View Full Version : Fabric/Curtain help...
January 31st, 2004, 9:08pm
I was wondering if there are any sewers out there. I'm "designing" a stage/canopy bed for my daughter. I want to buy fabric but I have no idea how much to buy. Here is the plan....
I want to put the bed lengthwise against a wall so the curtain will come out ~4ft (width of the bed) for the sides and then run the front of the bed (like a shower curtain) for the length of it. I plan on making ties of some sort on either side. This is all in my head and I'm not an experienced sewer but I think I can do it! I'm even planning on hiding the curtain rods with a valance looking thing on the top. We want to start shopping for the right "theater" fabric but I haven't any idea how many yards to buy. I know I have to measure from floor to ceiling to start with but if anyone has any ideas or suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated!
February 1st, 2004, 9:07am
My mother did something similar when we were kids with our basement. She put one of those tracks on the ceiling and used the rings to hang curtains to divide an area. To sve money, she used SHEETS. We have a discount bedding store that sells sheets rather cheap, so she bought 2 or 3 king size flat sheets put grommets along the top for the rings to go through. And presto, curtains in no time. It was much cheaper to do the sheets than the fabric she had originally picked out. Take your measurements of the area where you want the curtains to hang. I believe you said you wanted them to come out 4 ft from the wall. Then you need the length of the bed. If your take those measurments to the fabric store (Hancock's, JoAnn's), they can tell you how many yards you will need. Good luck with this!!!
February 2nd, 2004, 10:06am
You will need at least the length from ceiling to floor, say it's an 8ft. ceiling. Figure, roughly 3 yards, or 2 7/8 yards per length. Figure 3 yds, to allow for hems (maybe 3 or 4 inches), times the number of lengths. Most Drapery fabric is 54" wide, Some is 45, some speciality fabs are extra wide because they are intended to be wide curtains, etc.
I did something similar for for my daughter's room a few years ago. With very lightweight fabric (less weight to support. My DH just nailed some molding in a sort of 3 sided picture frame to the ceiling. I slightly gathered the upper edge of the fabric and then thumb-tacked it to the frame. (You have to consider the weight involved, whether this might work for you. In the end, I only draped the ends of the bed, and made a simple tie-back, held in place by cup hook. That was plenty, and more would have required more engineering and so on. It was not necessary to have sliding curtains on that particular bed. Seems like I topped it off with a valence. If you want a romantic look, consider netting, or curtain lace. Very pretty, less expensive than other options, and not heavy at all.
It did not have moving parts. This might not work for you if your daughter is not a careful child. Mine loved the idea and understood that it wasn't built to withstand punishment. I,'m thinking that it lasted until she was in high school and we wanted to change things.
If you want more, lots more, please PM me. I love to talk about sewing!
February 2nd, 2004, 10:13am
Can you use tension rods and the aforementioned sheets as curtains? I have seen parents that made a puppet theatre using those in a large framed opening where there was no doors.
February 2nd, 2004, 10:43am
Wow, thanks. I'm not sure yet how I'm going to "engineer" this. I want it to look like her bed is the stage so the curtain will line the 3 sides and maybe tie back the front to hold it open. I'm not sure the tacks will be sturdy enough for my 9 and 5 year old but that would make it a whole lot easier. Are grommets (sp) easy to work with? I could use those and put them on a curtain rod but I still need to fix the curtain rod to something. One thought was a type of track on the ceiling that they could slide like around a hospital bed. (bad example!) If I do that, then the top would have to be finished. I like the idea of the sheets but I wanted to use some sort of velvety fabric but again, I need to go shopping and see how much something like this will cost.
My biggest unknown is really how much yardage. The panel will need to go floor to ceiling so someone suggested 3 yd would cover that and then I have to times it by the width that I will need?? How do you allow for gathering/pleating and such?
February 2nd, 2004, 9:54pm
Grommets are easy to do. There will be a grommet kit that includes a tool. You can make a little slit in the material, put in one part of the grommet and turn the fabric over. The other part of the grommet goes in the back and you put it on a hard surface, put the grommet tool on it and use a hammer. Yeah, really. And the nice thing about grommets is that they're metal and won't give way easily. They're probably a good idea for a child's room.
OK, you need about eight feet from floor to ceiling times two and you need the length of the bed. If that's six feet, then you need at least 22 feet (8+6+8). That's over 7 yards. That doesn't include any gathering or draping, nor does it include allowance for hems. The material will be between 45 and 60 inches wide. If you want this to be 48" wide, you should only look for fabrics that wide or be prepared to sew two panels of fabric together.