May ’16 – Curtains

The material samples have arrived. The curtain fabric is much thicker and heavier than I was expecting with an almost velvet texture to it. I’m really impressed, it’s better than the pictures on the internet had suggested. I’d originally gone for the fabric concerned only with the pattern and colour, knowing I would be giving it a good quality lining anyway.

Fabric Samples
The base colour is beige, with thick wavy lines of similar tones running vertically down it. The one standout blue wave, picks out the little blue squares in the upholstery perfectly. The darkest wave, by sheer coincidence, is an excellent match to the original curtain material. Although not pre-planned, I’m really chuffed this has happened, a great reminder of what has gone before it. The lining I’ve decided on is a thermal material, and total blackout. I’ve gone for cream to match the exterior of the van, perfect from outside when the curtains are closed. To compliment the lining, I’ll use cream header tape top and bottom, an inch wide ought to be enough for the small curtain hooks. 

I’m going to purchase the hooks and tracks from a company called HOME ON WHEELS, found on ebay. They do all manner of motorhome and truck accessories, definitely worth a look. I’m pleased as punch with all these selections, so really eager to get it all ordered. Rather than attempt to climb around the van with a tape measure, I simply unhook the existing curtains and use these as templates for my material quantities. I purchase some poppers (to hold curtains together once drawn), weights for the bottoms of the curtains across the cab area (this will ensure they hang straight) and some magnets I’ll sew into the curtain across the sliding door (no tracks on sliding door).

A week passes before I’ve got everything together, fingers crossed I’ve got all bases covered.

Material delivery



Once every package has arrived I finally get out the tape and reacquaint myself with my sewing machine… I’ve been itching to get started!

Final measure

Trusty sewing machine
Having never attempted making curtains before I’m in for the usual steep learning curve. The moment my material arrives and I start working out window sizes I realise using the old curtains as templates was a useless exercise. My new material has a pattern which requires matching up with each and every curtain I make. I’d say this leads to at least 40% wastage. On top of this the originals weren’t cut particularly well. Certainly not to the exact finish I want. I put in another duplicate order so have doubled my total material, I may yet require even more!

A good friend of mine is happy to install the tracks for me, I’m very grateful as at this point in my recovery I still can’t use a drill. Tracks in place, I can finally get sewing…

Due to my current physical condition, I only manage to sit at the sewing machine for short periods. This results in slow progress, but it’s a relief to be doing something useful again. The first curtain takes me a whopping 2 days to complete! 

First curtain in situ
I pop it in place to check I have my measurements correct. I not only ensure it fits the window snugly, but need the hooks to be in line with the freshly installed tracks. Happy with the results (I think it looks fab), I set about the second curtain. This poses more problems than the first. An overlap is required so that I can clip one to the other with the poppers. This along with the hem means the pattern requires careful consideration. 

Eventually, with a little trial and error, I achieve what I’m after and the pattern continues seamlessly. Once in the van, I think they look amazing, I’m really, really pleased.

Both sides of the van complete….

The curtains on the tailgate were done a little different. This is because the bottom of the curtains are wider than the top. 

View from outside the van, happy with the plain cream lining….

Curtains drawn
I still have to make the curtains for both the sliding door and across the cab area. However, I’m really sore and deep down I know I’ve been overdoing things (I’m still in recovery from my operation). The clever thing would be to leave these for a later date and rest up some more. I can safely say though, I’m happy with how it’s all going so far.


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