Let's go back - WAY back - to 2004. My roommate and I made elaborate, bird-themed Halloween costumes. I was a flamingo, and I used a ton of iron-on-hem to attach 5 zillion pink feathers to a $5 dress from a thrift store. The feathers stayed in place perfectly, and I considered myself a master of iron-on-hem. After singing in the chorus for a 3-hour long Russian opera (in a cheesy English translation), it was fun to put on the dress and head out to a big music school party.
Oh, sophomore Abby. So many things I wish I could tell you.
Fast forward to early summer, 2012. John and I have an upstairs apartment with western-facing windows and weak air conditioning. We got inspired to make some simple curtains!
John hung the cheap curtain rod we bought, while I measured and finished cutting the fabric. We got great advice from a nice lady at Fabricland, who helped us pick fabric that would hold up to lots of exposure to light. It's actually meant for out-door furnishings, so it's pretty strong.
Also, I followed an online tutorial from Young House Love, but once I got going, it was easy to just eyeball everything - especially since we picked fabric with a geometric pattern. The lines and shapes were helpful for cutting and measuring.
After purchasing an iron and lots of hem (the extra-firm kind), and a few hours of ironing, voila!
The kitchen felt cooler just a few minutes after they were hung. John thinks the pattern looks kind of like a Greek flag.
We liked them so much, in fact, that we went back the next day and got more fabric to make a matching set for the other kitchen window. The whole project probably cost $40 for the supplies (we picked fabric that was marked down), and another $15 for the iron. I didn't feel bad about spending the money on the iron, since we have needed one for years, and it's good for more than just this one project.
For the second round, I actually made an extra hemline to add some height to these curtains. It enabled us to use a curtain rod that the previous tenants left in the kitchen, even though that rod was installed a bit lower than the other window. Basically, the extra hem on the top means that the two sets of curtains look like they're hung at the same height.
It's so nice to do the dishes without the sun in our eyes, and to sit at the kitchen table without getting a tan.