Curtains, Blinds, Shades?

After a little research, we discovered our options were limited for window coverings. Because of the window handles on our 76′ model, blinds weren’t an option.  We loved the look of the cellular shades but what about the sides? Roller shades had the same issues.  In the end, we decided to go back with original style curtains. We saved all the rods, even the pieces of the front end cap that had the track built into them, just in case. It’s a good thing we did because we used every piece and still had to use other odd pieces of aluminum for brackets on the upper curved front track.  The track that was built into the end cap over the vista-views was a huge , heavy looking piece of aluminum so Dan took it to the band saw and cut it off right at the track.  Now all that shows is a thin piece of aluminum. Love it!  After a little engineering, we were able to come up with rods for everywhere but the kitchen window. There we used a roller shade.

For a pattern, we had one tattered and really smelly curtain to go by, but it was enough. We used blackout lining and went with a natural color textured fabric. We chose something very neutral so if we re-do the cushions in a few years, we won’t have to do the curtains again.

We hated to give up the clean, open feel with nothing on the windows but…..hey, gotta have some privacy and the blackout lining makes for some good napping!

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Edit: A fellow blogger, Airstreamy asked me for some tips on making drapes so I thought I would back up and tell you what I remember.

After you measure your window (start with a single panel  first for practice!) divide that number by 3 and that will tell you how many pleats you will have. Then take the window measurement and add one inch for every pleat and 2 more inches for the return on the sides. (where it snaps to the wall for privacy) That should give you the dimension for the width. On windows where the curtain comes above the track, like most of ours, we added an 1 1/2″ on top and bottom to get the dimension for the length. If your curtain hangs from the track you wouldn’t need to do that, just measure from rod to rod and add a 1/2″ seam allowance to both ends. After you cut your fabric and lining, sew it together like an inside out pillow case with one end open. Then cut your stiffiner (or buckram they call it) to 3 inches wide (or buy it that way) and an inch shorter than the width of your fabric. Lay the buckram along the top and bottom edges and sew it down the same seam. Then turn it all inside out, iron the edges flat and pin the open end together and sew it up. Now you have a panel with buckram at the top and bottom!

Next we measured down 3″ from the top and bottom and ran tape across it as a guide. This is where you will stop sewing when you sew your pleats. If you have an even number of pleats, find the center of your panel and put a pin there, then measure over every 4 inches in each direction and place a pin there. This is where you will pinch the fabric together and sew down to the tape and stop. If you have an odd number of pleats, find the center of your panel and go over two inches on both sides to place your pins.

After you sew down to the tape on the top and bottom, pull off the tape. To get the correct position of our elastic and glides we held the panel back up to the rods and guesstimated! We had to re-do some because they were too tight or too loose…it was trial and error.

I wish I had taken more pictures, but I didn’t, sorry. The picture of the panel with two pins marking the pleats is a little confusing. We tried it that way first, then went with one pin; it worked better. I hope this helps! We will be glad to try to explain it better if you have any questions. Dang…wish I had taken more pictures!