I do not proclaim to be an excellent seamstress, or even that creative or good at DIY projects. However, I do know that I desperately needed curtains in all of our bedrooms and in our dining room, and I nearly upchucked when I started looking at price tags.
I have a sewing machine, I can do simple projects, and JoAnn’s had a 70% off sale on their curtain fabrics and hardware. This created the perfect storm!
I started by searching Pinterest and really didn’t have much luck in finding a very simple pattern. So, I bought a basic bedroom set pattern that included a pattern for easy curtains, and I modified to what worked for me.
I started in my son’s room. He loves Spider Man. I couldn’t find Spider Man curtain anywhere. So, I decided I would use this sewing machine that was just sitting upstairs, waiting…
The end result:
I am very happy with the outcome. His room gets cold in the winter and really hot in the summer, and the curtains are helping with both. Plus they make such a difference in the appearance of the room.
Since my confidence was boosted by the results of my first project, I decided to tackle the Dining Room.
We only had mini blinds and I really didn’t like the look. Here is the before:
And here is the after:
I still need to get some sheer curtains for the middle to complete the look, but I love the difference!
Here’s what you need for this project:
1. Material. Plenty of it. (more on this in the instructions)
2. Muslin or a thicker material for the backing.
3. The obvious: scissors, sewing machine, pins, thread…
4. Measuring tape
6. Curtain rod and hardware
Now I have to re-state that I don’t sew a lot, so this is very basic and simple instructions, and I don’t know all the sewing lingo. Hope this makes sense!
1. Measure your windows. Length and height.
2. Take the length and double it. For example, the windows are 64″ long, but I wanted the curtains to go to the floor, so I added the extra inches to the floor. Since I knew I would need two panels, you double that number. Then add on a foot or two to cover hems and material needed for hanging the curtains.(If you are worried about getting the amount of material wrong, you can reference a pattern. For an 84″ finished length panel, for example, you’d need 5 3/8 yds of material.
3. Purchase your materials. Make sure to purchase some type of backing, (muslin works well) in the same measurements (minus the extra for hems) For my sons room, since it is a smaller window, I was able to use normal material, (yay for Spiderman!) but for the dining room and bedrooms I bought actual curtain material, which is wider and heavier.
4. Iron your materials!
5. Take the backing material (muslin, or in the case of the Spiderman curtains, I used a dark navy material) and your curtain material, lay them front to front and pin them together. Sew around three sides, leaving the bottom open.
6. Turn it right side out. Iron again so that it is nice and flat.
7. Hem the bottoms. You can do a thin hem or a wide hem, whichever you prefer. (Hint: when I made mine, I hemmed the backing directly to the front material. I have since seen curtains in which the backing is hemmed separately and this keeps the material from bunching together and looking poofy. I will hem them separately for the bedroom curtains. In the example below I turned it up four inches and then pinned the top under and sewed along all four edges.)
8. To hang the curtains you can go with several options. You can buy ring hooks that just pinch on to the top of the material, you can just fold the top over and sew another hem leaving the ends open for the rods (I did this in the Dining Room) or you can sew tabs onto the top for the curtain rod. (I did this for my son’s room. It was simple to do, but much more time consuming, and you want to carefully measure to make sure all pieces are even. I suggest making a pattern to ensure your flaps are all the same size.** you can look for an actual pattern – I did find a pattern for an entire bedroom set, and I used the pattern to make the loops for the curtain rod, but you can also easily make this pattern by hand.)
*If you choose to make tabs like on the Spiderman curtains, you will make 10 rectangular tabs. Making these tabs and sewing them on is not difficult, but without good pictures, (because of course, I did not take any!) it will be difficult for me to explain. If you really want tabs, I suggest getting a pattern… Simplicity 5600 has a pattern for tabs. However, I recommend just doing the easy flip over and double hem the top leaving both ends open, and put the rod through!!
9. Choose your hanging option and implement!
10. Iron again.
11. Hang curtain rod. (Or have husband hang them.)
12. Hang curtains and enjoy!
13. You may want to also make some simple tie backs or purchase Hold Backs, or just let the curtains hang.
In both cases I made the curtains in two days. It really is just a matter of straight sewing. The hardest part was making sure I got the measurements correct!
If you have any questions or suggestions on improving this (since I am a novice I would love any helpful hints before I make my next round of curtains!) I would love to hear them!!
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