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Fixing tears in a curtain!

Long before I met my husband, he had a band of woman who ran around helping him to various domestic chores that he was (and probably still is) incapable of doing! One of his harem - the lovely Agnes- made him a set of curtains for the lounge (as an aside, she was the girlfriend of one of his friends and is now married with a swarm of kids to that same guy!). She did an amazing job. I thought they were professionally made! But after eleven or twelve years of hanging in the same spot, there were some tears appearing in the high stress area where they are pulled shut in the evenings. I looked at them every morning thinking something needed to be done about it as a shaft of sunlight streamed through the gap and onto the ceiling.

It was that whole "a stitch in time saves nine" probverb coming to life right before my very eyes...

Finally - with the sewing machine already set up and the (almost) right coloured threads in it, I got the husband to take the curtains down for me...

Here's what I did...

I was going to put a patch on the back of these tears when I first decided to fix the curtains...


But unless I wanted to unpick the pleat and then resew it which I thought was going to be a bit beyond my sewing skills, I was going to have to find another way of fixing it.

See how the tear is across the pleat as well?

In the end I opted for a basic sew in a straight line along the tear with a zig zag stitch...

Which worked quite well even though I didn't have the tension right on the first one.

I decided to hand sew the tear that was in the pleat part as the foot of the machine wouldn't go anywhere near it. It looks super dodgy here in macro...


But once it was hanging back up - you could barely see where I had fixed it - even with the sun behind it!

Not so bad at all! And much better than a hole!

I think this worked better for me and my skill level than if I had tried to patch it. I really am a straight line (ok wavy-ish line) sewer who would like some sewing lessons for a Christmas present (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge). I reckon if I had left it much longer I would have had a real problem on my hands and probably would have had to get it professionally fixed or asked Agnes to carve out a spare hour of her day to fix it for me - with three kids under four years - I bet it would be easier to ask her to fly to the moon!

If I had not procrastinated for so long, I might have been able to fix it with even less hassle! For me it was a case of having the planets align (sewing machine out, in the mood, the right threads and the husband in the mood to take all the curtains down for me) before it was ever going to happen. Giving the curtains a wash while they were all down also made a big difference!

Score card:
Green-ness: 5/5 for fixing rather than replacing
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for not having to spend any money
Time cost: Procrastination - 2 years. Husband taking curtains down - 3 minutes. Sewing 5 minutes. Washing- 1hour. Drying 30 minutes (this is Queensland!) Hanging back up another 3 minutes!
Skill level: Straight(ish) line sewing and the incredibly tricky reverse stitch as well!
Fun -ness: It wasn't so bad after all that procrastinating!

Comments

Kathryn Ray said…
From one wavy line sewer to another, I think they look great!
Practical Frog said…
Hey there Kathryn!It says straight stitch on the machine setting but it never is, I notice!!! - K xx
Anonymous said…
That looks great, if you didn't tell any one they probably wouldn't notice either. I could use some sewing lessons as well. Growing up I was too busy to want to sit still to learn anything domestic, now I am trying to catch up.
Practical Frog said…
At night or from the lounge chairs, I have trouble finding the repair, so it does look good. I never thought I'd need sewing lessons, my Mom made it look sew easy (sorry couldnt resist!)and I thought you just jumped on the machine and away you went. I dont lack confidaence - just technique and knowledge about what all those knobs and dials do! -K xx
Hunter Douglas said…
You can learn all about fixing tears in curtains with the help of the post here
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