new cabin curtains for the "growler prowler"

Discussion in 'Custom Additions' started by adrianneross, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. adrianneross

    adrianneross Junior Ranger Donating Member

    I wanted to show off my cabin curtains because of some lessons learned - and I came up with a different way of attaching the glide tape brackets:

    Here's a close-up of the glide bracket on the track:
    I had trouble sewing the glide tape to my curtain fabric - I didn't have a presser foot narrow enough to get close enough to the glide brackets and my fabric was kind of flimsy (polyester suiting, not a home-dec fabric) so the tape kept shifting on me - argh! In a fit of desperation, I cut the tape between the gliders and then sewed the tape to the fabric on the sides (rather than top & bottom). Then I trimmed away the excess tape to about 1/8" from the stitch line. Worked great!

    The curtain doesn’t “pleat” as much without the glide tape, but that’s OK.

    If I make another curtain, I'm going to cut 1" circles around the glide brackets so there aren't any sharp corners, then I'm going to use velcro dots (glue-on or stitch-on, I’m not sure which) to attach the glide bracket to the curtain (scratchy-side on the bracket, soft side on the curtain) so I can easily take them off for washing.

    Here's a picture of the window curtain:
    I wanted to allow more light into the cabin (we were sleeping too well!) so I made the curtain a single layer, hemmed on all sides. It's a pretty pattern, but I think it's too dark - you can't really see it through the window from the outside and the opacity isn't quite right from the inside.

    Next time, I'm going to look for a nice, bright print that will show up better and I'm going to make a double-layer curtain (stitched wrong sided together and then turned) so there are no corners to mitre and no plaid to OCD over!

    The fabric is a “fashion fabric” so I sprayed it with some "Force Field UV Sunblock" I bought at Jo-anne - we'll see how it holds up. I would recommend a Sunbrella-type fabric.

    Here's a picture of the curtain open:
    I made the curtain 28” X 21” - 2" wider and 2" longer than the glide track (my Camp-Inn curtain is 28" X 20"). We were having some trouble opening the window with the curtain closed and I thought the extra length would help. But I didn't like the way the curtain draped with the extra length (I wanted it to look more “tailored.”) so I decided to leave the bottom edge un-attached (like a cafe curtain). On our next trip, the curtain kept billowing in when the Fantastic Fan was on - I could have used some drapery weights, but I decided to attach some extra brackets on the bottom corners to keep the curtain down. Next time, I'll make the curtain the same size as the Camp-Inn curtain (28" X 20") - there’s plenty of coverage at the bottom of the window.

    Because the glide track is only 1" from the inside (hinge) edge of the door, I sewed my first bracket as close to the curtain edge as possible. Because the glide track is pretty much in line with the edge of the window on the outside (handle) edge, I sewed my last bracket about 1" in from the curtain edge so there's some extra overlap on that side.

    Originally, I had a small piece of 1/4” doweling sewn into both (side) edges of the curtain to help open/close the curtain - they actually worked well, by my fabric was too flimsy to support the extra weight so I took them out.

    Here's a picture of the front window curtain:
    I decided to make the curtain go the entire width of the cabin. I think it looks pretty sharp.

    I made my curtains 30” X 14” - 1” wider and 2” (4” total) longer than the glide track (my Camp Inn curtains are 24” X 14”). I sewed the outside (wall-side) brackets as close to the curtain edges as possible - the corners are clipped into the end caps and they'll stay there. I sewed the inside brackets about 2" from the curtain edge so when they come together on the glide track, the curtains will overlap. I considered using some magnets to hold the plys together, but again, my fabric was too flimsy to support the extra weight. So I decided to sew some large hook & eye's at the top and bottom edges to keep the curtain closed. You can sort-of see the hook & eye's when the curtain is closed but I wanted to make sure we could open/close the curtain easily, at night. Next time, I’ll probably make the curtain with a little less center overlap, maybe 29” X 14.”

    Here's a picture of the curtain open:
    As you can see, the curtain sort of droops in front of the cabin light - again, flimsy fabric? I thought my husband might not like it, but he said it's OK.

