Challenging Arts & Crafts

Curtains for A Mediterranean Retreat


The previous months have really been so stressy for me, it was time to have a break from it all. So off we went to our spanish retreat in the Mediterranean to kind of relieve myself from the busy city life. It had been a great time to relax and be creative as well during this holiday. My project this time was to make new curtains.

My last visit to a fabric shop called Palacio de las Telas in Torremolinos last January was very disappointing. Gone were the tons of pretty floral fabrics mostly english in designs. Before the shop moved to the new site, which is now next to Ikea Malaga, about 1 Km off Malaga International Airport, they used to have so many, and I really mean so many beautiful fabrics at affordable prices.

The shop had those kind of give-away meters of fabrics that were either discontinued by its manufacturer or put on sale because nobody wanted them. Now, this shop became smaller and has unfortunately limited stuff. What happened? I would have thought that this shop has been affected by the ongoing financial crisis as any other „empresas ( companies) in Spain.

My 2 german friends insisted that we had to see Ikea since it was just a few feet away. Gazing at some of the master samples on display, a pink rose printed fabric caught my attention. I got excited!!! I needed 40 meters of this fabric. To my dismay, it was out of stock....:-(( ….. tough luck! So, I ended-up coming home empty-handed in Spain....

Well, that was about three months ago..... I wasn´t really that empty handed so to speak, because I got the same floral fabric from Ikea in Vienna. Yes the same fabric and all those 40 meters I needed. And to add to that, a pink and apple green cotton fabrics were bought as trimmings for the valance.

As an avid crafter, it always excites me when a new project comes up my mind especially after some stressy months at work. When I left for Spain early May for my 2nd vacation this year, I had 2 luggages that contained these 40 meters of materials which were meant for 1 big window and 2 terrace glass doors.

In Spain, I didn´t have a proper table to cut the fabric panels as the house is still being built. So, I had no choice but to work on top of the bed to measure and cut the fabric. My 4 fabric panels have the finished size of 150 cm width x 240 cm long, the other 2 are for the glass door that has 150cm x 230 cm in size... the last one being lower because there is an electric shade for the afternoon sun.
For 1 window, I needed 2 panels of 150 cm width fabric = 300 cm which when sewn together with the curtain band including the seam would create a finished size of 144 cm in width.
The band below is sewn up to the top edge of the curtain panel and the strings are pulled-out to achieve the finished size desired.

The hooks available in our local market vary a lot. There is one made of metal and one of plastic. The ones I tried were made of plastic from China, they are longer and softer to handle, but they always fell-off the curtain easily during the process of hanging the curtains onto its rail..
I brought along some curtain hooks made in Germany, but their heads are round and smaller for the spanish system... so I had no choice but to use the plastic ones shown here previously.

The most tedious part of the job of curtain making is preparing the valance materials. I used contrasting fabric, picked up some colors from the floral material and made pleats, attached this to the edge of the valance to look like pleated skirt. This way, the trimmings would make the valance look romantic but still hold that country feel as well as it would look customized.

I wouldn´t want to miss ironing the fabric during the process of curtain making. By ironing, the lines become straight and the patience of doing this is worth the Trouble as half of the work is already done.

Shown below, the curtain band with velcro is being sewn to the fabric, later the strings will be pulled to achieve the finished size of the valance.

Then, I pulled-the strings-up to arrive at a finished size of 5 meters x 38 cm. I never cut the pulled strings at the end of the curtain, I just secure these by gathering the string and pinning it on the inside of the panel with safety needle. This would allow one to adjust the width of the panels just in case the curtain is to be used on another window.

The curtain rails were made beforehand. As usual,  I stapled the rough side of the velcro band (the other half) onto the wooden front of the curtain rail. Velcro bands are practical to use ´cause you just have to take it off the wooden rail holder and wash as it is soiled.

The photos were taken at different times of the day, the reason why Colors are not that perfect.

The windows, grids and doors were installed but we didn´t have  much time left  for the interior painting. Well, there will be another time for this.


My holiday moved towards its end and though I was not able to finish the project completely, I felt fulfilled to have done a set of gorgeous curtains for this mountain retreat.

The curtain holders (tie backs) as well its hooks for the 6 side panels are „still missing“ but I repacked a few meters of the fabric which I brought along to my homebase.... Well, the curtain holders will have its own story and I sure hope to finish them real soon.

 I´m wishing everyone a creative crafty day!

Thank you for reading my blog.

Til next,


Share at : Feathered Nest Friday ( Nov.22, 2013)