Easy Peasy Curtain Tutorial!

I've made some of the curtains hanging in my house right now, and I've been meaning to make a curtain for the teeny tiny window above my washer and dryer in the laundry room.
See, it used to look like this and it's a weird size. It made this room seem so bare...
So, to get started you're going to have to install your hardware and measure the width of the hardware. Also remember to measure the depth, as they tend to vary (if you're using a straight rod, don't worry about this measurement). Mine measured 27" wide plus 2" for the depth.

So, to figure out the width of curtain needed: width (27") + depth x 2 (4") = 31" wide.

Now measure from the base of the window hardware to the bottom of the window. You'll want to have enough length to cover this window, even though it'll all be gathered in the end. My window measured 34" in length. I made my curtains 38" long, just for good measure.

Now that you have the measurements for your window, let's get our materials:
I originally picked out the tan batik, added the blue batik in for an accent, and you need a muslin or plain fabric for the lining.

What amount of these fabrics you'll need will depend on your window size. Just remember the measurements and get enough fabric to cover that area.
I grabbed the last half yard of the tan batik, so I didn't have enough for my original plan... But, looking on Pinterest this week (yes, I'm addicted) I saw a curtain similar to this style and I loved it!

What you need to cut:

Measure the height of your hardware. Make sure your top 2 strips are wide enough to slide over the hardware with seam allowances taken into account. Cut the 2 strips the same width and make sure they're wider than the width needed in the end.

Whether you decide to use two fabrics like I did above, or use one, make sure the combination is wide enough for your window.

Piece the two sections together, the top 2 strips will be the top section, the bottom 3 strips will be the base section. Once pieced, trim your top section to the width needed and trim the base section to the height needed.

Cut a top section and a base section out of the lining fabric measuring the same as the pieced sections.

Also, from the accent fabric (the blue) I cut 2 strips 1" wide by WOF for the curtain ties.
Pair the top lining and sewn pieces together, right sides together.
Begin sewing along one side of the segment starting at the seam, sew towards the top of the section.
Sew to the corner, stopping 1/4" from the edge.
Leave the needle in the down position and lift the presser foot.
Turn the fabric 90 degrees aligning the edge with the presser foot.
Put the presser foot down and continue sewing along the top of the fabric.
Sew all the way to the corner stopping 1/4" from the edge.
Once again lift the presser foot and pivot the fabric while leaving the needle down.
Sew all the way to the seam, back stitch or lock in a few stitches and now repeat the steps above with the base section.

Align the base section and it's matching lining fabric right sides together. Sew all the way down one side from the top, along the bottom, and up the other side. Leave the top of the base section open.
On both sections, trim the excess fabric from the sewn corners as shown above. Turn the fabric right sides out, make sure the corners are nice and square, manipulate the seams if you must to get the seam at the edge and press.

Turn in the unsewn edges of the top section 1/4" and press.
Lay the base section right sides up. Align the curtain ties on either side of the center between 1/4 and 1/3 of the way from the edge. (I aligned mine with the sewn edge, so the ties would blend in a bit) The ties should extend beyond the top of the base section about 8-10".
Align the raw edge of the top section with the raw edge of the base section.
Pin all of the layers together, I pinned through the curtain ties twice so they wouldn't shift while I am sewing. Sew along the edge, but be careful with the curtain ties, you don't want to sew the end accidentally. Press this seam towards the base section.
Change to a thread that coordinates with your fabric. Just above the accent strip, stitch in the ditch along the entire width of the curtain. This will be the edge the hardware will rest upon when the curtain is hanging.
The stitching should blend in so when the curtain is hanging, no one will notice...
Last steps! Lay the curtain down, wrong sides up, with the curtain ties extended (both ends, the bottom of the ties are hidden in this photo since they're not as long as the curtain.
Begin folding up the curtain from the base.
Fold up the curtain to the desired length you wish to see hanging in the window. I like to make this style 1/3 - 1/2 of the original window height. Since we made the curtain much longer, it will fill out the ruffles nicely.
Make sure the folds are all roughly the same overlap and length.
Once you're happy with the length you've achieved, fold down the top of the curtain ties and fold up the bottom of the same ties. If there's any excess (and I'm sure there will be) just fold it into a nice little bundle and put a pin through the ties. Repeat for both sides.

Sorry, I didn't show the pin, but my camera died. The reason I prefer to use a pin for this step is simple - until you get the look you want, you may want to change the folds. Just simply unpin the curtain ties and re-adjust. You can sew this once you're happy if you want, but a pin will work just fine...
Attach the curtain to the hardware, mess with the folds and turn them into a full ruffle and TADA!!!
It really has added some needed color into this room without being too loud. Plus this window faces the west so if I'm doing laundry when the sun is setting, now I might not be blinded anymore!
Plus an added bonus, this window looks out onto the original corn feeder for the squirrels. Once I hung the curtain, I looked out to see a munchkin snacking away.
The curtain blocks what it needs to, but doesn't hide my view completely which I love. It's still perfect for squirrel viewing. (:

And there you have it. Easy. Peasy. Curtain. All in all including taking the pictures and cutting the fabrics, this took me just over an hour to make and hang. Not bad. It's an easy way to add a little personality to your home, even on a budget! Seems much more sensible than the curtains at the department stores. Have you shopped lately for pre-made curtains? They're ridiculously priced! I think that' why I've made 3 curtains for this house... There may be more to come, the world may never know!

If you have any questions on this tutorial, feel free to leave a comment here or e-mail me at rubybluequilts (at) gmail (dot) com. I know with this one I kinda left you out there a bit more on your own than I have in past tutorials, but this one is soooo specific to the window you are trying to spruce up, I can only give you guidelines.

Once you master these basic steps, you can expand on your curtain skills in the future. You can find all sorts of ideas and styles by doing an image search online. Either that or sign up for Pinterest and become completely addicted like myself!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I'm soooo glad I finally made this curtain and hung it today! This window has only been bare for the 2.5 years we've lived here so far, and I've been wanting to do this for years. No joke. It's a small accomplishment, but it's something! Hope to be back soon with all sorts of wonderful. I'll have updates from Shipshewana soon!

1 comment:

  1. All curtain very nice and they are really useful for design our house.
    Roller blinds


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