    One thing I wish I had known - the glide brackets will snap onto the track without unscrewing the little end caps and sliding them on from the end - that was a real pain in the neck!
    Bear likes this.
  2. Pick

    Pick Novice

    Very nice job. I'd like to one day customize our curtains. Have no skill though will have to find a pro.
  3. Jay & Valerie

    Jay & Valerie Junior Ranger Donating Member

    I am getting ready to make curtains for mine as well. Where did you get the glide tape?
  4. birder526

    birder526 Novice

    These curtains look so nice and add a personal touch to the TD. Great job!
  5. Brett

    Brett Newbie

    Very nice. How many total yards of fabric did you have to buy for the curtains?
  6. pbaker2225

    pbaker2225 Junior Ranger Donating Member

    I wonder if I can just use the existing curtains for liners and add material to the inside to personalize. I haven't checked it out yet.
  7. adrianneross

    adrianneross Junior Ranger Donating Member

    Hi Pat, I've seen several campers that have attached a new fabric/quilt to the cabin-side (inside) of the curtains. You get your personalized style inside but you don't have to mess with re-attaching the glide tape.
  8. adrianneross

    adrianneross Junior Ranger Donating Member

    Hi Valerie, The glide tape was given to me, but I think it's fairly standard:

    The tape is 1" wide and the brackets are 1/2" (OD) 3/8" (ID).

    If you're the frugal-type, you could pick the old tape off with a seam ripper and re-use it. I sewed over some of my tape several times so there were a bunch of needle holes but it still worked OK - the integrity of the plastic wasn't compromised (too much) and no one's going to see it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2016
  9. pbaker2225

    pbaker2225 Junior Ranger Donating Member

    Thanks for your response. That seems like a good idea to me except for those folks that want more light in.
  10. adrianneross

    adrianneross Junior Ranger Donating Member

    Hi Brett,

    That's a tricky question. I'm not sure because the fabric was in my fabric stash - I laid out the Camp Inn curtains on top to make sure I had enough fabric. I think it was around 4 yards of 58" fabric.

    There are so many variables that you have to consider before you buy fabric - especially if it's super-pricey or super-rare.

    Most home-dec/Sunbrella fabric/lining is 54" wide (some are 45"). Most fashion & quilting (cotton) fabrics are 45" wide. Suitings can be up to 60" wide and some fine silks & vintage fabrics are only 36" wide. The wider the fabric, the less yardage you may need.

    If your fabric is a solid or a small-gauge, all-over print, then it doesn't matter if you cut your pieces lenghtwise or crosswise. However, if your fabric has a directional print (like stripes or hula girls all standing up in the same direction) or a large repeat (like a big plaid or the hula girls are really big), then you're going to have to be more careful how your position your curtain pieces to make sure they all look nice and consistent. That's going to take more fabric, sometimes A LOT more, especially if the print is really big.

    I would always recommend buying more fabric than you think you're going to need. You can always use the extra fabric somewhere else (hanging shoe bags, plate dividers, ditty bags, etc) but you can’t always buy more fabric!

    If you're trying to conserve yardage, or you're afraid to expose your fabric to UV, consider making the inside layer out of your awesome vintage/expensive fabric and the outside layer out of drapery lining (for UV protection).

    If you want to see your curtain from the outside of the camper - (it's super-cute, see: ) then use your curtain fabric for both layers. An outdoor/Sunbrella fabric would be best, but if you've got your heart set on a fashion/quilting fabric, than make sure to treat it with some kind of UV protection - the sun will disintegrate cotton very quickly.

    My advice is to take the Camp-Inn curtains, lay them out on a piece of 45" or 54" wide fabric (or lines on a table) so there's plenty of space between the curtains pieces for seam allowances/hems and measure the resulting length. That will give you a rough idea of how much fabric/lining you'll need to buy. Double it if you want to make double-layer curtains. If you don’t have curtains yet, but you’d like to start shopping for curtain fabric,then make some paper patterns in lieu of the actual curtains.

    The Camp Inn curtains are made out of self-lined drapery fabric. They have 1” (single-fold) hems on the sides and 3” (1” + 2” double fold) hems on the top & bottom. The side door curtains’ finished measurements are 28” wide X 20” tall (cut measurements would be 30” wide X 26” tall). The front window curtains’ finished measurements are 24” wide X 14” tall (the cut measurements would be 26” wide X 20” tall).

    If you want your front curtains to span the width of your camper (like mine) then the finished measurement would be 28-30” wide X 14” tall (cut measurement would be 30”-32” wide X 20” tall), depending on desired center overlap. The total length of the glide tracks on my front window is appx 56".

    Note: if you find a fabric you really like, but it's kind of funky and you're not sure how much you need, take your curtains/pattern pieces with you to the fabric store. Unless the store is super-busy, I've been able to roll out the fabric on one of the cutting tables, put my pattern pieces on the fabric to make sure everything is going to fit properly, and then figure out how much yardage I need. Don’t forget to double it if you want to make double-layer curtains.

