DIY Idea-How to Make and Sew kitchen curtains from Square Dance Skirts Or Old Clothing...Re-Cycling fabric the fun way!

Recycle or Re-construct/de-construct those old clothes...

I love to re-use old clothes—there are so many things you can do with the fabric. One of the projects I’ve done many times was making Halloween costumes out of old clothing, but there are so many other things you can do, also! De-constructing, or just re-constructing, old fabric is something I love to do.

This time around I realized that I desperately needed new curtains on my kitchen window and the French doors that lead outside from that room. So I started digging around in my "stash" of old clothing and fabric. I came up with two vintage square dancing skirts that I had planned to sell on Ebay, but never got around to. I think that I did sub-consciously not want to list them because I loved the fabric! I have a weakness for anything red in my kitchen, so I thought that these two fabrics would be perfect—IF I could figure out how to co-ordinate the two for curtains.



How I did it...

First, I had to take the skirts apart, which meant taking apart each seam as carefully as possible, so I wouldn’t snag the fabric. This took a long time, but, by the time I got done, I was rewarded with yards and yards of beautiful fabric. I had never realized until then just how much fabric it took to make those very full skirts for square dancing!

Next came the hard part—figuring out a pattern for the curtains, making sure that there was enough fabric to cover my 4 x 6 ft. window, and two narrow French doors. I had already made some door panels out of unbleached muslin, so I decided to just use those, and add trim using the fabric of the skirts.

After many ideas and measurements, I finally came up with some ideas, and set to work. I managed to combine the two skirt fabrics into a decent design that I liked. After that came many many hours of sewing…did I tell you that I made most of these by hand? I love to sew by hand, and avoid the sewing machine as often as I can. It takes so much longer, but since I wasn’t in any hurry, I didn’t worry about the time involved. I would sit and sew while watching TV in the evenings—usually 2 or 3 hours at a time.

MY WALL OF CURTAINS!!!

THESE NEXT 3 PICS ARE CLOSE UPS OF THE DIFFERENT PIECES COMBINED TO MAKE THE CURTAIN

THIS IS THE TOP PIECE, AT THE CUTTING OUT STAGE
THIS IS THE TOP PIECE, AT THE CUTTING OUT STAGE
I THEN SNIPPED THE CIRCLE OUTWARD, PINNING, THEN HAND-SEWING THE EDGE DOWN.
I THEN SNIPPED THE CIRCLE OUTWARD, PINNING, THEN HAND-SEWING THE EDGE DOWN.
ALTHOUGH THE RED FABRIC LOOKS LIKE ONE WHOLE PIECE, IT'S ACTUALLY TWO SEPARATE PIECES.
ALTHOUGH THE RED FABRIC LOOKS LIKE ONE WHOLE PIECE, IT'S ACTUALLY TWO SEPARATE PIECES.

FINISHING UP!

Each curtain was three separate pieces sewn together, as you may be able to see in the pic. I realize that I didn’t provide measurements, , but since windows come in so many different shapes and sizes, it really wouldn’t have been that much of a help. I am more of a measure and cut kind of person, and don’t keep track of all of the measurements anyway. And I don’t use patterns because I just prefer to come up with my own ideas…because it’s fun!

As I worked on the window curtains, I had reached a point, though, where I was anxious to see the final result, so I brought out my sewing machine, and finished the last couple of seams on them. I loved how they turned out—they made my kitchen so much more colorful with the red, yellow, and black pattern.

PIC OF WINDOW CURTAINS

FRENCH DOOR PANELS WERE NEXT!


After finishing the window curtains, I started on the door panels—I ended up deciding to do just a piece along the bottom from one skirt, and a tube-shaped section along the top for the rod from the other skirt fabric. Then I cut out two of the flowers from the floral fabric and sewed them onto each panel, using embroidery floss to completely outline each flower.


I’m thinking of possibly embroidering more design on the door panels in the future, but I haven’t decided what I would do yet, so I’ll hold off on that for awhile, I think!

DOOR PANEL PICS

ADDING TRIM TO MUSLIN IS A GOOD CHOICE--YOU CAN STILL LET LOTS OF LIGHT IN, BUT HAVE A PRETTY DESIGN AT THE SAME TIME!
ADDING TRIM TO MUSLIN IS A GOOD CHOICE--YOU CAN STILL LET LOTS OF LIGHT IN, BUT HAVE A PRETTY DESIGN AT THE SAME TIME!
CLOSE UP OF FLOWER CUT OUT OF FABRIC, WITH THE BORDER SEWN ON USING RED EMBROIDERY FLOSS
CLOSE UP OF FLOWER CUT OUT OF FABRIC, WITH THE BORDER SEWN ON USING RED EMBROIDERY FLOSS

RED BRIGHTENS ANY ROOM!

