This idea came from my friend, Steve Savage, who visited me for lunch one day. I would like to share it with you.
My studio classroom is a huge square room. No closets, no storage of any kind exists. As soon as I began bringing machines from my home studio to my work studio, I realized I needed a place to store them when not in use. Below the staircase is the perfect place, and after all, I have seven machines so there's no way I can be using all of them at the same time.
I love my sewing machines, but the room was beginning to look like a Sew 'N Vac dealership with all the stuff hanging around. (My apologies to all you Sew 'N Vac people). The original idea was to make a drape beneath the staircase attached with magnets to the steel beams. I thought it was a wonderful idea and I immediately began collecting fabrics and trims for the project.
I chose a beautiful floral print to use as a lining and a wide awning striped cotton for the outer fabric. To accent the ginormous header, I decided to make a scalloped valence. The minute I began working, I realized this would be a mathematical nightmare, keeping the angle of the staircase even with the angle of the stripes. So, I got out my trusty contractor's ruler and began measuring. I measured the highest point and the lowest point of the staircase. I measured the width of the fabric and began cutting strips. First strip, longest length was first. I remembered the cardinal rule of sewing: Always cut the largest piece first. So far, so good.
The next length was cut and joined to the first, and following the same guidelines, joined the final length the same way. All the straight edges were aligned on the hemline of the drape. Working on the diagonal, I began cutting the upper edges evenly. When I was done, it was time to check my angle. Of course, it was inaccurate. I never was very good at math, which is a serious understatement. But, I forgave myself and kept going. After a rather lengthy hunt for magnet clips, I managed to find them at Lowes in the hardware department. I envisioned sewing curtain rings to the header and hanging them onto hooks, but the only magnets I could find had binder clips instead of cup hooks. Those would work. Well, not really. Once I got the fabric cut to size, the magnet clips weren't strong enough to hold it, and I still needed to line the curtain and attach the header. So then arose yet another dilemma. My mechanic husband, Billy suggested I use the clips and just clip the header to the rail, which I suppose is a "guy thing" to just get the job done. That worked, but looked unfinished. I'm still trying to figure out a solution, so if any of you clever gals (or guys) can solve my problem, feel free to chime in.
Moving on, I began concentrating on the header. Common knowledge told me the fabric would be prone to stretching because after all, it was cut on the diagonal. To avoid this problem, I cut 4" width strips from the fabric to act as a stabilizer the upper edge. Then, I attached the scalloped valence onto the edge and flipped it over the band so it wasn't noticeable. I chose a lively print for my lining fabric instead of plain white fabric, so when the drape is pulled back, it would still look pretty. I hemmed the bottom and attached the lining and viola! my curtain was completed. Check out the photos below.