    Note: if you're planning to wash your curtains at home, then make sure to pre-wash the fabric (according to the care label on the fabric bolt) before you cut it out - some fabrics can shrink A LOT on the first wash. If you're planning to dry clean your curtains, you may want to have the fabric prepped at the dry cleaners - just tell them what you're planning to do and they'll advise.

    When in doubt, buy more fabric.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2016
  11. adrianneross

    adrianneross Junior Ranger Donating Member

    I agree, that's why I left my plaid a single layer without a drapery lining - to let in more light in the morning. It's OK - it's a lot brighter in the cabin than it was with the CI curtains - but I don't like the way the plaid looks when the light shines through the curtain and it doesn't register very well from the outside. Anything lighter (in color) and I'm afraid you might be able to see inside the cabin (with the lights on) at night.

    Oh well, maybe a lighter-colored double-layer curtain like 4NA CAN is the best solution. With those CI curtains, we were sleeping too much!

    By the way, if we ever get stuck spending the night at a wayside, we've got eye masks for the bright parking lot lights - but we may want those CI curtains back!
  12. Theresa

    Theresa Novice

    Great curtains -- and they've given me an idea:

    Your curtains are almost, almost the MacLaren clan plaid. My husband would love our teardrop to be decked out in his clan plaid. Blue and green match nicely with camp items, and the dark colors would hide minor spills.

    Now, if I could find a good price on some flannel plaid for sheets and a duvet . . .
  13. rrjusa

    rrjusa Newbie

    The new curtains look great. There is very little space in a Teardrop to add any personal touches so other then bedding curtains would be the easiest thing to change and personalize. But it doesn't look easy. At least not easy if you don't sew much or at all. I can understand not offering custom curtains using whatever fabric you want but it would be nice if they offered a few different color choices. I've only been in a Camp Inn Teardrop once and I absolutely am madly in love with them. The curtains and one color choice is my one negative.
  14. adrianneross

    adrianneross Junior Ranger Donating Member

    If you can find someone who sews, new curtains are a breeze - they don't take a lot of fabric and the glide tape is readily available. Otherwise, I've seen people tack their fabric onto the existing curtains - all that requires is some slip stitching. This seems like a popular solution for quilt-block curtains.

    Another option would be to "hem" up the raw edges of your fabric using sewing glue (or some kind of flexible adhesive) and then use glue to attach the new fabric to the standard curtains. If you want all-together new curtains, you might be able to attach new glide tape to the fabric with glue but I'm not sure how that would hold up. Worth a try but I wouldn't do it with expensive/vintage fabric.
    rrjusa likes this.
  15. adrianneross

    adrianneross Junior Ranger Donating Member

    I'm going to make some new curtains for our camper and I struck out at the post-Chrismas fabric sales (a good time to find plaids). I did find a few US kilt shops that sell tartan fabric by the yard - these are the cheaper places I found and I thought I would pass the info along to any other plaid-minded folks out there:

    Atlanta Kilts
    100% acrylic $19/yard - Acrylic Tartans | Atlanta Kilts
    100% heavyweight (16 oz) wool $66/yard - Wool Tartans | Atlanta Kilts

    100% acrylic $20/yard - tartan fabric
    50% wool, 50% acrylic $30/yard - tartan fabric Wool Blend

    The Celtic Croft
    55% polyester, 45%wool "homespun" $30/yard - Homespun Tartan
    65% polyester, 35% viscose (rayon) $45/yard - Poly/Viscose Tartan, Poly Tartan, Synthetic Tartan, Synthetic Blend Tartan

    USA Kilts
    100% medium-weight (11 oz) wool $60/yard - 11oz. Tartan Cloth | Tartan Fabric
    100% heavy-weight (13-16 oz) wool $75/yard - 13-16oz. Tartan Cloth | Tartan Fabric

    Stillwater Kilts
    100% acrylic Piper/Long Plaid (52" x 108") $54 - a decent chunk of fabric, for the price (ask them not to "fringe" the ends) - Fringed Men's Piper Plaid

    Blue Desert Co
    If you like plaid and you don't care about a tartan, here's a good site for uniform plaids $13/yard with volume discounts - Plaid Fabric - School Uniform Plaid Fabric - 280 - 3280-3 - 128-1

    This company (and there are others out there) will custom print a variety of fabrics with your chosen design - on file or create-your-own - super cool! - Fabric – Shop for Fabric By Independent Designers – Spoonflower
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
    Tour 931 likes this.
  16. Jenn

    Jenn Junior Ranger

    This has been really helpful. Im hoping for new curtains and your measurements and tips on sewing on the brackets is great.
    Thanks for bringing it back to the surface.

Share This Page