Curtains contained

Well, these have taken me long enough!  I bought the silk for these curtains last summer and started making them in October I think.  ...



Well, these have taken me long enough!  I bought the silk for these curtains last summer and started making them in October I think.  At first I used a Pretty Pleater to make the pleats, but I wasn't at all happy with the way they turned out.  I wanted a much softer, fuller look.



Looking round my workshop to see what I could use to make the pleats, I found some of my paintbrushes had just the right shape and length to do the job.   I am quite pleased with the result.



It didn't take me too long to make the first set of curtains and the swags and jabots.  The second set however was a whole different story.  For some reason it just didn't want to do what I wanted it to do.  
So I threw them into a corner  and I didn't feel like working on them for a long time.
   


But of course I had to have a pair of curtains so I picked up where I left off in December.   It didn't get any easier though!   I did them again and again and again until finally they almost resembled the first set of curtains.   Now I still have to make the curtain tiebacks!



The curtains are lined with a thin white silk (all hand sewn, not glued), the same silk I used to make the little shades.   I hope the lining will help prevent too much fading of the blue silk fabric.
I really like how it looks looking from the outside in!  

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114 comments

  1. Dag Josje, wat heb je de gordijnen weer geweldig gemaakt. Goed idee om te plooien met penselen.
    Ik vind de kamer een perfecte uitstraling hebben door de gordijnen.


    gr.Heleni

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    1. Hallo Heleni, leuk van je te horen! Ja dat werkte goed met de penselen. Ik zou eigenlijk nog een paar van die pakken bij de Action moeten kopen zodat ik er meer van gelijke grootte heb, want dat had ik natuurlijk weer niet (waardoor het nog een heel gedoe was om alles een beetje gelijk te krijgen;-) )

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  2. Wat zijn je gordijnen prachtig geworden Josje...ook al heeft het de nodige moeite gekost. De stoel is ook erg mooi.

    Groeten Xandra

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    1. Dank je Xandra. Ja zo gaan die dingen soms ;-) Ik zat er zo tegenaan te hikken alsmaar voordat ik de tweede set ging maken...!

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  3. Oh, they are GORGEOUS!!! Worth every hour of struggle to get them just right!!! I admire your patience... and I LOVE your very tall ceilings and large windows! This room is looking DIVINE!!!

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    1. Thank you Betsy! The height of the ceilings is one of the reasons I have started buiding this house. Although I love my first dollshouse, I always felt the ceilings were too low. In this house I managed to get high ceilings which were still in balance with the size of the rooms.

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  4. Oh, Josje, I love your curtains, they look wonderful, I am glad you persevered with the stubborn silk! And I really like that you lined them and sewed them, somehow I just can't get myself to put glue on things like this, I always wonder how the glue is going to affect the fabric over a ten year or longer period.

    Is this some of the silk you bought when we were at the fabric shops together? I would love to go there again, hint, hint... :-)

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    1. Thank you Elga! Yes, quite right! I always worry about the time factor with the materials I use. With all the modern materials we use nowadays of course there is no telling what will happen with them in 20 or 50 years time. The chance of me being alive in 50 years time is very very slim, but you never know. And who knows it may be handed down the family...

      I can't remember if I bought the silk when I went with you to that silk shop, or later that summer, but it was bought at the beautiful silk shop! I can never leave that shop without buying something. Of course we must go again this summer!!

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  5. The curtains turned out beautiful - I like the fringe on the edge. Thanks also for the tip on using paint brushes and pens instead of the pretty pleater. Great photos! Keep up the good work. Troy

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    1. Thanks Troy! The fringe on the jabot was a bit problematic as I wanted it to hang down and even when wet it was a bit rebellious.

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  6. Шторы великолепные!!!!! вы делаете шедевры!!!!!!!! столько тепла и света на этой фотографии !!!!!

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    1. Curtains gorgeous!! you make masterpieces!!! as much heat and light in this photo!!

      Thank you Ksandra! The sun appeared on Sunday morning and I so loved the sun streaming through my new curtains I tried to capture that with my camera.

