Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Math IS Real Life: Curtains!


Today I'm linking up with 

for Math IS Real Life!

I've posted my classroom reveal and I really love how my classroom looks this year, but I really wanted to make some curtains for my big wall of windows.  I love my windows after being in the dungeon last year, but I wanted to add a homie feel to my room with the addition of some curtains! Here are the windows before the curtains.

  There are a total of 8 windows but there is only a break in the middle of the wall.  I knew that I would need to make 8 individual curtains - one for each window - because I wouldn't be able to to hand one SUPER long curtain.   I went to school and busted out the measuring tape - math use number 1.

 Each window measured 44 1/2 inches wide and since I only wanted the curtains to be half the length of the window, the length ended up being 32 inches.  I added an inch to each side for seam allowances and got 46 1/2 by 34 inches.  I then did a little multiplication.  46 1/2 X 8 and got 372 inches.  Fabric is sold in yards, though so I had to do a little converting. 372 divided by 36 = 10 1/3 yards.  Here is a look at how I did the math.

With my measurements in hand, I headed to Hobby Lobby to find the perfect fabric to match my cute orange, teal, chevron, and owl room.  This is what I found! Perfect teal chevron!!!!

Then I ran into a problem... The bolt was only 10 yards long.  I would need another 1/3 yard but not just a 1/3 by itself.  I sat with the helpful ladies at the cutting counter trying to figure out how to cut two separate pieces of fabric so that I would have enough for the last window in a single piece of fabric.  Instead of using the 46 1/2 measurement, we rounded up to 48 inches or  1 and 1/3 yards since that would give me a couple of inches for gather and and we could get the correct amount of fabric for each of my curtains.  I ended up getting one piece that was 9 and 1/3 yards and a second piece that was 1 and 1/3 yards.

When I got home, I realized that if I wanted the chevron to go horizontally instead of vertically, then I had to change my measurements again!  I cut the fabric into one yard sections (for the length) using my trusty yardstick, and then I had excess across the top for lots of gather!  When I changed the direction I was cutting the fabric, I was actually able to make 10 curtains that each measured about 46 inches wide. I decided that this was a benefit because then I could overlap the curtains on the rod for extra fabric.  

I decided that I didn't really want to sew, so I used iron on hem tape instead.  I ended up standing at the ironing board for a total of 3 hours over the course of the long weekend! And to take the no sew even further, I hot glued pieces of ribbon to the back of each curtain to use to hang the curtains. 

I took all 10 curtains to school to hang on my wall of windows.  I bought 8 adjusting curtain rods to use to hang the curtains.  Since I had no walls to put the rods between, I had to use some command hooks to solve my problems.  

Now the command hooks I needed come in pack of three, but I needed 2 hooks per window.  So 2 packs would cover 3 windows, 4 packs would cover 6 windows, 6 packs would cover 9 windows.  I only needed 16 hooks, but I had to buy the 6th pack to have enough with 2 leftover.  This is going to be a great math problem for my kids next unit!  I finally got all the rods up with the curtains - some overlapping, and this is the final product! The lighting is terrible because the sun is coming through, but they look great! I'm so happy with how they turned out!

How are you using math in your real life?

1 comment:

  1. Rissa!!

    First, I LOVE your windows! Second, I LOVE your fabric! Third.... what an awesome math problem!! I can't wait to share this post with my 5th grade teachers who are going to be teaching multi-step fractional word problems in the near future!!!! Thanks so much for linking up!!

    Mathematically yours,
    Jamie aka MissMathDork!


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