Sunday, 9 October 2011


I promised to update you on the redecoration of the motorhome and it's coming a long a treat.  Just as a reminder,  this is how it looked when we got it.

It wasn't too long after we got the motorhome that Vivien offered me her old living room curtains, having got new ones herself.  I remembered them as quite a pale colour and she described them as green linen.  On the basis of advice from The Tightwad Gazette, I try not to turn down much that is offered me, in case people think I'm picky and quit offering.  I wasn't too sure about what I'd do with them, but I had an inkling of an idea and thought it was at least worth looking at them.

The first thing we did to the motorhome was to scrub the heck out of every surface we could reach.  Bill even bought a steam cleaner for the carpeted walls (I'm not sure it's entirely safe for him to watch those shopping channels on TV). 

Sorry the photos are weird - I never could quite figure out the best lighting...

Then we investigated what was under those bright orange seat covers and found celery green on all but one.  Since we don't care what colour the bed is, given it will be covered with sheets, as soon as I do some more sewing, that small problem will be fixed by tailoring a bed cushion cover for dining seat cushion, but we're not there yet. 

I was glad Bill took over the management of cushion covers at that point, as it meant taking everything off, washing, drying and putting the green ones back on.  They were such a tight fit, I think I would have conceded the wrestling match early on:  Shelley - 1; Foam Rubber - 3.  And that's not even figuring out which cover goes on which cushion.   So, can we have a round of applause for Bill, please?

I took Vivien's green linen curtains with us to Wales.  I hung them up in place of the blue, cut them off and hemmed them to their new mini-length.  I did the linings as well and closed up the hems as close as I could get to the original professional finish.  According to my calculations, I did 55 feet of hems that weekend, and enjoyed every stitch! 

I really love those green curtains (Thank you again, Vivien!).   Not only are they a perfect colour, the fabric was a dream to sew.  The linen isn't so shiny and formal that they look odd in a motorhome.  I think they look fabulous, in spite of the fact I haven't taken them down and ironed them (maybe on the next trip - we have the travel iron in there!).  Also, the colours are light enough to make the box feel a bit bigger, cool so they don't add a sense of heat, and neutral enough to be quite calming.  Can you tell I really like how this has come out?     

I took the remnants of the curtains with us to Belgium and in between sight-seeing trips, I sat and sewed covers for five pillows, four of them with zippers, all by hand.  I'd never sewn zippers into pillow covers - or made pillow covers for that matter - and certainly not by hand, but in some ways I find hand sewing easier as I am more certain of making the needle do what I want.  I would have put the zipper in the first pillow, but the zips came from the ugly red, brown and gold print pillows that came in the van (with the orange seat covers and the blue curtains - no wonder they drank!) and I accidentally let the slider off the end and never could get the teeth aligned and the slider back on.   Never mind, I have an idea of what to do with that now useless zipper - and the weird red/brown fabric.

I kept thinking that though I loved the small stripes of varying shades and widths for themselves alone, those stripes made sewing pillow covers the equivalent of a paint-by-numbers kit, only with much more satisfying results.   

So, the next projects will be the seat cushion and then trying to figure out how to replace the green chenille curtains at the front.  I think they are quite a pleasant colour and the fabric is very practical for that purpose, but they are very worn and haven't been mended very neatly.  I can't tell how to take them down and I don't like to think when was the last time they were washed.  There are loads of them and they are important for privacy in the sleeping area, so that will be a special challenge.  I'll let you know how it goes - next summer.


Carole Poirot said...

Wow, what a project! Well done for all the scrubbing, cleaning and sewing, the curtains do look very nice. I'd love to have a camper van one day and just enjoy long holidays on beaches etc...ah, one can dream ;-) Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog, have a lovely Sunday xo

Jo said...

Your changes look great. The lighter color makes it look like more space. (The operative word here is "look".) Love the way you tackle your many projects.

I am trying to decide if the curtains in the front of our coach can be taken down and laundered without causing shrinkage or falling apart!

Rick Stone said...

You've got that coach coming right along. (BTW, they are called a "coach", not a box.) Next summer you should bring the coach over here and we can tour together. I'm sure shipping cost would not be staggering. ;->

Shelley said...

M. Poiret - Thanks for stopping by; I'll be visiting you again soon, I'm sure.

Joanne - So glad to hear it's not unusual to have long-hanging curtains up front... I'm sure no one has died from them yet! Hadn't even thought about shrinkage - that could be a real problem!!! Ruffles, anyone?

Rick - Coach has another meaning over hear - sort of a posh, high rise bus with loads of luggage storage underneath. I think 'box' is very descriptive, though Bill points out it's a wooden box, not a metal one. Great idea (not) about bringing the thing over! I'm sure it's cheaper to rent one...then again, we did think about buying one and storing it up at my Uncle Pat's... We just have too many choices about travel.

Pauline Wiles said...

Woe on me, I have been absent a long, long time, I know.
This looks like a wonderful project (so many hems!) and I hope to see more...

Michelloui | The American Resident said...

This looks great! What a fun project (fun in a very satisfying way)! We would love to have a motorhome one day. Have fun with yours.