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  7. Hey Josje,
    Dat ziet er mooi uit.(fijn dat de kozijnen en ramen er weer in zitten)
    Ik had zelf ook wel eens nagedacht over een wat lichtere stof voor gordijnen.
    Ik vind de meeste stof zo zwaar en stijf.
    De kleur is mooi en wat glimt je vloertje!!!!.Gr, Alexandra.



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    1. Hallo Alexandra, De blauwe gordijnstof is op zich niet zo heel licht hoor, het is gewoon taftzijde. De voeringzijde is wel heel dun en licht, het is habotai zijde.
      Mijn vloertje blijft maar glimmen! Sinds ik het gemaakt heb, heb ik het niet meer gepoetst en het blijft mooi. Maar, ik laat wel iedereen hun schoenen uittrekken hoor! ;-)

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  8. These look so incredibly realistic! I know how much work you've put into these, and it shows! I've worked with fabric for a long time and it can be so frustrating getting it to do what you want. Wonderful job!

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    1. Thank you Brea! Oh yes, the fabric has a mind of its own at times!

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  9. Meraviglioso, come tutto quello che fai, dopotutto. Mi piace che sono doppiate con la garza di seta bianca. Bell'idea!!!

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    1. Thank you Blanche! The curtain lining is a white habotai silk, a very thin and lightweight silk.

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  10. Te han quedado espectaculares , gracias por la idea :)

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  11. Wonderful wonderful wonderful! the colour,the shape,the lining,the shades:I do love everything!!!

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  12. They are absolutely stunningly beautiful. I have no words.
    So beautiful made​​. I love the color. They are so beautiful from inside the living room and the light passing through the windows. It is a very beautiful room. So well done.
    Hugs
    Wyrna.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely compliments Wyrna!

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  13. Hi Josje
    Well done on your lovely curtains. I too have been experimenting with things around the place, other than a pleater. How funny.
    They look perfect and colour is light and subtle.
    I loved your printing on fabric video on You Tube by the way.
    Best wishes
    Simon x

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    1. Hi Simon, I read somewhere to use chains to weigh down the pleats. I thought that would get pretty realistic results too. Of course I didn't have any small chains in my workshop so I did it this way. But I will be trying it out next time I think. Glad you liked my video!

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  14. what a smart solution josje! I love the curtains, they have a light and very natural feel, absolutely beautiful!

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    1. Thank you Monique! The 'paintbrush technique' could do with some improving, but it worked ;-)

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  15. Just beautiful and also stunningly photographed! Amazing how much light comes through two layers of silk!

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    1. True Idske, even now, in this fairly gloomy weather, the light is still coming through quite nicely. Even the pattern of the glazing bars shows on the curtain. It looks rather nice!

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  16. The curtains are very beautiful. I love the color of them. Thank you for tutorisls too. Hugs Kati

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  17. They came out great! And I love the light behind---

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    1. Thanks Linda. I was surprised how well my camera did in these conditions. But then these modern camera's are rather wonderful!

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  18. Wauw wat een prachtige gordijnen, mooi hoe het licht er door schijnt.

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  19. Dear Josje,
    What a wonderful curtains !! It looks amazing and thank you for sharing the way you mae them.
    Greetings Dorien

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  20. The curtains turned out really well. Very nice. IndyPoppy

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  21. Wow, that blue is so uplifting! I love the light streaming through - it's just what we need in January!


    I'd love to know where you got that blue silk, it looks so lightweight and airy... maybe I need to plan a trip to Holland to see the Jonquils and buy some silk!

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    1. Hi Jonquil, The blue silk is a silk taffeta, so in fact still fairly stiff. I bought the silk in a wonderful silk shop in Amsterdam called McLennan's. It is right in the center of Amsterdam, so if you're in the area I would definitely pay them a visit!

      This is their website:

      http://www.puresilk.nl/index_uk.html

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  22. Hoi Josje

    Wat straalt de zon mooi door de ramen. Mooie foto’s heb je weer gemakt.
    En dan waar het allemaal om draait. Prachtig zijn ze, veel handwerk geweest.
    Maar je resultaat is weer eens de moeite waard.

