Quick Curtain Tutorial

If you are looking for the right curtains for your home and are having trouble finding something that you love, or if you would like to save money, or both, I’m happy to say that making your own is quite easy and only takes a few hours of your time. If you have a functional sewing machine and an iron, you have all the equipment you need. You don’t even need pins!

First, I will say that after many iffy sewing projects, I have learned that ironing is your friend. It really is. Don’t just pin something and then start sewing – iron first! The few minutes it takes is really what will make or break your sewing project.

For curtains, measure out how wide and long you want them to be. Buy fabric that is a little wider than you need, and at least 6 inches longer.

Begin by working on the long vertical sides first. Fold the edges over about a half inch and iron them so that the folded over crease stays in place. Sew the hem using whatever your preferred stitch is. I like a classic straight stitch.

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Ironed and stitched hem

On to the bottom. I like to fold it over once (to make a narrow hem), then fold that over again to make a wider hem. This way there are no raw edges showing. Iron the hem before you sew it into place. I also like to tuck my corners under for a crisp look, and so that none of the fabric along the back of the curtain spills over the sides to become visible in the front.

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This is what my bottoms look like. Bottoms of the curtains, that is!

I usually hem this part twice for stability, and I find that it looks nicer and keeps the piece from having any tendency to flip in weird ways. It sort of weights it to where it is supposed to be.

Hey, look at that! You’re almost done. Now for the top.

Again, I like to make a fold/iron a very narrow hem, then fold/iron again to make sure no raw edges are sticking out. When you fold over the wider hem this time, however, make it a good 2-3 inch hem size – this leaves a 2-3 inch pocket which you can then use to slide in your curtain rod. Make sure your pocket fits the curtain rod, iron it in place, then hem it.

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Make it look like this. Bigger or smaller pockets are fine to accommodate whatever hardware you have.

Iron the whole thing, and you are now done with your curtain.

I switched out the curtains in our front entryway with this new one – the old curtains that came with the house, while pretty, were black and blocked out a lot of light. Now the room is airier:

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Before – front hallway

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After – let the sun shine in!

Flimsy sheer panels in the kitchen were replaced by substantial drapes that now cover the entire window and are made from a French Art Nouveau inspired patterned fabric that I found at Wal-Mart of all places!

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These anemic sheers didn’t even cover the width of the windows

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Much fancier and more room appropriate!

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I love this fabric. It reminds me of a crepe restaurant I visited in Montreal. Bought some of it in black/white to make pillow covers for upstairs as well.

I don’t yet have the proper rods and tiebacks for either of these windows, so I’m tying them in the middle until I get better hardware. I’ll post more pictures once the hardware is up and everything is fully finished. In the meantime, this is still an improvement and an easy, fun, and inexpensive way to customize the home.

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