Monday, 5 September 2016

In which I muse on curtains and growing up

I grew up in a home filled with handmade textiles. My mother made most of the soft furnishings, everything from blankets to tablecloths to embroidered guest hand towels. And that doesn't even cover the decorative things like tapestry cushions and Christmas tree ornaments. It was (and is) cozy in my mother's home, soft and warm and welcoming.

Inevitably, I started to do the same with my own home when I moved out. It's a very different style, to be sure, but I have handmade blankets on the bed and crocheted cushions on the sofa, along with lace snowflakes on the Christmas tree and samplers on the wall. "It's what grown-ups do," says the little voice in the back of my head.

The one thing I had never done was make my own curtains. That's Mom's thing. Actual curtains to keep in the warmth at night and sheers for privacy's sake during the day. I had never needed them, but the Spouse and I recently moved into a ground-floor flat that faces the road. It was a choice between making sheers or never opening the blinds.

Mom came through with a set of surplus sheers from her previous house that didn't fit her new windows, along with the leftover fabric in case I needed to make more. Good thing, too: the picture window in our bedroom took two curtains, so we were one short.

I had planned to leave the existing curtains as they were, but they were longer than the window openings and were driving me potty. So I spent the afternoon hemming the existing four and making one all by myself.

It's such a strange thing, really, but I had been terribly intimidated at the thought of making my own curtains. I don't know why - it's not like I've never hemmed interminable rectangles of fabric before. But somehow this was a much bigger deal than making garb or knitting socks. Maybe it was because Mom hasn't made any curtains since I left home, at least not that I've watched her make. All my memories of the process are from before I really started sewing properly.

I feel like I've levelled up or gotten bonus adulting points or something. Clearly it's time to have ice cream for supper.

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