Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Seaside Roller Blind and Philip the Seagull

Now that the weather is warmer and the schools have broken up for the summer we are using our new caravan to get away. The new caravan is great but lacks the personal touch that the old one had after many years of family holidays. This presents the perfect opportunity, however, for me to sew something.

I have already made a small pair of curtains to cover a cupboard opening here. My next project has been a blind to brighten up the shower room. The original blind was made from a grey, satin fabric which, although it was functional, wasn't very attractive to look at. I save most of my sewing magazines and found instructions for a roll-up blind in the October 2015 issue of Sew, Style & Home.

This is a very simple pattern which rolls up and is held in place with two ribbons. I wanted a seaside theme for the shower room and had two pieces of contrasting fabric left over from previous projects. I measured the window and cut a rectangle from each of the contrasting fabrics adding 1.5cm seam allowance on each side and 6.5 cm to the drop. Then I stitched the rectangles right sides together along the sides and bottom edge, trimmed the corners and turned the blind right sides out. My striped fabric is quite firm so I didn't need any interfacing to stiffen my blind but I would have added this layer if I had used two soft cotton fabrics. 

The original blind was held in place above the window with Velcro. I saved this before I threw the old blind away. I folded over a 5cm hem at the top edge, positioned long grossgrain ribbons to hang down the same length at the front and back and then sewed the Velcro strip to the top of the blind sewing over the top of the ribbons to hold them in place. 

The blind drops down when you untie the ribbons.

Being a small blind it is easy to roll up again. It gives the shower room a real holiday feel. 

Just for a bit of fun I knitted a woolly seagull. On holiday in St Davids one year my middle son, who was about 7 at the time, was mesmerised watching the seagulls wheeling overhead. This started a fascination with sea birds for him. He picked out a favourite on that day and named him "Philip". At each summer holiday he would look out for "Philip" and this remarkable bird followed us around the coast, always turning up at the beach we were visiting. Sometimes Philip was a Herring Gull, on other occasions he was a Kittiwake or a Black-Backed Gull, but he was always there for us. When my son was 11 he had to imagine he was an animal for an English essay and he was Philip the Albatross circling the globe, riding the thermals. Now I have my own little "Philip the Seagull" to bring back these happy memories.

I doubt that we will ever use the shower in the caravan for its intended purpose, but it is a very useful storage space and somewhere to get dressed in comfort. I like a site with a purpose-built toilet and shower block, with central heating if possible! The effort of carrying all of the water for a shower to the caravan and taking all of the waste water away afterwards removes the pleasure from a long, hot shower. But the shower room is now much brighter, more cheerful and a very useful space. 

Happy holidays....


  1. Such a lovely revamp of the shower room blind - such a perfect printed fabric for a caravan. How cute is Phillip the seagull! It's nice to have him accompanying your travels to bring back fond memories.

    1. I think this blind would work well on lots of small windows and could be made to match the decor in the rest of the room.

      We have just come home from a great holiday in France and have tested the caravan thoroughly. Philip seems to have had a great time!