I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here before, but I have a REALLY hard time sleeping. It’s been on an ongoing problem for at least 10 years and I have yet to find a real solution. I’m working hard on that and part of solution is to ensure a really dark room to sleep in. And that means black out curtains. over 6 windows. That’s a lot of curtains people.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Angela! You sew! Just make those curtains!
Well, have you ever made 6 full length lined black out curtains?! I’ve made 3 before and I didn’t like it. At the advice of a friend, life is too short to work on projects you don’t like. So I opted to buy them ultimately. But they are super expensive to get anything remotely cute. And so I decided to get something functional and try to make it cuter. You can decide if it worked.
Now my disclaimer is that this project would not have been possible without the help of my very talented husband. This involves upholstery techniques, creating a cornice from (2) 12′ 1″ x 6″ boards, and then installing it at a 7′ or 8′ height in a 2nd story bedroom. NOT a one person project. Nonetheless, one that we tackled and I thought I would share it with you.
I was able to do this whole thing with ONE yard of 54″ upholstery fabric (this one is from Joel Dewberry that I purchased from fabric.com). I barely managed once again to squeeze out a project from my materials on hand (working hard at working from my stash!). I first needed to trim the fabric to line up the pattern exactly as you can see in the picture above. I cut along the full length of the piece and measure three equal slices of fabric. I then needed to sew these together to create ONE long skinny piece of fabric.
And sewing them together meant pattern matching. That can tricky with an easy repeat, but add in all the curves of this particular pattern and it was…well…it gave me a run for my money. 😉 As you can see in the mosaic above, the first time I sewed my two carefully cut and measured pieces together, my pattern did not match up so well. So I would recommend BASTING first if you are going to try this. My second attempt was a lot better. Not perfect. But that’s when you say screw it, it’s going to be 8′ up in the air anyways. 😉
My husband built the cornice board from (2) 12′ long 1″ x 6″ pieces (plus a little piece for the corner). In retrospect we both agree that we should have used a 1″ x 8″ for the front facing board because we think it should have been just a bit longer. But it’s fine and it’s done. Live and learn.
We first upholstered the cornice with scraps of batting that I had. Yay for using up scraps! And then we carefully lined up the fabric to wrap evenly around the face of the board using basic upholstery techniques. Not difficult, just a long straight piece that has some room for error. But my husband and I are both type A enough to handle that. If you are concerned about trying it, then you might want to attempt this whole project with an all over pattern rather than a highly graphic one like we used.
And then up in place it went (into the house, up the stairs, and into the room and on the wall!). If you look closely at that picture you can see one of my seam joints. Doesn’t look too bad. Mike had it installed in a flash actually (he’s so good at that stuff) and before I knew it, the room was just a little bit more interesting.
My view from my bed…the pretty corner of the cornice. And of course, now I have less light in the room because this cornice traps all the light that was shooting out above the blackout curtains. It’s a definite improvement over all, and as always, another learning experience. And it is so fun to have some more “quilty” fabric in the room. I need to tackle a quilt for our bed and then we’ll really be rocking!