Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Hand Embroidered Muslin Curtain

Hello there! Thought I'd share my most recent 'house' project (I know -I'm house crazy at the mo. Having only just moved in everything needs doing!). I was hoping to have the finished item ready to share by now but alas, it's taking forever! So here's a peak of it 'in progress' and I'll share a few more pictures when it's finished in approximately 50 years time!

We have beautiful huge windows in our little Victorian terrace which we've just moved to and I love the light which they let in so didn't want to obscure the whole window in our new bedroom -just hang a little something for privacy.

I decided to go with a 'café net' style (covers the lower half leaving the top half of the window clear). I was tempted by voile but really like the texture of muslin, and thought that a little drawn thread work (my latest needlepoint craze!) would really set it off, making it something unique to me.

I cut my muslin (trying to follow the grain as closely as possible -becomes very important when embroidering later) to about 2cm longer than I wanted the finished result using the full fabric width. This is because instead of hemming, I used a really short stitch on my overlocker to finish the edge as I wanted to keep it light and avoid a clumsy chunky hem at the lower edge to spoil the transparency.

For the top channel I overlocked the fabric with a standard stitch length and turned it over by 1cm. Then with a straight stitch on my standard machine I just caught the overlocked edge leaving a channel big enough for the curtain wire and again avoiding excess bulk. (If you don't have an overlocker, simply bind the edge with a short zig-zag stitch or use a standard narrow hem).

If you fancy making a curtain yourself then you could happily stop there -but I decided to hand embroider mine to make it a bit special! So using a technique called 'Drawn Thread Work' I snipped and eased out a few threads from the weft with my seam ripper leaving little 'ladders' in the warp.

These ladders can then be gathered into bunches by binding the edges with tiny hand stitches. You can create decorative patterns with varying gathers or manipulate them with binding or twisting. My tip for this kind of work is to be very patient and quite gentle when handling it (not usually my fortĂ© but oddly I seem to have taken to this technique) particularly when drawing out the initial threads as it's easy to break them.

...and on that note, back to work! I may be some time.


  1. They look so beautiful! Looking forward to seeing the finished product hanging in the window.

    1. I think I will have finished off the entire house by the time that this is finished! Hopefully they'll be worth it :)