I have made a fabulous discovery which will get you luxe look curtains for less. Read on for the amazing fabric that looks like linen, is a really great price, and requires less sewing because it is amazingly wide.
First some basics. Most fabrics are 145-150cm wide. To make a curtain you buy enough drops (lengths) to cover the window. If your window is 3m wide and your fabric 150cm wide, you will need at least three drops of to cover the entire window with a little fullness in the gather. To create a full gather you need 2x or 2.5x the required width which is 4-5 drops of fabric.
THEN I discovered the amazing 3m width linen look polysters at Bargain Fabrics.
Provided your height is 3m or less, a 3m wide fabric means you simply buy the width you require, no joining of drops. Winning!!
Even better one seam has already got weights sewn into it to create a weighted hem that makes the whole curtain hang properly. All you have to do is sew on the header tape and turn the hem up to create the right length.
Did I say winning!!!
Bargain Fabrics sells this fabric for $40 a metre. Considering most fabrics cost the same and are only 145cm wide you are getting double for your money. Part of the reason this is such a good price is that it is not a linen, it is polyester. Let me tell you I cannot tell. As a general rule I am not a fan of faux products, but seriously this is the exact look of linen without the problems or the price tag. No shrinking or stretching, no issues with the sun rotting the fabric. Did I say winning?
How does this stack up against buying ready made curtains?
Using the Aina linen curtains from Ikea I would need at least 4 drops for each window, and I would have to sew the drops together to get the width I wanted. To get a more full look it would need 5 drops per window, at $75 a pair this works out to about $190 a window.
Using the poly linen I made panels 6m wide, I wanted a little fullness in the gather but not to much, this works out at $240 per window. Marginally more cost but no seams in the panels and a really upmarket look.
I am going to be talking about the sewing process in another post, it wasn't the easiest until I worked it out. Essentially if you have the time and you can sew straight lines you will be just fine.
Bargain Fabrics has quite a few of these types of fabrics. The one I used is Charles Parsons Caracas range in silver.
You can see how great it looks when I used it in the Currawong Cottage bedroom (top) and living room (above). You can also see that I have never got around to the hemming part of the project, the curtains are just puddled on the floor and I quite like the look.