The difference these curtains have made in my kitchen is amazing—I love walking in there now to all that bright color! I realize that these fabric designs are not to everyone’s taste, and that’s fine. My main reason for writing this was to encourage others to give re-purposing fabric a try—if you love to sew, like I do, then there are MANY projects that you can come up with, if you just use your imagination!

Why throw out those old clothes, when you can recycle them, and save money(always important!)—and not to mention, you can come up with some pretty unique results? And you prevent them from being added to the landfills, where they don’t do anyone any good anymore.

 

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Comments 16 comments

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Such cute curtains. Thanks for all the good suggestions and information.


TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Thanks for the compliment--I'm glad that you like them! :)


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 6 years ago from Ohio

Hey...that's my favorite square dance dress...only two of them fit me...I am hiding the blue one from you! :)

Great job on the hub sweetie! :)


TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Oh NO, Tom...I'm soooo sorry...yeah, you better hide the blue one...hahahaha

And thank you, too! :)


IdaKenelm profile image

IdaKenelm 6 years ago

Your curtains are really cute! I love repurposing things that I am no longer using, but I don't think I could bear to cut up my square dancing skirt. :)


GiftedGrandma profile image

GiftedGrandma 6 years ago from USA

Curtains turned out great! I have 6 windows in front of house 6+ feet long, no curtains just heavy blinds. Only a couple of windows in house have curtains :O) To expensive to buy and I designed and made 26 sets of very long curtains for a children home in 2006 so no desire to make my own yet.


TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

IdaKeneim--Thank you! I had several of these skirts that I'd saved, and since I don't square dance, it wasn't too hard to re-purpose them--I loved the fabric, so this way I can see it everyday, instead of having the skirts hidden in a plastic bin in my closet, lol. :)


TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

GiftedGrandma--Thanks so much! I can see why you may not be ready to sew anymore curtains--wow, 26 sets--that's amazing! I agree, curtains are so expensive to buy. I've made four sets now in the past couple of months, from either fabric I'd had stored, or some I picked up very cheap.

I hand-sew most of the time, so it takes me a lot longer, but I just enjoy it so much, that I don't mind how long it takes, lol...it's my way to relax in the evenings.

Thanks again! :)


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Boy, that looks complicated! You are so creative! I am constantly amazed at the wonderful ideas I find here on HP, but these curtains are real winners. I make my own curtains but no way would I attempt those circles. You gotta be good to do that and have some incredible focus.


TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Thank you Dolores!

Those circles really were kind of a pain, but I just took my time, and sewed them by hand, instead of machine, so it was more tedious than hard, haha. I had an embroidery hoop to hold the fabric in place, which helped a LOT! :)

Thanks again for your comment!!!

Tammy


oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia

TamCor. Hi.Wow what a great hub, with wonderful ideas and easy to follow instructions.

You are so very talented, and to hand sew your curtains, you must really love your craft.

The photo's are absolutely beautiful.

Thank you for sharing your creative knowledge with us. I loved it. :) :)


TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Thank you oliversmum! :)

I hope you get a chance to give these a try--or something similar to them. It really is relaxing to just sit down with a piece of fabric, and turn it into something, lol...

Thanks again for the comment-I appreciate it! :)

Tammy


TamCor profile image

TamCor 5 years ago from Ohio Author

Mark--Thanks very much--I appreciate it!!! :)


Candie V profile image

Candie V 5 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

I'm always amazed how folks don't mark what a hub means for them.. I marked 'useful' but they don't have a spot for talented and wonderful! Your curtains for the french doors reminded me of a leaded glass window. You are very creative!

Sorry I'm late.. I'm going thru my old notices and found a lot I've missed reading! Begging your forgiveness!


TamCor profile image

TamCor 5 years ago from Ohio Author

No need for forgiveness, Candie--I do the same thing, lol... :)

Thanks for the compliments on the curtains-I'm so glad you like them! I had so much fun putting them together that I was a little sad when they were done, haha!

:)


erorantes profile image

erorantes 2 years ago from Miami Florida

I like your article on the curtains. It is creative the way you did it. The desing on the fabric is beautiful. I like your idea . Covering the windows with the curtains look perfect measures. It looks a well done job. Congratulations Mr. Tamcor. Thank you for sharing your creative part in your hub.

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