The Camper Project: I’m Sew Crazy


HOLY YARDS OF FABRIC, BATMAN!  I have been putting some miles on my Brother sewing machine these last two days.  I’ve had the petal to the metal, and I’ve whipped out some FANTASTIC drapes for the camper.  I can’t stop going out to my driveway to window peep through the screens, and stare at their cuteness.  Does that make me creepy?

Do you remember these sad 90’s drapes?  Yes, what a sad and depressing sight.  Blah!3318217_orig


Before I could get started, I had to remove all of them.  They are attached by plastic tabs that slide into a metal track.  There is a screw that stops them from sliding off the track on each end, so I removed one of those screws and simply slid out the drapes.  After examining how they were made, I decided that the tabs were still in great shape and I could reuse them.

I went on the prowl for some fun retro fabric that would work with my antique tablecloth.  I had no idea where to start.  In fact, while standing in Hancock Fabrics (my last stop of the day), I almost had a nervous breakdown.  My creativity block showed up and my ability to mix pattern and color ceased to exist.  I could not go home without fabric.  COULD NOT!

I text my daughter, and asked her to send me a picture of the tablecloth.  I picstitched it with a picture I had taken of some fun pillow fabric I had found earlier in the day.  I literally walked around with my phone in front of me and looked at every bolt of upholstery fabric in the store.  That is when I stumbled upon this fun print.  It was merchandised with the nautical fabric, and that’s probably why I walked right on by.

I yanked that bolt right out of the wall, and I started singing Handel’s Hallelujah chorus in my head when I spotted the, “all outdoor fabric 60% off”!  What?  Hallelujer!




My first step was to seam rip those tabs right off the old drapes.  Easy.  Next, I started cutting into my fabric…well, almost.  As I laid the bolt on the table I noticed I could see right through it.  Well, that will not do, will it?  Ok, so I need some kind of backing.  I planned to zip on over to Jo-ann or Hobby Lobby, and I was really nervous about how much that was going to cost.  My mind was in super thrifty mode.  How can I save some money on backing for these drapes?  Three beautiful words then popped into my mind…TWIN.FLAT.SHEETS.  Do you know how much twin flat sheets are at Wal-Mart?  Let me tell you, they are $4 per sheet.  You can’t buy fabric by the yard for that.  Score!




Now I can cut my drapes out.  I measured my old drapes and they measured 42″ wide by 48″ long.  My fabric, with selvage measured 56″ long.  I like the idea of having a slightly longer drape, and I’m lazy and I don’t want to make another cut.  Don’t judge me.  Then, I cut out my backing.  I recommend, if you are going to go the cheap route like I did, iron your sheets before you cut.  I rushed my first cut and because of the wrinkles, my cut was not straight.

Another benefit to using a sheet, is there is already a bottom hem.  I just had to hem my outdoor fabric, and I did that by just folding over the bottom selvage and ironing.  I then stitched right across, securing the bottom.




Next, I put right sides of the sheet and fabric together, and stitched them.  I opened up the seam and ironed it, then I ironed it from the right side of the fabric.  That gave me a nice crisp edge to work with.  Then, I flipped both sides right to right, and stitched along the sides, leaving the bottom open.  I clipped the corners to remove bulk, turned it right side out and used my scissors to push those corners out.  I ironed the whole drape and flattened it out on the table.  I measured equal distance across the top for the tabs.

The first tab I figured out real quick was not going to work with my presser foot.  I dug through my sewing box and found my zipper foot.  This worked great, and didn’t push the tab up.  I stitched 2″ from the top of the drape and added the tabs as I went.  After I put the first stitch in the tab, they held themselves.  Even if you could figure out how to pin them to the fabric, you don’t need to.  They are very sturdy.

Here they are!






I just love them!  What a huge improvement to the original drapes.  They are so happy!

I still have four to make for across the bunks.  I have enough for two, so I’m going to have to make a trip back to Hancock.

Tomorrow I have painting on the calendar.  I’m trying to reuse or rather, use up old paint in our garage.  I’ll have to go out and search buckets for just the right color.

I’ve received a lot of feedback about #thecamperproject and I appreciate all your support.  This process, while very exhausting, is so much fun!  I’m having a blast creating and telling people about the project as I buy my supplies.  If you would like to keep up with the progress, check me out on Instagram and Pinterest.  Also, make sure you check back here for updates, or better yet, subscribe and have it dropped right into your e-mail.

I’ll see you all in a few days with my next update!  The camping trip is in just eight days!!!

11 Comments on The Camper Project: I’m Sew Crazy

  1. Laurie Burk
    June 23, 2014 at 8:21 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow such a difference! It looks so great. If you don’t mind my asking, why did you put all the effort into it? Were the old cabinet surfaces scratched or ? you just wanted to personalize and make it ‘your own’? It looks wonderful but I can’t help but think of ALL the work it would be.

    • Krissy Buck
      July 18, 2014 at 5:20 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you! I just wanted to make it my own. I didn’t like the 90’s country blue, and since I’m not much of a camper, a clean space is a must. I also just love the process. It didn’t feel like work, because I enjoyed every minute of it!

  2. Alexandra
    July 27, 2014 at 4:48 pm (3 years ago)

    How much fabric total did you use?

    • Krissy Buck
      August 12, 2014 at 9:47 am (3 years ago)

      Alexandra, I do not remember!! Someone else asked me the same question and I regret that I didn’t record the yardage! I’m so sorry I can’t help you more.

  3. tasha
    July 30, 2014 at 7:30 pm (3 years ago)

    I absolutely LOVE the gray floral curtains. Where did you find the fabric

    • Krissy Buck
      August 12, 2014 at 9:45 am (3 years ago)

      Tasha, I found that fabric at Hancock Fabrics at the end of last year. It was 60% off so I don’t know if they still carry it.

      • Jen Bednar
        August 12, 2014 at 11:37 am (3 years ago)

        The still have it! I saw it this weekend!!

        • Krissy Buck
          August 12, 2014 at 11:49 am (3 years ago)

          This is great news because I was thinking after I answered this question, that it would make a cute curtain to fill in the void under my vanity in the Airstream. I have a tiny bit left over, but I don’t think it’s enough. Thanks, Jen!

  4. Jen Morin
    August 11, 2014 at 12:24 pm (3 years ago)

    hi there,
    I’m just about to do new curtains on my 1993 coleman popup… did you have to use a stinger needle or anything for sewing the tabs on? I’m not great a sewing and figured since curtains are square it can’t be that hard. I’m a little worried about the tabs. I was thinking about ordering newer tabs that might have some flexibility in them. Any additional tips for the tabs would be great!

    • Krissy Buck
      August 12, 2014 at 9:44 am (3 years ago)

      Hi Jen! I used my regular sewing machine needle on my old tabs. The needle easily went through that plastic, but of course, I took it slow when I ran over the tabs. Because you can get a pin through the tab to hold it in place, it is easiest to stop right before the spot where you want the tab to go. Then, gently push it under your presser foot. If you put it in front of the presser foot, it will just slide forward. I hope this helps!

  5. Krissy Buck
    August 12, 2014 at 11:58 am (3 years ago)

    A couple of you asked about how much yardage I used. After reading this post and counting up the number of drapes I used, I think (I just flunked my college math placement test so you really should double check me :)) 10.5 yards. Each drape is 42″ wide by 56″ long (the width of most upholstery fabric) Remember to allow for seam allowances!


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