When I was looking for kitchen curtains, I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for within my price range. I checked Walmart and Target, but none of the colors matched my theme. So I decided to make my own curtains.
Yesterday’s bedroom curtains are a bit less involved, but these are still not too difficult. It took me one hour and ten minutes to make these curtains using a sewing machine (I made the tie backs the next day) and I’m not an expert seamstress. Since I can’t know the size of your window I’m going to have to give you generalized steps here.
When I started looking for material, I found that this cow pattern was more than I had expected to pay so in talking with the lady at the fabric store I decided to only use the cow motif material for the top ruffle and for the bottom panel of the curtain, and the tie backs. The plain off white material was $2 a yard, while the cow motif was $3.97/yard. In the end I spent $16 to make these curtains. Not as inexpensive as I’d hoped, but I thought a good deal for being able to customize with a design I really love.
So first of all you need to know how much material to buy. Usually bolts of fabric come in widths of 36″, 44-45″ and 54″. You’ll need to measure your window and get a height and width so you will be able to figure out how much you need to buy.
Let’s say your window is 30 inches wide and 40 inches in height (this is the size of my kitchen window). You want a valance (ruffle) at the top that is one foot in height. This means your curtain does not need to be the entire length.
In this case you are going to need two strips of the special material, one for the valance at top, and the other piece for the bottom part of the curtain panels. The top piece needs to be at least 18 inches in width and double the size of the window in length (in this case 60 inches) in order to have a nice fluffy ruffle at top. The bottom part can also be 18 inches in width, and should be 36 inches wide (your window is 30 inches wide, but you need a couple of inches for hemming and also to make the curtain drape a little).
The people (mostly women in my experience) who work at fabric stores are wonders at figuring these things out, so just tell them what you are trying to do and they will help you get the right amount of material.
Now for the middle section, you will need a piece that is 36 inches wide and 26 inches in length.
For the valance at top, you’ll be folding the bottom part of the curtain under and sewing a hem. At the top of the material you want to fold it over and make a hem, then fold it over again about five inches. Drop down two inches from the fold and stitch across length of the folded material. Use matching thread as this will be a visible seam. Drop down two more inches and create another hem across the length. This is where you will insert the curtain rod to hang the curtain. This should produce a nice ruffly valance at top.
The next part will be the curtains. There will be two, one for each side of the window. You will be making a similar set of stitches across the top of the plain colored material to insert the curtain rod. Hem the fancy bottom piece at the bottom and then take the plain white part and the fancy piece placing the outer sides together and sew together to create the seam.
Ideally you worked your material so that the part of the curtain that is on the far left and far right was the edge of the material so you don’t have to make a hem. If it didn’t work out that way, stitch a hem on both inner and outer sections of the curtains.
These curtains are easy to put together and can be easily taken down and put in the washing machine. If you like to change your kitchen motif from time to time you can easily create a new pretty set of curtains using this easy technique.
The tie backs were created with leftover scraps of material. I had two squares leftover after I cut the panels for the bottom of the curtains, so I cut the squares in half, sewed them together, folded them lengthwise and sewed down the edge. Reversed the sash, then sewed the end together. Then sewed in the buttonhole, which was amazingly easy with the machine.
Have you ever made your own curtains?