Making Basic Curtains


Making basic curtains does not take as long as many other sewing projects because the curtains are basically just two large rectangles. All of the sewing lines are straight and easy to finish. These curtains be made to look as simple or fancy as desired by selecting different fabrics.

Taking the little bit of time required to make curtains gives a feeling of having accomplished something important because curtains last a long time. It is nice to look at the curtains and think, "I made those."  It is also nice to know the curtains can be replaced as easily and cheaply as the originals - no need to keep them "forever".

The supplies needed to make curtains are easy to gather. The first thing needed is something to measure the window and fabric. A tape measure, yard stick, or even a square will work. Other supplies needed are:

  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Fabric

Measure the area around the window. Include everything that needs to be covered by the curtain. Start at the top of the curtain rod and go at least a couple of inches below the window. Measure the sides at least 2 inches into the frame.

Do some simple calculations before cutting the fabric. For full, puffy curtains double the width of the window - for smoother curtains add half of the width of the window to the curtain's width measurement. Add 2 inches to the bottom edge and two inches to each side. The top will need more fabric to accommodate the curtain rod. Add 4 inches to the top if using a standard curtain rod.

Turn the sides under 1/2 inch - pin the folded fabric - and sew the sides. Fold the fabric 1/2 inch, pin, and sew again. Repeat this to finish the bottom hem of the curtains.

Finishing the top edge is a little bit harder because of the curtain rod casing - but it is still a basic straight line. Fold the raw edge under 1/2 inch, Pin and sew - just like the first step of the edges and the hem. This is where it changes a little bit - fold the edge under 3 1/2 inches, pin and sew.

To finish the curtains, top seam the top edge 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the edge. This will make a tiny edge that sits on top of the curtain rod to help balance the appearance of hanging straight.




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