I first shared this post over on Living with Punks as part of Susan’s Home Sewn Series.
I am so excited to be here today participating in Susan’s Home Sewn Series. I happen to love sewing for the home. I just don’t get to do it as often as I would like to. The one area I always seem to struggle with when it comes to home decor is curtains. Sometimes I like them, sometimes I do not. I never seemed to be able to find exactly what I want in the stores and since my to do list is already a mile long, making curtains always seems to stay on the bottom of the list. So thank you so much Susan for inviting me today. It is forcing me to get at least one home sewn project checked off my list.
As you can tell I made these curtains for our upstairs bathroom. I wanted the curtains to be short enough so that the kids are not pulling on them all the time and short enough so that they do not need to be opened or closed everyday. Now before we get started I have to mention that your amount of fabric and lace may be different then mine. So measure your window ahead of time and do the math below in the section where it says “determining what size to cut your fabric pieces.” This will give you the exact amount of fabric needed if you are headed out to the store. Use a 1/2″ seam allowance throughout.
*Spring loaded tension rod. You can purchase them at Walmart for just a few bucks.
*1 yard of fabric (less or more depending on the size of your window and how low you want your curtains hang) Determine you exact amount of fabric below.
*1 1/2-2 yards each of different types of lace. Try to purchase wider laces. I used 6 different types of lace and most of them were 2 1/2″ and wider. Again, it depends on how big your window is, how many rows of lace you want and how ruffled you want them to be. A good rule of thumb is buy double the width of your window. That should give you plenty of lace to play with and figure out how much ruffle you want. And just remember if you want your curtains to hang lower you will need more lace.
Determining what size to cut your fabric pieces:
Width of curtains: Start by measuring your window from inside to inside of window frame width-wise. Add 1 inch to that number. That is how wide you want to cut all 3 of your fabric pieces. Write down that measurement.
Length of curtains: Measure how far down you want your curtain to be. Write down your measurement. You are going to do a little adding and subtracting here, so stick with me. I am going to try and explain it as simple as possible. Now cut the 2 smaller pieces of fabric 7″ long by the width determined above. In the end this will give you 2 1/2″ of fabric hanging down once the curtain is finished. (This is the piece where you will be inserting your curtain rod.) Now subtract 2 1/2″ from the length that you determined you wanted your curtains to be. Take and double that number. That number is how long you will cut your piece of fabric by the width determined above. Did I loose you? I hope not. You are doubling the length so you wont have to hem any edges plus it will give a little more stability to the curtains.
Cut out your three pieces of fabric. The two smaller pieces of fabric will become the curtain rod sleeve and the larger piece of fabric is going to be the main part of the curtain.
Now lay the two smaller pieces of fabric right sides facing. Pin in place. Sew just along the sides. Do not sew the top or bottom. Turn right side out and press. Now take and fold the larger piece of fabric in half lengthwise with right sides facing. Pin. Sew both sides and along the bottom. Do not sew the top. Turn right side out and press.
Fold the smaller rod sleeve piece in half lengthwise and press. Lay your fabric pieces out flat.
Gather all of your lace and start ruffling each piece. How much you ruffle each piece is up to you. Once they are all ruffled layer them on top of the larger fabric piece. Play around with the positioning of each piece of lace until you have it to where you like it.
Now remove each layer of lace and mark with your erasable marker where those layers were positioned. Make sure you draw a line across the whole piece of fabric. You want to make sure your rows are even. At this time, also trim any excess lace on the edges. You want the ends of your lace to line up with the edge of the fabric. If you need to hem any of the edges do that now too. Just remember when cutting to factor in the 1/2″ sew seam. You can see below I was using some scraps from some previous curtains I made and I needed to hem the edges.
Starting at the bottom, pin the first row of lace in place. Sew lace in place. (Wow, say that 3 times fast!)
Keep working your way up to the top until all the rows have been sewn in place.
Now grab the curtain rod sleeve and line up the raw edges with the raw edges of the larger piece of fabric. Make sure all the raw edges are at the top and lined up evenly.
Sew. Finish off the raw edges with a serger or zig-zag stitch. Press seam down. You can top stitch if you want but it is not necessary. Now insert the expandable curtain rod into the sleeve. Hang your curtains and that’s it!
Some pretty new curtains for the home!
Thank you so much for having me Susan! You gave me the much needed push to get these sewn! It’s kinda amazing how a little set of curtains can really make a room look polished…even if my windows are not.