Monday, October 25, 2010

Making Easy Peesy Panel Curtains

I have a separate sewing blog. Did you know that? Well, I haven't been great at keeping up with it (even worse than this blog). So, I've decided that, for now, I'll combine them both.

As was the case when we announced to our family about my pregnancy with Troy, I made bedding, curtains and pillows to announce the upcoming arrival of our second child.

I did make some pillows, pillow shams and curtains for Troy's soon-to-be new room. Our plan is to put him in the new room when the baby is a few months old and needs to go in the big crib. I'm praying and crossing my fingers that he'll cooperate in a full size bed at around 22-24 months old...

While I was making these curtains, I thought it would be fun to share with you how easy it is to make panel curtains. Here goes:
First, you should choose your fabric. Below is a photo of when I was trying to decide on the bedding, pillows and curtains for T's new room. Oh, and this is how I "announced" to Brian that we had another baby on the way. Surprisingly he "gets" my sewing mind sometimes and knew I was telling him we'd have to decorate the room:

Step 1: Measure your window. The width of the fabric of your curtains should be at least twice the width of your window. For my window, it is 6 feet (or 72 inches) wide. Double that and I would need two 72" panels. Honestly, I used two 64" panels (the same width of the roll of fabric). When purchasing the fabric, the length should be however long you want your curtains to be PLUS 10 inches (8 inches for the bottom hem and 2 inches for the top hem).

Step 2: Square up your fabric (sorry, I forgot to take a photo of this). Using a rotary cutter with a cutting mat and grid, cut each width and length straight (don't tear the fabric, sometimes it makes panel curtains more difficult - hopefully your fabric is heavy enough to where you can't rip it). Don't cut the selvage - that is your straightest edge.

Step 3: Cut the panels the length they should be (don't forget your extra 10 inches to add into your length).

Step 4: Lay out one panel and turn up the bottom 4 inches. PRESS! Turn up another 4 inches and PRESS. PRESS!!

Pin along the bottom hem. Straight stitch along the top pressed edge. Step 5: LINING. Yes, your curtains will be lined. If you've never done this before, don't freak out. To me, lining things is easier than not. Your lining material should be equal to the length of your finished curtains PLUS 2 1/2 inches. Also, the width should be SIX inches narrower than the width of the curtain fabric. Cut as appropriate using a rotary cutter to make it square.

Step 6: Turn up a 2 inch double fold hem (similar to the bottom hem of the curtain fabric). Press and pin in place.

Stitch along the upper fold for your hem.

Step 7: Place your curtain and lining fabric with the RIGHT sides together. Your lining fabric should be placed exactly 1 1/2 inches ABOVE your curtain fabric. Stitch along the outer edges.

You will have to manipulate the lining fabric a bit since it is narrower than your curtain fabric.
Step 8: Turn the fabric right side out.

Step 9: You will now need to press your curtain. Lay it all out and make sure that your curtain fabric extends 2 inches beyond the lining material on the BACK side of your curtain. Photo is below. Press the whole curtain. Be patient because your panel will be large and you will have to work with the fabric to make sure it stays even in the back.
Step 10: Time to finish the top edge. Lay out the top edge of your curtain with the lining fabric on top (see photo below). Make a double fold 1 inch hem. Your hem should extend just a little over the top of your lining material. Pin and sew.
By this point your child has probably decided to wake from his/her nap.

Get back to sewing the top edge and finish before your child becomes annoyed with you not paying close attention to him.
Allowing your child to play with your sewing box is acceptable, under close supervision.
Once you have finished sewing the top edge, you should mitre the bottom corners of your curtain. I'll try and post this at some point. This time, I wasn't able to finish due to the child in the photos above.
Here is the room before:
And after: See the curtains hanging? I used curtain pins with loops to attach to the rod. This is my preferred method of hanging curtains.

I hope this was helpful! Trust me, it is SO easy!


Shana said...

ummm... bea-u-tiful. but even with your concise directions...I'm still confrused...(yes I meant to put an "r" in that word..)

btw..I knew you weren't serious..but really felt like I needed to apologize anyway!! miss you!!