Friday, July 25, 2014

Octagonal Window Covering

We have an octagonal window in our master bedroom. If you have the misfortune of also having an octagonal window in your house, you know how difficult it can be to find a window covering for it.

Our master bedroom is very long and up until late last year, our bed sat on the opposite end of the room from this weird window. We've gotten used to having a fair amount of light shining into our room. Our town home is on a courtyard and we have many neighbors who leave their porch lights on all night long, which illuminates our room.

When we began prepping our home for sale, we decided to do some rearranging. This put our bed (specifically MY side of the bed) right under the octagonal window. Did I mention this window faces east? During the winter, this wasn't a big problem, but once the sun started coming up before 7 AM every day, it became unbearable. I knew I needed to find a solution.

So, I set out to create a covering for this weird window. I succeeded, but it was so hard that I could not even attempt to write up a detailed tutorial. But, since these oddly shaped window coverings are so hard to find, I want to give you some idea of how I made this, just in case it can help some other poor octagonal window owner in the future.

First, get a pencil and a sheet of paper (or two or three) and a measuring tape. Measure and document the following:
  1. Each side of the octagon. That's right -- all 8 sides. Why? Because they probably are not exactly the same. I know mine aren't. My side lengths vary up to 1/4". I ended up averaging them.
  2. The total width of the octagon (from left to right... or right to left).
  3. The total height of the octagon (in theory, this should match the width, but again, mine didn't).
  4. The sides, width, and height of the window frame.
Once you have all these measurements written down and possibly drawn out, you are ready to start.

Next, select your fabric. I didn't want to spend money on this in case it was a huge embarrassing failure. I used some leftover blackout lining for the back. For the front, I used cotton. The red prints are Stampin' Up! fabric. I also used some off-white muslin.

Now, starting with the lining, draw your shape onto your fabric. Be sure to add a bit for seam allowances. I am terrible at math and haven't used geometry since the 8th grade, so this part was really difficult for me. Ultimately, I drew a large box using the width and height of my octagon. Then I found the center of each side of the box and measured out my octagon sides from there. My lining ended up with a lot of extra lines because I had to start over a few times.

Once you've gotten your shape drawn onto your lining and you're sure it's big enough to cover the window, cut it out!

Do the same with your other fabric. My floral fabric was actually a fat quarter, so it was not quite large enough to cover my window. I pieced my fabrics together to make it big enough before drawing and cutting.

Before you sew your pieces together, you'll need to add some loops across the back to feed your curtain rod through. Place one loop near the middle, then one close to each edge. Sew those onto your lining.

Now, pin your fabrics together, right sides facing. Sew around, leaving a space for turning. Flip it right side out, stitch your gap closed, then top stitch around the entire thing. Feed your curtain rod through.

You can see that my top corners do not stay up straight because my fabric is not very stiff. At the top of the curtain, I have added a few little squares of velcro with adhesive velcro stuck to the window frame. This keeps it up well enough that I am no longer roasted awake each morning at 6:25 AM. Mission accomplished, and though it is not perfect, it is good enough for me!

Do you have any oddly shaped windows in your house? I'd love to hear what solutions you've come up with.

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