To Buy Or To Make, That Is The Question

I meant to get out my sewing machine and dust it off. I really did. Except one day I rounded the last corner of the last aisle in the home section of TJ Maxx and there they were, my new bedroom curtains. They practically jumped out of someone else’s cart and into mine. I’m not kidding.

So here are the curtains that were in our master bedroom.

Curtains Before

 These sheer curtains with the burnout pattern were holdovers from our apartment in Germany. When we moved back into our house, I had enough panels, I just used them as place holders in almost every room. I always meant to replace them with something more substantial, less transparent. I seem to favor linen fabrics, so that is what I had in mind. Something light-colored and plain, maybe with a dark border. Then I found these curtains in TJ Maxx. I picked them up off the shelf and another shopper said, “I just had those in my cart. I was looking for a bedspread to match.” Ha! Her loss and honey, you don’t need things to match, just coordinate! That is a lesson for another day.

New Curtains

A linen looking fabric that I love, plus a pretty pattern that adds a nice touch, but coordinates easily with nearly everything. Two 96″ panels for $30. Score! I picked up two packages. I like to hang my curtain rods high on the wall, so I need the eight foot panels instead of the typical seven. If I were going to make my own curtain panels, I would purchase about three yards per panel. Well, it’s unlikely I’d find six yards of fabric that I love for $30. If I can find fabric I like for $10 or $20 a yard, that is a deal, $5 a yard is an absolute steal!

Here you can see the new panel on the left and the old sheer curtain on the right.

Curtain Comparison

See how transparent the old curtains were? The new panels let the light through, but they feel so much nicer. Here is where I apologize for the poor picture quality. It’s a combination of an inexpensive camera (I don’t want to spring for a DSLR just yet) and my favorite photo editing website has not been working for me lately. Ugh! To avoid the window burnout, I took the following picture at night.

Curtains After

I like my new curtains so much better than the old. It isn’t a dramatic change visually, but when you are actually in the room, well, it FEELS so much nicer. That seems to be a running theme with me lately, not so much the dramatic change, but a minor change that makes a room feel better. Full disclosure, I did wash the curtains before I hung them and they shrunk to just the right length. Whoa! Not sure I’d take that risk again.

So, that was my To Buy or To Make choice that pretty much decided itself. Have you had decisions like that? Have you ever had something go from another shopper’s cart to yours? Did you feel lucky or guilty?

This entry was posted in Decorating and tagged , by Jennifer. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jennifer

I'm an interior designer at my core and a big fan of simple pleasures and Mother Nature. Originally from Iowa, I've lived up and down the East Coast, plus Alaska and Germany (thanks to my husband, who must have nomadic blood in his veins). Currently I'm a Yankee in South Carolina, trying to keep up with my son and constantly adjusting to life in the South.

2 thoughts on “To Buy Or To Make, That Is The Question

  1. Ok, so I wasn’t sure was the other lady ok that you took them or she wanted them? That is funny! I’m glad you found the right curtains. As much as I like to sew curtains kind of bum me out. All that fabric to deal with and it takes patience and time to do it right. So I’ve never made any! I always buy them. It’s so much easier and like you said less expensive too!! Then you can spend the extra money you save on another project!!

    • She didn’t sound mad and she did put them back on the shelf. There was another pair left. First rule of TJ Maxx, keep it in your cart while you think about it. Second rule, if you buy it, you can usually return it. Huh, maybe we should do a post about shopping etiquette.

      Fabric for pre-made curtains is so inexpensive, I once bought a shower curtain to make a valance and I’ve thought about buying curtains at World Market for fabric to make pillows. The problem with pillows is that the inserts are pricey. I guess keep using coupons at JoAnn’s.

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