    Xxxxx Conny

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    1. Dank je Conny! Het naaien viel nog mee, maar die plooien!!! Maar toch weer iets geleerd. ;-)

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  23. Lovely! I love how airy and gentle the draped fabic looks, especially since most dollhouse curtains tend to look a little stiff. I find curtains really intimdating. Do you have any tricks for working with the thin silk?

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    1. I agree Eliza, I also often find the curtains too stiff looking. Of course this is because gravity doesn't have the same effect on miniature curtains as it does on full sized ones. So that's what I try to keep in mind when working with the fabric, although the fabric tends to have a mind of its own ;-)

      I can't say I have any tricks in working with the silk, but I did find that the very fine silk thread I used for the stitching became nearly invisible on the fabric (depending on how fine I did the stitching obviously). I used Pipers silk 2/20 twisted silk thread and a very small and fine needle. I found the thread to be surprisingly strong.

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  24. Yummy color! My favorite! The entire room is absolutely gorgeous! Love the floor too!!

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    1. Thank you Kathi. I love that colour too!

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  25. They are gorgeous! I love the soft natural look of the folds.

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    1. Thanks Catherine, that was just what I hoped to achieve, a softer look to the folds.

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  26. Josge, they are breathtaking and especially so since they harmonize so perfectly with the colour of the wall! Your persistence paid off. Curtains of this quality are never made in a few hours. They are so beautiful that I could just look and look and never tire of looking! This is how striking they are!

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    1. Thank you, that is so nice to hear! I can't remember whether I picked the fabric to go with the wallpaper or the other way around, but they were meant to go together!

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  27. Prachtig, niet alleen je gordijnen maar ook de foto. Zo mooi hoe het licht door de ramen komt...
    Hartelijke groet

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  28. Quelles merveilleuses photos pour commencer l année en beauté . La couleur est magnifique . Je pense que vous serez d accord avec moi , le plus difficile est de trouver le beau tissu et surtout la couleur parfaite . C est un choix magnifique . Je vous souhaite de très jolies choses pour 2013 . Je vous embrasse .

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    1. What a lovely compliment coming from you Catherine, the queen of colour herself!
      Yes I agree it is difficult to find beautiful fabric in the right colour. I can be incredibly fussy when it comes to that.

      I spent some time exploring your blog again this morning, I do so love what you make!

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  29. I have had that happen to me on occasion, it is so frustrating when one thing seems to work so perfectly but you just can't seem to replicate it.

    Well done on a superb job, they look beautiful and very natural, I think the pretty pleater may be good in theory but after having to paint many folds of fabric, you quickly learn that it rarely folds so perfectly.

    The blue is just divine and they do look very nice from the outside.

    Ml fi xx

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    1. What was so different the first time when it did go fairly quickly? I have no idea what those factors are which influence the result. Apart from being tired, preoccupied etc., but I don't think I was... Oh well, they're finished I am quite pleased!

      Thanks Fi!

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  30. Invitation - inglês
    I'm Brazilian.
    Spent reading here, and visit his blog.
    I also have one, only much simpler.
    I'm inviting you to visit me, and if possible follow together for them and with them. I always liked to write, expose and share my ideas with people, regardless of class Social, Religious Creed, the Sexual Orientation, or, of Ethnicity.
    To me, what will interest is our exchange of ideas, and, thoughts.
    I'm there in my space Simpleton, waiting for you.
    And I'm already following your blog.
    Strength, Peace, Friendship and Happiness
    For you, a hug from Brazil.
    www.josemariacosta.com

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    1. Hi José, I have visited your site and if I could speak Portuguese, Spanish or Italian, I'm sure your writing would be beautiful to me. Unfortunately so much is lost in the translation. Pity really but that's how it is. Thanks for the invite!

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  31. Hello Josje,
    The curtains look great. It was a lot of work but it was well worth the effort. the color of the silk is beautiful.
    Big hug,
    Giac

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    1. Hi Giac! Yes I love the colour too! It seems ages ago I have seen an update from your blog. I'll have to go over and check out what you're doing!

