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Westfalia curtains
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debbiej
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:00 pm    Post subject: Westfalia curtains Reply with quote

I've made curtains for my westy twice and was not happy with either effort. the first pair fit, but in looks were borderline conversion van and the second pair matched the exterior of the van, but not the interior. neither did they fit very well, had to pin edges together to have 'privacy'.

I just finished installing the third pair. I think third time is the charm. just came in from sitting out in the van admiring the new curtains. they fit the windows, the fabric is a great match inside and out, they drape nicely, they open they close. I'm very, very happy with them!!

part of the sucess of these curtians is fabric selection and part is careful measurement and sewing. part is making mistakes two times before, and not making them the third time.

I'd be glad to share the notes I kept for myself, with anyone who wants the measurements and instructions.

I wish I'd taken pictures of the process, but I will post pics of the finished product tomorrow.
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SGS
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am interested in anything you have to share on this subject. I can PM you my email address if you prefer not to share everything here.

Also, pics or it didn't happen
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motelvw
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's some nice diagrams and measurements.

http://www.vanagonwiki.net/wiki/Westy_curtains
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debbiej
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

those instructions are great for a van that has the hook and eye system of curtains. mine has the rods. Also, we have one of the outside front windshield covers, so I didn't make a front curtain. I've made one that works though, and could write up how I made it.

I don't know how to create a document with illustrations like that, I wish I'd taken pictures of the steps.

I can put the instructions and measurements here, but it would be a long post. there are a few more in the gallery.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

debbiej wrote:

I don't know how to create a document with illustrations like that, I wish I'd taken pictures of the steps.


And those instructions used to be in PDF form, which I've got a copy of. I used those instructions, to a point; I shortened mine from the originals and use magnets.

If you provide the dimensions (here, or PM me) of each curtain (including hems, pockets, etc.), when I get time I can make up some dimensional illustrations to add to both the Wiki and the PDF instructions.
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debbiej
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll post them, thanks!
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Leavin to Live
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My current curtain setup involves four $5 towels from Walmart, with the snaps added in. Whats best about this, to me, is they naturally fit perfectly and its always nice to have 4 extra towels on hand!
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Popsvan
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those look great! Where is that fabric from I really like it. We are in the beginning stages of curtains on our van same curtain rods you have.
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debbiej
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Westfalia curtains. 1984 with curtain rods.

what works best is fabric that has the pattern or design woven in. This just means the front and back of the material is pretty much the same. Choose a fabric with good weight. You want a drape-y fabric one that falls over your hand, not lays on top, all stiff. I wanted a fairly dense fabric so that I didn’t have to line it. Not just because of the extra effort, but because I wanted a color and design visible from outside the van as well as inside.
If you have access to a fabric outlet that has drapery fabric, the possibility is good for finding a perfect piece. you can order fabric on line, but really, you need to be able to see it and handle it and take a swatch out to the van to make sure it looks good with the upholstery. I just looked till I found something that would work.

I found a nice striped herringbone twill at hobby lobby for a pretty good price. The structure of twill allows a very soft drape with a dense weave.
I measured and determined that I needed 4 .5 yards of a fabric that was 54” wide.

This is a standard width for many fabrics. narrower would work, but a 50 to 54 inch width fabric gives a nice fullness.

These instructions are based on a 54” fabric. A few inches either way won’t change anything. It can however determine how narrow your side hems should be. If you find fabric that is much narrower, you will, of course, need more than 4.5 yards. each panel width is given, so you can figure out how much more.

I serged all the edges. this type of edge finish means you can fold the edges over once and stitch the hems. It allows you to make pretty narrow hems that look nice.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

If you don’t have a serger or a friend with one, you will have to finish your edges by turning under Ό” and pressing then sewing them.

Making these curtains will require a little familiarity with sewing machines, awareness of right and wrong sides of material and ironing skills.

To cut the pieces, fold the fabric in half lengthwise. Make sure the side edges are even and the starting end is straight, making a 90 degree angle to the fold. If the cut end is off grain or crooked, use a builders square and cut the uneven part off.

For the 6 curtains for the side windows;
Cut a 26” length of the 54” wide fabric. Cut this in half, each half being 27” wide. finish all edges, either with serger or by pressing under Ό”.
Measure and press, then sew:
½” hem on each side edge.
Hem 1” on bottom
Hem 1.5” on top. Sew a seam 1/4” from top of folded edge of hem, then 1 Ό” from top. You want these parallel rows of stitches to be far enough apart to let the rod slip easily. About 1”.

After you have done this to 6 panels, you have the side window curtains done.

