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Sewing magnets into curtains for a VW T4 Transporter Van

Sewing magnets into curtains, it sounds like a simple enough task, does it not? Well think again. Doing odd jobs such as these is when you find out just how many 'every-day' obstructions you have around you.

Why would anyone sew magnets into curtains for a van? Well for my partner and I, the reason was to do with an upcoming four day charity event called Rogue Run (which commenced on 2 May 2012). There were 12 people, 4 cars and 1 van. My partner and I were the ones in the van, and so certain interior elements such as curtains needed to be present, as we would be sleeping in it overnight at the campsites. Not only that, but we wanted to avoid being at the mercy of our fellow drivers' warped sense of humours, as much as possible.

This was the first time my partner and I were going to sleep in the van. We had done a test run prior to the charity event in the Lake District, and found that the new sleeping bag we had purchased, which was set to withstand colds of minus 13 degrees worked great, but we felt extra duvets, thermals and of course curtains would keep more of the heat in. The van itself is insulated, and has tinted windows, but we felt that we couldn't avoid it, curtains had to be fitted.

Without going into the logistics of what a campervan, motorhome or day van is, there are some of us who want to keep the van partially resembling a van after it has been converted. This means that we do not want the vehicle to contain kitchen appliances, too many cabinets, toilet and so on. We had the same perspective about curtains.

The only thing that had been holding us back up until that point was the cost. When kitting out a VW van the vehicle can be become a money pit very quickly. The cheapest way I could think of to solve this problem without spending any money, was to go round to my mum's and see if she had some spare curtain material (as mums normally do). Success, you can always count on my mum to hoard rubbish. She had some tasteful curtains, but only a little wire to secure them to the interior of the van.

I had an idea - I knew that from my art days that I still had some small magnets that would work brilliantly if sown in to the top of the curtains. As the van was metal they would secure anywhere, and they could also be easily put up and taken down.

The magnets I had were only small, around 1.5 cm in length and 0.5 cm in height. They were self adhesive as well but as this part was not required I kept the paper backing on. At the top of the curtain where the hem was, I made four small incisions and inserted the magnets, I then added a few stitches to keep it in place.

Again, this seems simple enough - however there was a lot of hassle endured in between the inserting of magnets and sewing.

It is only when you work with magnets, that you then find out just how magnetic normal day-to-day objects are around you, such as scissors you are cutting the sewing cotton with, the surface you are using, even the needle you are sewing with. By the end of it I was exhausted, as once I had moved the scissors to a safe distance from the magnets, I remembered that sewing in the kitchen was not a good idea, as the fridge is magnetic so the curtains got stuck to it, the hob rims were another, even my spectacle case is made of metal, so a simple job took me ten times as long.

Eventually everything was complete in time for Rogue Run, and they came in very handy. Even though they will not be a permanent fixture, for now they will do the job fine. 

Rogue Run 2013 is open for registration now, if you are interested please visit the website and go to the Join Us page




About the Author

Kelly Foxhall


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