I made my first pair of curtain panels…and I didn’t even need a sewing machine (which wouldn’t matter anyway because I can’t sew…yet)!
I made these beauties for the studio office from this fabulous coordinating fabric. Three yards cost me only 25$ and I was able to reupholster a piano bench and make two 62′ curtain panels…WINNING!
Want to try it too? Well, these are the supplies that you are going to need:
Fabric (DUH!)- The amount depends on the length that you want.
Iron and Ironing Board
Permanent Fusible Bonding Web- Sold at any fabric store.
I used Stitch Witchery and it worked very well. I highly recommend it. Measure your fabric and cut it to the length you desire. If you have standard sized windows, 84″ panels will work (cut your fabric at 88″). If you have high ceilings, 94″ panels are better (cut your fabric at 98″). When you cut, keep in mind that you will be hemming the fabric, that is why you should add an additional 4″ to accommodate the seam allowance. My window is framed out or encased in the wall, so my panels needed to be short so they could fit in the frame of the window. My panels were cut at 65″ each and then I ended up hemming them a total of 3.5″.
Next, measure your side hems. I did a one inch hem on each side of the panels. I measured one inch and folded it all the way down the length of each panel. Then I ironed the hem down to create a smooth crease. Side note: Please excuse the stains on the ironing board cover, we are a real family; we actually use our ironing board 🙂
Then I cut my fusible web and placed in along the inside crease of my hem.
Following the directions on the fusible web packaging, I placed a damp WHITE cloth over the hem and placed the iron on top for 10 seconds. DO NOT DRAG THE IRON, LIFT THE IRON. I made the mistake of running the iron over the hem the way I would if I were ironing a pair of pants, and ended up with a wrinkled seam. Make sure to lift and replace the iron along the seam every 10 seconds, moving the damp white cloth with it. Do this until you have moved all the way down the side of the panel.
After I finished fusing the seam with the damp cloth, I removed the cloth and pressed the seam on both sides to ensure that its securely fused. Do the same for both side seams and the bottom seam.
Now for the tricky part, the top hem. Depending on the size of your curtain rod, you will have to measure a thick enough hem to accomodate your rod. My rod is a very thin tension rod, so I did a 2.5″ seam. If you have a thick rod, you may want to go with 3 or 4 inches. Measure your seam fold and iron it like you did previously.
Place measure and cut your fusible web and place it at the very bottom of the fold, away from the ironed crease.
Use the same ironing technique from before, making sure to apply your damp WHITE cloth before placing the iron on the fabric. And again DO NOT DRAG THE IRON, LIFT THE IRON. Allow the iron to sit on each section for ten seconds, lift the iron and the fabric every ten seconds all the way along the seam. Make sure to remove the damp rag afterwards and iron the seam again on both sides to insure complete fusing. When you are done, you should have a little pocket that you can stick your rod through. You could also do a regular 1 inch seam at the top and hang the curtain with clip rings. I wanted to have the option of being able to hang them both ways.
Then you are done! Hang your handmade curtains and stand back in amazement! Here they are hung by the rod.
Here they are hung with ring clips.
The whole process took me about an hour and a half (due to several interruptions by three very curious little boys).
Now I have curtain panels and a matching piano bench…and now I’m totally addicted :).