We’ve been living with some ratty-ass curtains for the last year or so. Most of the time though, I barely even noticed. New curtains for our front windows have been on the to-do list for months, maybe years. We moved here with extra long very shear white curtains from one of my first apartments, and continued to use them for the last four years. They were great because they let in a lot of natural light and were actually long enough for our extra tall windows. They started to become a little gray and maybe threadbare in spots, but who is crazy enough to get new curtains when you’ve got four wild animals? Two of said animals are climbers, or um, tree-dwellers as we’ve learned. The younger cats helped speed up the curtain destruction process, with snags and holes from their various climbing and jumping and attacking antics. You can’t have nice things and have (4) cats guys, its basic.
Cats have kindly started growing up, which is a nice favor to our home. They still can’t be trusted, but our house is less of a war zone than it used to be. After 10 years of use, our dingy, once-white curtains finally called it quits, but we continued to keep them up because the search for replacements was damn hard. Extra long curtains that aren’t shiny, sparkly, heavy, ugly, or $80 per panel and approved by two very opinionated people? Hard to come by. One of us wanted pattern, one of us wanted plain white. Neither one of us really trusts our cats not to be shitheads and scale the curtains, so we knew we wanted curtains that weren’t too precious and expensive. We went fabric shopping a handful of times, but couldn’t agree on a fabric, but also couldn’t find the weight we really wanted. Important life decisions here, I know.
Cue a trip to Ikea. I was not expecting much, but we were both surprised to find curtains that weren’t offensive in any way to either one of us. We measured the windows twice, but forgot the measurement somewhere along the way. Probably in the kitchen department. We convinced ourselves that 108″ was the length we needed (it wasn’t) and we came home with four panels. We tossed the old curtains to the floor, the curtains became the new hot cat nap spot for the day, and kicked ourselves for the way too short curtain purchase. We avoided the problem for a month, before heading back to Ikea for an additional pack of curtains, so I could embark on a tremendously frustrating sewing project!
The plan was to add a panel of fabric to the bottom of each curtain to extend the length to the floor. We started by taking apart the not-even-close-to-straight hems, straightened all the edges, measured and cut new fabric panels, then spent countless hours tediously, frustratingly lining up stripes and pining panels together. Sewing with stripes is for crazy people. Crazy patient people. I almost lost my mind. I absolutely threatened that I would never sew again. I dramatically quit several times, while Intern alternately hid from me, and tried to help out where he could. He is the ironing and pining patience master. Thankfully this project is over. It was expensive for my sanity, but our search for reasonably priced shear and agreeable curtains is done. Lessons have been learned: 1. measure everything, then WRITE IT DOWN. 2. Don’t deal with stripes ever again. The cats have been warned, stay away from the curtains.