How to Make Curtains: Or Not!
Some of you may have caught on the hints I’ve been giving as to my current major project…my craft room! It’s been so fun, and in just a couple days I’ll be sharing the big reveal with you all, so stay tuned! For now, here’s my tutorial on How to Make Curtains: Or Not! You heard that right – how I goofed on a super simple project, then made it work out just great in the end.
In theory, my curtains should have taken me about an hour. In real life, though, it took about three. Want to know why? Because I completely guessed on the amount of fabric I needed. I ‘sort of’ measured the windows, then ‘sort of’ rounded the yard-age I’d need. Rule to the wise: always measure, twice!!! And err on the side of MORE fabric than you’ll need. I also didn’t take into account that the ruffles I wanted on my valence would require more fabric to reach the whole width….oops number two! To top it all off, I hadn’t realized that the fabric I chose was really thin, so I had to double it up on the valence. Strike three, I’m out!
So here’s the tutorial on How to Make Curtains (the CORRECT way)…..and stick around for the end and I’ll explain how I was able to make mine work out in the end!
- Main color fabric – measure for length and width for the valence AND the drapes. Keep in mind the more ruffles you do, the more fabric you’ll need because of the bunching. Also remember hems! DO NOT make my mistake and run short! You’ll need a little extra for strips to attach it to the curtain rod, unless you’d rather use ribbon.
- Lining fabric – I used this for just the hanging drapes (and doubled my main fabric for the valence). Measure your needs!
- Sewing supplies: machine, thread, pins, scissors
How to Make Curtains
- Carefully (measure lots) cut out your pieces. I had two windows, and did my valence pieces, plus four drape pieces (two per window). I cut a lining for each drape, as well.
- Hem everything! I did a simple 1/2″ hem. Make sure to pin it nicely, especially in the corners.
- To attach the lining, I simply sewed it to the main fabric drape along the top. This way they flow nicely at the bottom without being attached…plus it saves time on more sewing!
- Cut 4 strips of fabric per drape and 6-8 strips per valence, about 2″-3″ in width and about 5″-6″ long, or use thick ribbon. I then sewed them in a single line, spaced evenly out, along the top of the drapes.
- Use the strips to attach the drapes to the rod!
- For your valence, after you’ve hemmed all the way around, you do the ruffles. You can either use a gathering foot, or simply bunch it as you sew (that’s what I did). Watch your fingers…it can hurt bad, trust me!
- Attach 6-8 (depending on how wide your valence is) strips along your sewed ruffle line on the back of your valence (so the high ruffles stick up ABOVE the rod). Attach it to the rod.
See, easy-peasy! If you follow the directions and MEASURE correctly (smack my own forehead here)! Want to know how I fixed my shortage-of-fabric? Well, my original valence was longer than the final product…..as show here:
But it only reached part of the way across the window! Since I’d planned it longer, I was able to cut the bottom half off, hem it all the way and add the ruffles. Then, of course, the shortened piece was SHORTER than the main valence….so I cut it in half width-wise. The result: two shorter valences on the SIDES of the window, with the longer main valence in the CENTER of the window…..and it actually turned out kind of neat how it almost flows down longer into the middle:
What do you think? Would this drive you bonkers? For me, I like it for the time being. I’ll most likely replace them down the road, but for now I’ll keep them how they are.
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