For the rear, cut two 26” lengths, and cut them down to be 26” x 30”. (If your fabric is around 60” you can cut only one length.) For these panels, hem the sides in the same way, but make a 1 Ό” hem top and bottom. Don’t make the double row of stitching on these curtains, it makes it too tight in the window.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

For the sliding door curtain cut another 26” length of 54” width. don't cut this one, you will need the 54" of width.
Press and sew a ½” hem on each side.
Press and sew a 1 Ό” hem top and bottom.
At hardware stores they sell a thin bungee cord material by the foot. This is great stuff for the sliding door window. Get 2 yards of it.
After your curtain is hemmed and sewed, run a yard of bungee cord through each hem. I tried all kinds of fasteners to loop it, but what worked best was a good tight boy scout square knot.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
My curtain has 27” between the knots. It looks full before you put it on, but the cord holds it nice and straight.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



we have the exterior windshield cover, so I didn't make a front curtain. The last front curtain I made, I sewed seams at the corners that squared it up. Then sewed elastic into a section across the front. I used the visors, magnets and Velcro to hold it in place.
I hope this is helpful.
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engscott78
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work! Those turned out wonderful. Gotta give you an extra thumbs up for having the determination/patience to do it a third time. Well worth it!
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One more islander...
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great fabric choice, Debbie!

I agree; a woven-in pattern looks way better from the outside than something that's printed. Beyond that, though, the stripes and the colour combination that you chose go really well with the look and feel of the Westy.

Nice job!

---
Kathy
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whiteholopaw
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those curtains look great , can you tell me what type of rods those are , im going to have a go at making some ...


Thanks


Paul
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debbiej
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, we were gone and I didn't see your post. My van is an 84 and it came with it's rods. They are pretty specific to the westy, bent to fit in places. I don't know where they can be purchased. Maybe one of the favorite vw suppliers?
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1621
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I'm considering new curtains for my '85 Westy, and I've been reading through this thread and the wiki with great interest. However, it appears as if there may be some minor differences between the earlier and later models. Mine, for example, has the hooks and the tracks for most windows, whereas it appears debbiej's has a different set up with the rods.

My question is, does this change the dimensions of the curtains, and if so, which version is listed on the Vanagon wiki page? (BTW- I'd go measure myself but my van is located several thousand miles away right now)

Also, has anyone made any modifications to the curtains to improve the fit, or make them more utilitarian/functional? Pockets, extra snaps, Velcro, liners, etc.? I'm open to any and all ideas. I like the idea of improving on a simple design, but want to do it right the first time. Thanks!
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debbiej
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the hooks and track curtains have pleats sewn in. The construction and measurements would be different. There would be a pleat at every hook, probably a pleat tape of some kind sewn in the top. It would probably be thinner than most drapery tape.

You would also have a track over the sliding door, and my van used elastic between two snaps.

So yes, pretty different, sorry! Hope you find some good pattern & directions.
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BoneMachine
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent work, Debbiej! That material looks totally OEM, I'd swear it came over on the boat from Germany. Fantastic post, congrats!!
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW - here are a few quick pics of my (slider-type) curtains in my '86 (NOTE: no pleats!)

Inside:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Outside:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Hope it helps...
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schoonerman
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got back from the Philippines where I found a fabric shop with the type I was looking for, Dark blue/grey check, as I had no idea how many yards I needed, I bought what was left on the roll 27yds, for $30.
I gave my old curtains/ fabric to a lady from my Vanagon club to sew for me, as I had so much material she doubled them up so I wouldn't need a liner, she also made me a table cloth...lovely lady Very Happy
I got them back and installed yesterday and they look smashing.

Anybody like dark blue/grey check, got lots left??
Keep smiling
Mike
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1621 wrote:
Mine, for example, has the hooks and the tracks for most windows, whereas it appears debbiej's has a different set up with the rods.

My question is, does this change the dimensions of the curtains, and if so, which version is listed on the Vanagon wiki page?


The Wiki page has the dimensions for the vans using the tracks. If you want the original PDF version of those instructions, PM me your email address.

1621 wrote:
Also, has anyone made any modifications to the curtains to improve the fit, or make them more utilitarian/functional? Pockets, extra snaps, Velcro, liners, etc.? I'm open to any and all ideas. I like the idea of improving on a simple design, but want to do it right the first time. Thanks!


I changed the dimensions slightly by shortening the length by an inch or so (don't remember exactly how much, and the van is currently in the shop so I can't verify measurement until next week). I also got rid of the snaps on the curtains altogether and used small Rare Earth magnets instead, inside the side and bottom hems. This allowed me to ditch the crappy replacement wire on the passenger side of my van; it also allows for curtains that fit tighter up against the "wall" when closed.

Instead of a liner, I doubled up the material. But if you want a black-out or an insulating type of liner, now's the time to add it.
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

schoonerman wrote:
Anybody like dark blue/grey check, got lots left??


I bought a discontinued plaid fabric... almost every bolt available in the state of AZ. Laughing Made a bunch of matching stuff with it after the curtains, but still have a pile of it left. I'm keeping the rest for future repairs/replacements. You might consider doing the same, especially if this is fabric not available here. Wink
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