it’s official: I’m a sewer

No. Not a sewer sewer. A sew-er sewer, as in one who sews.

It all started six months ago, when I couldn’t find the curtains I wanted. I already had a valance on the window behind my kitchen sink. I wanted to add another short curtain, to cover the bottom half of the window. Like these curtains. Except without any obnoxious patterns or flowers.

The only curtains I could find that matched the valance were much too long. I bought them anyway, and then started looking for a 56″ black tension rod to hang them with. It had to be a black curtan rod, because the valance was hanging on a black curtain rod, and as I had picked out tab-top curtains, the curtain rod was very visible. And it had to be a tension rod, because I did not want to install any more hardware.

Guess what no one makes. Black tension rods. I had my choice of white or brass. I picked up a white one for a couple of bucks at Target, just so I could hang the curtains up to have some privacy. At their too-long length, the tension rod was hidden behind the valance, so I figured it would do.

I also picked up a sewing machine. That’s right, I purchased a $100 sewing machine to alter my $30 Target curtains.

And then I hung up the too-long curtains, and promptly forgot about my quest for a black tension rod, and my desire to shorten the curtains.

Until two weeks ago, when I found myself at Bed Bath and Beyond, and found a black tension rod. In the bath hardware department. Because shower curtain rods come in more colors than regular curtain tension rods. It was perfect, as the valance curtain rod is of a shower-curtain-rod diameter. I hadn’t thought of it before because I didn’t realize that shower curtain rods got that much shorter than a bathtub length. Apparently, though, they are expandable from 41 to 72 inches. Who knew?

And so, today, I took down my curtains and hemmed them. I called on all my sewing experience (a pair of shorts when I was 9, and I’m pretty sure my mom did half the sewing). I chopped a foot off the bottom of the curtains, ironed a new hem, and pinned it in place. I pulled the sewing machine out of the closet and made myself a bobbin. On my first try! I threaded the thread all through the machine – luckily for me, there’s directions for that written on my machine. After 3 tries, I got the bobbin in the machine. (Ok, ok, all you non-sewers, that part really is tricky!). I did a couple of practice runs on the cut-off curtain parts, to remember how to sew a straight line, and to figure out what length stitch matched the original stitch the closest. Not that anyone would know, seeing as I hacked off the original hem, but it just seemed like a good idea at the time. And then I sewed my curtains.

My stitching isn’t perfect. There are parts that don’t lay quite flat. If I ever wash the curtains, I imagine there will be some puckering due to imprecise ironing, pinning, and stitching. But it’s good enough for me. No one who visits my house will ever inspect my curtains that closely. And I know that I will never wash my curtains.

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