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  32. Josje, it's refreshing to see I'm not the only miniaturist who doesn't use glue on curtains! Well done, they look very natural.

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    1. Thanks Anna. I have used a little bit of glue at the top, to glue them to the .... I don't know the name for it, is it a pelmet?

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  33. A. Maze. Zing! Absolutely sublime work, Josje

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    1. Thank you Shelley! I hope you're feeling better?

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  34. Your persistence certainly paid off, they are beautiful and I love those shots taken from floor level, very dramatic and sor realistic.

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    1. Thanks Margaret! I like to try different angles with my camera to get a more realistic effect. Of course the great big red clamp in the photo doesn't add to the realism at all, haha!

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  35. Amazing work! I love the colour.
    Geneviève

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  36. Wow! These are wonderful curtains! You should be really pleased with yourself! Well done!

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    1. Thanks Tee! Yes I am pleased! ;-)

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  37. Nog een poging om een reactie te plaatsen, op de een of andere manier loopt jouw site steeds vast. Maar de gordijnen zijn echt prachtig geworden Josje en inderdaad met heel natuurlijke plooien, veel mooier dan met zo'n plooimat! En een ouderwetse handwerkster vindt het natuurlijk leuk om te lezen dat je ze genaaid hebt i.p.v. gelijmd ;-)

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    1. Nou het is gelukt hoor Ineke! Wat vreemd dat mijn blog vastloopt. Heb je dat alleen met mijn blog? Ik heb het nooit eerder gehoord en heb er zelf geen last van. Ik vraag me af wat dan de oorzaak is.

      Dat lijmen doen we natuurlijk vaak omdat het snel en makkelijk is, maar naaien is wel mooier en waarschijnlijk duurzamer. En eigenlijk is het ook wel ontspannend om te doen!

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    2. Het laden gaat beter Josje en hoewel het scrollen niet vloeiend gaat is het nu gelukt een reactie te geven zonder vastlopers! Maar de voorbeeldsite die ik jou mailde lijkt steeds moeizamer te gaan, dus laten we het maar houden op blogspotkuren...

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  38. Your curtains are very elegant.
    Bye Faby

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  39. The curtains are just perfect and beautifully finished. I'm also very impressed with your very shiny floor!

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    1. Thanks Irene! The shiny floors are due to shoepolish!

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  40. Dear, you have done another great job :-)
    You did well to double the curtains, silk tends to fade quickly, and deteriorate beyond repair. I have a small collection of old clothes and my gripe is the silk: so beautiful, so fragile: it literally crumbles :-(
    Mini lovely hugs,
    Flora

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    1. Ah thank you Flora! I do worry about things like fading and deteriation of the fabric. Dust is another bad factor in contributing to the ruin of miniatures. The Dutch women in the 18th century had the right idea, they kept their miniatures/dollshouse inside a cabinet, only to be opened on special occasions. That is surely one of the factors why a lot of the content of these cabinet houses has withstood time so well.

      The window my dollshouse is standing next to is south facing, so I will really need to think about shading or covering it up during the day!
      Having said that, the embroidered fabric on the chair in the photo is around 100 years old, all silk. It has withstood time fairly well. Although I do realise I have cut around reallly bad areas and used only the strong parts.

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  41. Your curtains are fantastic! Colour is beautiful. Your hard work certainly paid off :)

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    1. Thank you ShellbyFay! I just noticed that it has been exactly one year ago that I made the curtains for my yellow room. Same pattern. I think these blue ones look better so I must have learned something ;-)

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  42. Josje,

    Those curtains are superb! They make me want to try making curtains and I have not yet even done that, talk about inspiring!!

    Thank you for the many photos, the one showing how they look from the outside shows the quality and craftmanship, it looks completely REAL.

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    1. Haha, thank you Cassandra. I know how that works, you want to get started immediately. But you need to make some decisions about doors first! ;-)

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  43. It's exquisite! so perfect! Well done!

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  44. Maravilloso, el color la forma. la fotografía. Me encanta!!

