A little plaid… Part 9 Final! (closet curtain)

The winter push for getting Moby back on the road has reached its end this weekend as I installed the remaining interior items.  Some work still needs to be done but this can be achieved without disrupting bus-related summer adventures.  Over the last few months, most of the work focused on interior improvements/rehab but a couple of mechanical issues also needed solving before the long excursions planned for the summer.  This morning I took a little drive to test the steering work and engine before I cross these items off my list.  I’ve increasingly looked forward to driving Moby again with each warmer day and cannot describe the enjoyment of today’s ride, short as it was and despite the drizzle. All functioned as it should and the mechanics are greatly improved.

Once back home, I began downloading pictures documenting the progress over the last few months and realized that organizing the almost 400 photos and then writing up the details is going to be a project in itself!  Where to begin?  Since the curtain project is the longest running, I think it serves as the best starting point.  The last curtain remaining is located behind the closet and is the easiest to replace, at least once the closet is removed.

The closet curtain wraps around a piece of plywood18.5 inches tall x 46.5 inches long and 3mm (~1/8 inch) thick that is secured with 6 screws to the metal surrounding the closet side window. This plywood also serves as a template for measuring fabric but make sure to leave some extra material to wrap around the wood for securing the curtain in place.  Remember if you are using fabric with a pattern to make sure it aligns with the pattern on the other curtains.

I’ve seen two versions of this curtain. The first involves wrapping the material tightly around the plywood for a smooth presentation. Cutting the fabric for this is easy as you just need to cut a rectangle about 4-inches both taller and longer than the plywood. The second version is a loose wrap with some gathers to make the curtain look like it hangs. I always preferred the latter since it matches the appearance of all the curtains.

The first step for this look is to cut a rectangle 4-inches taller (left to right in the photo below) and at least 14-inches longer (top to bottom in the below photo) than the plywood. The length depends on how many gathers you want in the curtain; more gathers equal a longer cut. We used a 60.5-inch long piece of material because it was the longest we had left. But I think this would be a minimum length at only 14-inches longer than the plywood.  After 1.5 years (no it shouldn’t take this long at all), it is nice to have this project finally complete.  Here is the link for the entire project:  https://zerotosixtyeventually.wordpress.com/category/projects/curtains/

The closet curtain wraps around 18.5 x 46.5 inches, and 3mm (1/8 inch) thick plywood which is then screwed to the metal surrounding the closet side window with 6 screws.  This plywood also serves as a template for measuring fabric but make sure to leave some extra to wrap around the wood to secure the curtain in place.

Plywood backer.

I've seen two versions of this curtain.  The first involves wrapping the material tightly around the plywood for a smooth presentation.  Cutting the fabric for this is easy as you just need to cut a rectangle about 4-inches both wider and longer than the plywood.  The second version is a loose wrap with some gathers or pleats to make the curtain look like it is hung and not wrapped.  I always preferred the latter since it matches the presentation of all the curtains.  First step for this look is cutting a rectangle 4-inches wider (top to bottom) and at least 15-inches longer (left to right) than the plywood.  The length depends on how many pleats you want in the curtain, more pleats equals a longer cut.  We used a 60.5-inch long piece of material.  After this, sew a gathering seam along the top, maybe an inch or so from the edge.  Without Martha, I would have forgone this step but I think it turned out to be very crucial in the both the final look and relieving headaches of getting the pleats correct.

After cutting the rectangle, sew a gathering seam, maybe an inch or so from the top edge, along the length of the curtain. Without Martha, I would have forgone this step but I think it turned out to be very crucial in the both the final look and relieving a few of the headaches in achieving nice gathers in the fabric.

After gathering the material along the seam, place it over the plywood (make sure the plywood is the correct orientation for the screw holes to align with those in the bus and that the side that faces the window faces the curtain).  Then gather the material to satisfy your desired look.

After gathering the material along the seam, place the fabric over the plywood (make sure the plywood is the correct orientation for the screw holes to align with those in the bus and that the side that faces the window is facing the back of the curtain). Then gather the material to satisfy your desired look.

Even out the gathers (if desired).  Our goal was to mimic the slider curtain and its regular pattern of gathers around each glider.

Even out the gathers (if desired) using the material’s pattern and pin them in place. Our goal was to mimic the slider curtain and its regular pattern of gathers around each glider.

Now turn the plywood over while holding the material firmly in place at the top.  Fold the material on to the back of the wood and pin the gathers in place.  You can check the results by picking up the wood again but make sure the material does not slip out of place.  Once happy, staple the the overturned edge at each gather.  I used 1/4-inch staples which barely poked through to the other side of the plywood.

Now turn the plywood over while holding the material firmly in place at the top. Fold the extra material on to the back of the wood taking care to keep the pattern lines in position to match the other curtains. You can check the results by picking up the wood again but make sure the material does not slip out of place. Once happy, staple the the overturned edge at each gather (top only, do not staple along the bottom or sides) and remove the pins. I used 1/4-inch staples which barely poked through to the other side of the plywood.

Install the wood/curtain in the bus.  I've seen a lot of installation in which only two or maybe four screws are used but this leads to warping and gaps between the bus and curtain.  I highly recommend using all six screws.

Install the wood/curtain in the bus. I’ve seen a lot of installations in which only two or maybe four screws are used but this leads to warping and gaps between the bus and curtain. I highly recommend using all six screws.

After trimming the extra material around the back edge, I used a little spray craft glue to keep the edges out of the way.

After trimming the extra material around the back edge, I used a little spray craft glue to keep the edges out of the way.

This is the final result; a curtain that looks much like the other hanging ones.

This is the final result; a curtain that looks much like the other hanging ones.

While all this work was going on I installed the correct glide stop for the sliding door curtain.

While all this work was in progress, I installed the correct glide stop for the sliding door curtain.

Glide stop, top view.

Glide stop, top view.

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