More Yammering About Curtains and Curtain Rods

Monday, April 18, 2011

{Warning: This post is long and boring but if you skip to the
very end I have to ask your expertise on something.}

The two windows in the breakfast room still need curtains and curtain rods. It's time, people, it's time.

I had originally chosen these curtain rods from Home Depot. My little heart was set on these for months! But once I brought them home and held them up, I knew they were all wrong. The rod was too skinny for the 3" rod pockets and the clear glass finials just disappeared from sight once up against the wall.

I had to do the dreaded item return this weekend. Don't you just hate skulking up to the return counter and having the saleslady give you the once over to see if you're scamming them or not?? Hate.Returning.Things.  

I had also decided to pick up an inexpensive pair of white, Lenda curtains from Ikea on my last whirlwind work trip a few weeks ago. But once I got there I realized that those, too, were all wrong. For one, they weren't even white, they were creamy. And two, they were way to heavy/thick for the light, breezy look I was going for. Plus they were tab tops and I would've had to sew a rod pocket onto all four panels anyway. 

So I had to start my search from scratch. Right after Ikea, I headed to the Pottery Barn in Toronto to look at their white curtain panels. Their plain white, linen curtain panels were $88 per panel!!!! And I needed four panels. Almost $400 bucks? I think not.

Finally, in desperation, I headed over to the only other home decor store that I could find: Crate and Barrel. Their white linen curtains panels were a bit cheaper so I went ahead and splurged. (Keep in mind that I was only in Toronto for one night and I had named the trip Mission Impossible: Curtain Edition.)

Then, the saleslady had the nerve to come back and tell me that they only had ONE PACKAGE in stock. 

Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I finally settled on taking one package home with me and having the other three packages shipped. I finally got them in the mail today. Yippee!

After returning the crackled glass curtain rods, I headed to Lowe's and picked up these ones instead:

I love how they are quite a bit thicker, with a darker pewter finish. They'll go nicely with the hardware on the back door that we installed in the breakfast room.

Even the mounting brackets are cute. As you can probably guess, I'm waaaaay excited to install these puppies.

Now here's where I need your advice:

I had to buy the 96" curtain panels which are waaaaaay too long. I need them to be about 88" - 90" in length. Should I hem all four panels to the length I need or should I try washing them (on cold/delicate) to see if they will shrink enough? (P.S. They are 100% linen.)



  1. g.r.grahamApril 18, 2011

    Okay...I think you should wash them. Eventually you will want to wash them anyway so why not do it now and perhaps save you the work of hemming all four of them. Of course keep in mind this advice is coming from a non sewer:o)

  2. I would have them hemmed. Since they are linen, I DON'T think you should wash them, only have them dry cleaned when needed. Washing my cause too much shrinkage, and permanent wrinkles that may be be hard to get out. Hope this helps. By the way, I love your choice of curtain rods, I have similar ones in my bedroom.

  3. I agree to wash the curtains first. and I love the new curtain rod way better too! I can see where the nice glass ball would disappear, the new ones will stand out more! Great choice! We got some tiling done in our kitchen today! I am saving a big reveal post on the kitchen reno...the to do list is getting smaller on it, so hope you follow along :)

  4. chris bouchardApril 18, 2011

    If you plan to wash them in the future, then definately wash them first. If you will be dry cleaning them... I would just hem them... how's that for "waffling" :)


  5. PinetreehomeApril 18, 2011

    I would wash. I wash everything. I just washed fabric for my ottoman slipcover that said dry clean only. Can't wait to see your new curtains!

  6. Of course I will be following along. Thanks for the advice. I think I'm going to try washing them. Eeek!

  7. Hmmm, well since I've only drycleaned something once in my life so far, I'll probably be machine washing them even though it says not to. I think I'll wash them to see if they will shrink enough!! Thanks for the tips. :)

  8. Thanks for the advice!!! The last three comments all said wash so I think that's what I will try tomorrow. I'm excited. :)

  9. Thanks for the advice Allison!! I think I may risk it and wash them... only cause the idea of sewing them is too daunting.... wish me luck. :)

  10. I totally agree. Hemming four brand new curtains with so many possibilities to mess up..... I think I'll try washing!!

  11. Be careful! I washed my "drop cloth curtains" on cold, on delicate and they shrank up like crazy and all diff lengths. Fair warning!! I would assume however something sold at Crate and Barrel would be preshrunk and washable... good luck! Maybe you should phone the sales lady at Crate and Barrel for her opinion, then you can possibly blame her and return them if things should for awry! Ha!

  12. Chandeen @ Designed by ChanceApril 18, 2011

    Alright here is my two cents, wash them but the real shrinkage will happen in the dryer. Also they will continue to shrink every time you dry them (in my experience anyway), so when you wash them in the future hang them outside to dry.

  13. I might try washing one panel first just to see how they shrink up. I would hate to wash all four just to find out I'd ruined them! Good luck, and btw I LOVE your blog!!

  14. I personally love the long bunched on the floor look so wouldn't do either - just let them be but that's just me......B:)

  15. Sarah, check the label to see if they are already pre-washed. Linen is one of those fabrics that definitely shrinks.
    Whether or not they are, I'd still wash them anyway. If they have already been pre-washed then you'll just need to hem them up.
    If not already pre-washed then washing them will shrink them which will make hemming a lot easier, or you might find they are the perfect length.
    Also, I always hung my linen curtains straight back onto the curtain rail to dry. You may still need to iron them, but the wet weight will help them hang straighter.
    Good luck!

  16. I would suggest DEFINITELY ironing them (and as most people have suggested, washing them first). My mother (a seamstress) would iron them when they were still a TINY bit damp from the dryer (or hanging) (with linen, you may wish to iron them with a cloth over top, just in case). It is SUCH a pain, but if there are any wrinkles at all, it will be much harder to hem them properly. Also, if you are a perfectionist, and because the curtains may be slightly different lengths, you may wish to hang them all, and then pin them separately, so that they all hang exactly the same length from the floor (say, 2 mm or whatever you decide). The tricky part is remembering which curtains go where, which is not a big deal if your rods and floors are perfectly straight/square, but may make a difference if you have sloping floors or whatever. What I did was embroider the tiniest little dot in the inside corner of each panel, starting with red, than orange, than yellow, etc., where you won't see it. Work left to right in the room. That way, if you ever take them down, you will always know which panels belong where. Of course, this may be waaaayyyy too much work (without my mom "making" me, I don't know if I ever would have done all this), but I must admit, the end result looks great....

  17. SomethingniceandprettyApril 19, 2011

    I'd wash them but I'd use a special detergent made for cold water, if you know what I mean? They may shrink to much or widen in width if you don't. Love the curtain rods and yes, I hate to return things too but I do!

  18. karinrizioApril 19, 2011

    Hem! They might shrink, but if they don't shrink enough they'll be so wrinkly from the wash (and will be even more of a pain to "re-hem"!)... I'd forget ever washing them at all - take them to the dry cleaner when it's time and it'll save your ironing arm from a lot of work.

  19. I would wash them...I'm a risk taker though.

  20. Thanks everyone for the advice. I threw two of them in the washer to see what happens. Eeeek!

  21. I hope they come out okay for yah! If you still need to shorten them, and you don't want to sew them, there is a product called 'Heat & Bond'--I believe it comes in a 'tape'--you simple put it on where you want it, iron, remove the paper strip, and iron the hem up--does that make sense?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Cozy.Cottage.Cute. All rights reserved © Blog Milk Design - Powered by Blogger