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  45. Hoi Josje,
    De kleurkeuze is prachtig helemaal met dat licht wat naar binnen valt door de ramen.
    En gefeliciteerd jij hebt al 2 gordijnen af hier ligt er nog een 2e exemplaar op mij te wachten.

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    1. Ja mooie kleuren he? Nou die van mij waren wel iets minder werk dan die van jou hoor. Ik heb wel aan je gedacht toen ik de voering erin naaide. Echt!

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  46. Hè hè, eindelijk heb ik jouw blog gevonden, Josje! Het schijnt dat ik een abonnement heb op het niet kunnen vinden van blogs, gebeurt me nogal eens.
    Je hebt prachtige gordijnen gemaakt, werkelijk schitterend! Die lichtinval is geweldig mooi. Ik ga gauw je blog eens verkennen, mijn complimenten voor je informatieve en schitterende blog, Josje :D!
    Groetjes, Ilona

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    1. Dank je wel Ilona! Oh er zijn zó veel blogs en zo veel ervan heb ik nog niet gezien. Dat van jou heb ik ook nog niet zo lang geleden gevonden. Leuk toch? Dan heb je steeds iets nieuws te ontdekken. Groet, Josje

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  47. Ninety-six comments?! OMG, good for you, Josje! Well I couldn't resist so add my praise to the list, please. That color is just spectacular...your work never ceases to delight me. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Ninety-nine, one hundred! Haha, yes I saw that too. But half of them are my own of course. And really it is less than 5% of my followers who have commented. Which is probably just as well...can you imagine if everyone commented? Everyone would be at their computers full time!

      My taste in colour is similar to yours I think. You're not afraid of bold colours and I love that.
      Thanks for commenting John! ;-))))

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  48. Hello,

    What wonderful work! I am so pleased that you didn't give up completely, and finally triumphed! I hadn't though of using paint brushes to make the pleats, that's a useful tip, as I hope to make some curtains myself soon. Beautiful colour too, and I am amazed that you went to all the trouble of lining the curtains as well! a masterpiece!

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    1. Hi Andy, nice to hear from you! The paint brushes have tapered ends which work well when you want to have the curtains draped, like I have. If you'd like straight curtains I think it would be better to use simple wooden rods, or the Pretty Pleater of course!
      I am glad I did the lining, even though it was it bit more work. I'm even thinking of lining the yellow ones I made over a year ago. Don't know how to tackle that yet though.

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  49. I love your curtains ! I love the way the sun shines through the silk transparency !
    Gorgeous !

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    1. Thanks Marie-Laure! I just read you're in London right now. Have fun there!

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  50. Wat prachtig gordijnen! Perfekt plooien, met hulp van jouw penselen!
    En kleur is fantastisch! Meesterwerk!!!

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    1. Dank je wel Nono! De penselen hadden precies de juiste vorm, heel handig! ;-)

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  51. Josje, I think you've reached that soft and fulfill, delicate and mystic at the same time look. It was an interesting way to do it though. Congratulations with achieving a realistic look too! Mini hugs, Natalia

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    1. Ah yes, I'm always up for trying some other 'technique' ;-) As long as it works, right? Thanks for your comment!

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  52. wat is het weer prachtig en zo oog voor detail ik blijf je volgen zo mooi!!

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  53. The final result is really stunning, and it's nice to see the work in progress too! :)
    Thanks for sharing, and big hugs from an Italian miniaturist in Sweden! :D

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    1. Thank you Mijbil! I always like to see work in progress from others as you can learn so much from it. I hope you're keeping warm up there in Sweden!

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  54. Thanks so much for showing how you used the paintbrushes to get those lovely soft pleats in the silk! I have been putting off making curtains from some silk I have because I want soft folds and didn't want to use the pretty pleater but nothing else seemed to work. The photo shows really well how to do it, and I just love the results. As always - perfectly delightful. Sandie

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    1. You're welcome Sandie. As usual I used whatever I could find to try and get the look I wanted. I liked the paint brushes also because they are tapered. It is a bit more finicky to do than the pretty pleater, but worth it in the end. For the bottom pleats I used pens as I ran out of paint brushes ;-)

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