Monday, February 9, 2015

Curtains Again

The Old Fashioned Way.....

I Hope you will not mind, Dear Readers, if I take you back to the Parlor of the Willowcrest, even though I have made almost No progress with the Branches over the Mantlepiece. I had decided that the trees on the walls needed to be a darker shade of gray than the sculpey trees. I have painted at least two different coats of gray and still am a long way from satisfied. I am also trying to decide whether to paint the sculpey portions or to leave them as is. I think they look more realistic as trees when unpainted. But that is not the subject of this Post, so we will leave it for another day. What I really wanted to show you was the Wide and Gracefully arching doorway from the parlor into the entry hall. I was almost at the point of gluing the outer wall in place and thus making access to this hallway impossible, when I realized that those lovely wide doorways needed Curtains. Portieres, to be specific. And even though I am a long way from the "decorating" stage of this house, I have realized that the hallway has to be completed now while access is possible. And I had a scrap of fabric I had been saving for Ages and Ages that I thought would be the Perfect material, so I dug it out.

It is a lovely piece of Dark Plum colored antique velvet.
And I really only could find a small scrap remaining in my stash.
Very wrinkled too.
But isn't it a Divine color?
And doesn't it go just Perfectly with the walls?
But then I found another scrap of velvet that might work too...

It is a newer, slightly more wine colored velvet with a 
pattern of glittery roses strewn across it!
How to decide?
Well, I noticed that the antique velvet was a bit thin 
and light would show through unless it was lined....
So I decided to use the glittery fabric as the lining!

I also found a scrap of antique bead work trim 
to use on the bottom edge of the curtains. 
Here you can see me testing it in place.

And here you can see the glittery side of the curtain 
looking into the hallway from the kitchen side.

And here we have both curtains being tested....
the back wall to the stairs is still removed in this picture.

And another view from the kitchen with the hallway light lit
and both curtains pinned in place for testing.
It was quite a challenge to get the length right!

I also added a narrow gold braid trim 
to the open edge of both curtains.
Here you can see them, still just pinned in place.
The real trick was going to be getting them on a curtain rod...
and attaching that to the wall above the doorway!

I know you are going to think I am silly, Dear Readers,
but I wanted my curtains to be able to slide open and closed!
So I sewed rings to the top of the front of the curtains
(they were going to hang from the hallway side of the wall,
 so this is hidden from view).

And I made a curtain rod from a piece of wire hanger
run through three eyelet screws 
which were screwed into a strip of wood trim 
just shorter than the width of the hallway.
Once this was assembled and glued in place, 
there would be no way to adjust anything!

Here you can see both curtains with their rings attached,
the right one is still not on the rod.

And a close-up of the beautiful old bead trim.
It reminds me of the full moons in the hallway...!

But, Oh the challenge of gluing this in place Dear Readers!

I had to turn the house on its side, 
and hold the hallway lamp out of the way with a bit of wire...

And hold the curtains themselves off to the side 
so they would not pull downward with their weight
and distort the placement while the glue was drying...
Not to mention that I was reaching into a tiny space I could barely reach....
I spread half the glue on one end of the wooden rod framework,
and the other half on the wall above the doorway 
where I could reach from this end...
I used E6000 glue.
I let it dry for quite a while,
Hoping that my "measurements" were right...
So that they would hang right to the floor when the house was righted.

I think they are just about right!

So I have to test them with the still unfinished fireplace....
Here the curtains are open....

And here they are closed!
So while the temperature plummets, Dear Readers,
And the snow continues to pile ever higher outside,
We will pull the curtains across that drafty old doorway...
and try to keep warm inside by the fire.

Please Do come on in!
But be sure to pull those curtains closed!
So now you can see, Dear Readers, 
just why I had to make my Curtains 
the Old Fashioned way!


  1. the curtains are fantastic, I love the colours especially the trim, They really work well in your house

  2. Hello Betsey,
    This is beautiful! First of all you have such wonderful fabrics. The one you chose is beautiful and is such a beautiful combination with the rest of the room. The trim is fantastic and makes it look very elegant. Making the curtains the old fashioned way was a terrific idea. It is great to be able to open or close the curtains...both look terrific. They are just perfect! I always admire your work so much. you keep fueling my imagination.
    Big hug,

  3. une ambiance très chaleureuse

  4. I want to live there!
    Such patience. Those curtains are magnifique - perfect. Sure does say something for keeping even the smallest scraps forever.
    Lots of love,

  5. Oh they are lovely! Love the fabric and the way you made them open and close. Such a clever idea! I am sure there never is going to be cold in the room. :)

  6. Fantastic work! I like your curtains! It looks mysterious and magical!

  7. Here I am - and I pulled your fantastic curtains back after entering! What a perfect addition... and no surprise that Betsy-curtains can be moved... what else to expect from you! *LOL* Wonderful work, the trim is just the perfect addition, the fabric well chosen and I'm convinced that you'll find a use for the other one. And isn't it great that we all can nod now being self content saying to ourselves: "See, keeping everything and saving it for sometime when it can be useful IS reasonable!"

    Birgit (who had to grin about your I-have-to-make-sure-it-sticks-installation... so familiar)

  8. Wow Betsy, these beautiful curtains are a perfect addition to your dollhouse!!
    Yes, like I've just wrote in my blog of this evening: never throw away leftovers LOL :D!! That the curtains can really be opened and closed is such a wonderful idea, it's just amazing ;)!
    Hugs, Ilona

  9. Te ha quedado muy bonita, es muy adecuada para esa escena.
    Un abrazo

  10. Bravo Betsy!!! Persistence pays off and your working curtains are Superb! I think having the use of both patterns satisfies the soul, as they are both Beautiful in both color and texture, and the bead fringe was the the perfect finishing touch too! I can just imagine the frustration of trying to get your hand into that tiny and awkward hallway to get the curtain rod into position, and then hoping that it was right while waiting for the glue to set. What a feat but YOU DID IT, and the curtains look Wonderful!!! :D


  11. Beautiful velvet it looks so luxurious!