I moved into a new apartment a few weeks ago. It is big and airy, centrally located, and- my favorite feature- it has a balcony (all meals= eaten outside). My bedroom windows have a nice view of the street, but they are east facing and the blinds are not enough to keep out that morning light. Not good for sleeping in. So, I made curtains for those naked windows.
I used 58″ wide home dec fabric (gifted). This was wide enough to cover the width of my windows. Unless you’re planning on washing them later, you don’t need to pre-wash and dry the fabric. Many home decor fabrics are treated with scotchgard and only need to be wiped clean. Alternatively you could line quilting cotton with muslin or use sheer fabric for your curtains. The basic premise for these curtains is that you calculate the length you will need to fold back for the hem, header, and curtain rod pocket. You add this to the target length of the finished curtain (how long you want the curtain to be when it’s finished). Then you fold and sew and end up with curtains! Here are the calculations:
A couple things you need to ask yourself before you start calculating the length of fabric you will need:
- where do you want your curtain to end?
- do you want a header on your curtain (the frilly part at the top)? I added a 2″ header to my curtains.
- distance from the top of the curtain rod to where you want the curtain to end.
- height of the header x 2
- 4 inches for a 2 inch hem (turned under twice)
- width of the curtain rod + 1″
- 1″ seam allowance
My curtain equation was: 66+4+4+2+1=77″
- 66″ length
- 4″ = 2″ header x 2
- 4″ for hem
- 2″ = 1″ curtain rod +1″ <- value “B”
- 1″ seam allowance
*you will also need to remember the sum of the last two numbers (value B + seam allowance), plus the height of the header (for my curtain, this number was 1+2+2=5). This is value “A”.
Once you’ve cut or ripped your length of fabric, it’s time to sew. Turn the selvages toward the wrong side of the fabric, then pin, sew, and iron in place. Turn the hem under twice (~2″ each time), then pin, sew, and iron in place. Measure “A” inches from the top of the curtain panel and turn this to the wrong side (right side facing out). Sew a seam the height of your header from the fold (eg 2″). Measure “B” inches (eg 2″) from this seam and sew another straight seam parallel to the first. Iron in place. Then hang your curtain!
It took me a couple evenings to make these curtains. The hardest part was making sure they were exactly the same length, but this was remedied by careful measuring throughout the folding and pinning process. Good luck with your curtains.