Then, when the curtains went through the rain a time or two, they got this ruched look (next photo) which means, I think, that some of the fabric shrank and some did not. Curses!
I did not wash either fabric before I started because I did not think either would shrink noticeably. The tan fabric is half polyester, so I was really trusting that it would hold its shape. More curses!
From here on out, I am pretending that I intended to have ruched stripes on my balcony curtains. Sigh.
I'm mad. I'm mad for the reasons above, but also in the older usage of the word, this was an insane project. It was too much fabric, and while the thickness of the canvas is great for blocking the sun, it was terribly difficult to wrangle on my sewing machine. It took a lot of time to sew these curtains and dulled all my pins. When the curtains were done, I threw away the pins and got new ones.
In retrospect, I should have bought the thin outdoor curtains I saw everywhere online, and just lined them with heavy fabric (not canvas!) to truly block the sun.
If my curtains can't be the example to follow, at least they can be a warning. Let us think on happier things.
That's a bummer, but I think they still look nice. After a few months, maybe the sting of disappointment will have faded a bit...
Also, that's a great balcony! Why do we never see pictures of life in that space?
ALSO, also, love the post title---way to just put it out there!
Jennifer, the balcony is great and we're slowly working towards making it liveable and fun. We don't have a garage and our basement is damp, so the balcony has tended to serve as a junk-collecting space :) Plus, my husband is worried about kids being kids up there and, you know, falling off. The way they hang off the first-floor front porch railing already makes the neighbors gasp. . .
I love your dilly beans and I love your happier things and your curtains are truly original.
I think we learn things with every project, and I admire your aplomb. The curtains look nice with the "ruching". Your little girl is just so sweet. What a delightful age for fun and personality!
They look great and now I have balcony envy. No one beyond you and your readers will know the curtains weren't supposed to look like that. The end result is slightly elegant and definitely chic.
I love the look.
Your curtains are fabulous! All of the effort was worth it -- the ruching is so even, and even if you were not striving for "fashionable", that's what you have!
Oh man, I hate it when things like that happen. The time, effort, blood, sweat and tears! BUT, I think that they look lovely...and deliberate! Enjoy them and your success at your accomplishment!
Years ago I stencilled a particular image onto heavy-weight cotton (almost a canvas) for covers for a couch. The covers have long worn out and been replaced but of course I turned the usable bits into rags. And the images are still very clear. Used dollar store (more or less) acrylic paint -- label said it was ok for fabric -- and the covers were washed many many times. I think stripes would have been a cinch! But your curtains look beautiful.
Well, it may not ease the pain, but I actually think it looks better with the ruching. Stylish. More interesting than it would if all the material hung plainly! My own living room curtains have that look--and it was intentional. (And I didn't make them. A professional did. For an amount of money that I now consider somewhat obscene for curtains, but I was practicing law then!)
So--I like it!!
I like that ruched look. Great job.
I totally relate. I have had more flops than successes with sewing. I don't think they look bad! But I understand the disappointment of a project not meeting expectations.
You slay me!
I'm sorry your project didn't turn out at all like hoped. If it is any consolation they look kinda "fancy" to me now, all ruched like that. I've totally been burned by mis-matched shrinkage in fabric before though. What a drag.
Happier times though--yes-and your porch is shady.
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