabric store's selections, I picked a light, warm,brown color that would (I hoped) coordinate. I also ordered a high quality white "black- out" lining which I knew would battle back the summer sun that must surely be just around the corner - (tell me it will be warm again soon!). I waited and waited. Finally the lining fabric arrived - but no linen. I called this on line purveyor and inquired about the linen. "Oh. That fabric is no longer available" I was told. I queried how I would have known this? Arghhhhhhh - we were now closing in on a month of waiting for fabric that did not arrive. I asked if this was the normal 'delivery time' for an order. "Yes". The manufacturer was out of that color. Yes, I would have known that psychically of course! I decided to cut my frustration and quickly skimmed through their selections while I had someone on the phone with me. I picked a green that, God willing, would be in stock and would not require retting the flax and spinning it before I had it in hand. After I ordered the fabric I fretted that my 'knee-jerk' selection was a mistake & that it would not work at all well with the colors in the bark cloth. The thought of going through this with this company again lurked in the back of my mind. I knew that, had I taken more time to make a selection, the choice might have worked better. Thankfully, when the linen arrived it would work well enough. Not perfect, but well enough considering the trials of on-line colors & monitor discrepancies. Needless to say, although the company is one of the larger ones on line, I am not certain that I will be ordering from them again any time soon.

Next problem was - how do I make a curtain? It had been eons since I had made one - and the last one I had made required pins and tape but no lining. I wanted the lining to hang well, but did I want to have it hang separately? As with most things that I cannot fathom I just plunged in and figured it out as I went along. I decided on a tabbed top because I thought it suited the look better than a gathered top would & gathered would have taken up more space that I wanted. It all turned out in the end. I wish that the bark cloth had been a larger piece to begin with. It would, surely, have looked better than having linen all around. Considering all of the limitations that I had though - I am happy with the results. I chose, in the end, not to have the lining hang separately, but I liked the way it turned out better anyway. DH likes it well enough that he wants me to make more bark cloth curtains. Ha! Anyone have any to spare?!

1 comment:

pattynubs said...

Love the bark cloth! I see why you needed to save it somehow and I think your solution is great. I learned how to make custom pinch pleated drapes and curtains years ago and I am so grateful I know how. They are not hard once you know the secrets. The hardest part is handling all that fabric! Keep up the good work!

Casino Bonus