Make Do: Caravan curtains

For this summer I have bought a caravan. More about that later, but one of the first things I’ve done to make it a bit more me is taking off the shabby grey curtains and replacing them with some self-made ones.

The colour scheme for the whole caravan is pink, blue and green, and for the curtains I bought a couple metres in a fresh apple green checked print.
The fabric itself is fairly see-through and as the main thing I’m intending to do in there is sleep I bought white blackout fabric to line them with. I bought the blackout fabric online and was a bit worried it would be a strange texture or not very blacking out being white, but it’s absolutely perfect. It’s a bit heavier which is good to keep the curtains straight and doesn’t let any light through.
Caravan curtains are not the easiest to find ready made and as I’m not dirty of a little needlework I made them myself, and its not difficult at all! Here a little tutorial how to make them. Of course its still the same concept for making full length curtains in your home, with or without the blackout lining.
Materials needed:
  • Your curtain fabric. This doesn’t need to be specifically for curtains, I bought some simple cotton from the market.
  • Blackout fabric (optional). Preferably use a complementary or lighter colour than your curtain fabric so it won’t shine through.
  • Bandex, or other kind of band. It’s basically a band with 2 or more strings that you can pull to make folds in your curtain and they often have little loops you can put hooks through to hang the curtain on the rail.
  • Thread in a complementary colour. I went for white.
  • Sewing machine, measuring tape, pins, maker, etc. All you need for any sewing work.
Step 1: Measure the size of your curtains and cut the fabric.
If you already had curtains hanging its easiest to measure those.
If not, measure the window/rail and add 5-10cm on either side (I’d go for 5 on small caravan curtains, but 10cm in your home). This makes sure you won’t end up with a gap between the curtains.
For the hem add another 3cm on the sides, 10 cm on the bottom and an optional 3cm at the top (I folded the top as the fabric was frail and to keep both layers together).
For example: my window was 50×70, so I cut out 58×83 of fabric.
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Cut the same size of blackout fabric. As I found this fabric very slippery and the checks where easier to cut, I first cut the checked fabric, pinned this on the blackout fabric and then cut it out. This way its also already perfectly pinned together for the next step.
Step 2: Pin and sew the fabrics together. (Skip this step if you don’t line your curtain)
If you are lucky enough to have an overlocker its best to stitch the layers together. If not, use an overlock stitch on your sewing machine or another strong stitch that will keep them together.

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Step 3: Hem the sides.
Iron and stitch the hem by folding the edges double so you won’t see the raw edge anymore. Careful with the blackout as thats usually not very resistant to a hot iron. If you do it neatly you should end up with a 0.75cm hem.
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Step 4: Hem the bottom.
Do the same with the bottom, but fold it over wider so you have a larger hem, of about 5cm. This will make the curtain heavy at the bottom so it hangs neatly.
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Step 5: Hem the top (optional) and stitch on the bandex.
As the bandex will cover the top you can just fold over your fabric and stitch the bandex on top. With the bandex make sure you cut some extra so you can still reach the strings (optional, I just used it for the hoops).
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You have now finished your curtain!
Give it a last press, hang the hooks on and slip it on the rail. Et voila: you can have a lovely sleep in the dark.
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Meet Alice, my lovely little caravan.

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This summer I’ll be working at a theatre festival, which means I’ll be living in a caravan for about 3 months. Until 2 years ago I said I’d never even go on holiday where I don’t have my own toilet and shower, but with the prospect of a fun job I’ve caved in and bought a funny little caravan. Now I can’t live in a boring old caravan all summer and I had a couple of weeks off before I started the job, so I’ve done some decorating.

Initially my plan was to paint the whole thing inside out, but that seemed to be a bit too much effort. Instead I put coloured plastic foil on the cupboards, lots of posters on the walls, a pile of cushions on the bed and made fresh curtains.

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I used a green, pink and blue colour scheme. Partly as I still had accessorise in those colours lying about, and it looks very cheerful.SONY DSCSONY DSC

Most of the images on the walls and the collage on the wardrobe door are from Flow magazine, one of my favourite Dutch magazines (that now also has an international edition). Of course I also opened my pandora box of postcards to choose some nice ones to hang on the wall.

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I’m hoping to get a good and sunny festival season this summer, at least my caravan will bring some sunshine.

Oh and why Alice? Well the caravan is officially called ‘Adria’ so it had to start with an A and I do have a bit of an ‘Alice in wonderland’ feel for the whole thing. Like you’ve gone down a technicolour rabbit hole and landed in a flowerbed.
Ps. A tutorial on making those curtains are up later this week, super easy!