How to Make Curtains

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How to Make Curtains

Even though there are plenty of places to buy curtains, making curtains gives the creator a chance to personalise the design and provides a sense of creative accomplishment. While there are countless ways to craft curtains, a simple curtain design often gives the best look with minimal hassle. Follow some basic guidelines to make curtains quickly and easily.


Getting Started

Some basic prep work will make the curtain making process simpler. Measure the windows to see what size curtain panels are needed. Pick out the desired fabric, and organise all the materials so they are easily accessible. Start with these basic essentials:

  • A sewing thread that matches the fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Sharp scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Rotary cutter
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Straight pins


Selecting Fabric

While the curtain fabric can be longer than the length of the window, make sure that they are not so long that the curtains begin to bunch on the floor. Measure out fabric from the curtain rod to where the curtain should end, and then add anywhere from 25 cm to 40 cm to allow for hemming.

There is a wide selection of fabric to choose from, from sheer silk to thick linens. For beginners, cotton is usually a good choice as it is easy to work with and makes for a beautiful curtain.


Measuring the Curtains

The length of the curtain will include the header and the bottom hem. The header is the top part of the curtain and will connect with the curtain rod. The hem is at the bottom and is designed to anchor the curtain by adding some extra weight. For light fabrics like silk, the bottom hem needs to be a bit heavier to keep the curtains in place, with up to 20 cm dedicated to this portion of the curtain.

When determining the width, keep in mind that twice as much fabric will be needed if the curtains should bunch up a lot. Buy as many panel bolts as needed, including a few extra centimetres just in case the fabric is cut wrong or if a mistake is made during the project.


Cutting Out the Curtain

When making multiple curtains, it’s not a bad idea to do each step to each curtain through the process. It can speed things up and ensure the curtains match.

First, cut each curtain panel using a rotary cutter or scissors, making sure each panel is identical. Cut through multiple panels at the same time if desired.


Making the Hems

Make the hem by folding the fabric from the bottom by 10.2 cm and then folding it once more by the same amount to create a double hem. Use pins or an iron to keep the folds in place, and then use a simple straight stitch to sew the hem in place, taking care to backstitch at both ends. Make sure to fold into the wrong side of the curtain fabric.

To keep the hems aligned, use a sewing gauge for more accuracy. For side hems, fold the curtain in about 1.25 cm and then a further 2.5 cm. There will be a smaller fold built into the larger fold at this point, which is then sewn closed along the smaller fold.


The Curtain Rod Pocket

The curtain rod pocket is made much like the bottom hem. Fold the top of the curtain down approximately 1.25cm and then fold it down approximately 2.5cm. Afterwards, iron down this fold and place pins inside before sewing the fold inseam closed.

Backstitch at both ends to make sure the pocket hem is securely in place. Leave an opening within this hem to ensure room for the curtain rod. The curtain is now completed.

When not using a curtain rod, there are plenty of designs to choose from to complement the curtains. There are also a number of variations to this basic curtain design, including stamping in holes inside the header to create hooks that hang from the curtain rod. However, these basic steps will provide plenty of options to explore for any future projects. 

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