How does a man make curtains? Apparently with little flowers on the fabric.
For my first real sewing project since a duffel bag in 8th grade Home Ec, I wanted to make some cafe curtains to go with the new paint color in the kitchen. Despite the substantial gap in my stitchery resume, I was pretty sure this project would go just fine because it really only takes a bit of careful measuring and four or five straight line stitches to make a curtain. No problem.
As I alluded above, I did in fact pick a fabric with cute little flowers on it. The yellow detail on the flower is a great tonal match for the kitchen paint, and the background sage is a nice coordinate. I was going for a pattern look that looked vintage but not stuffy or dowdy, and I think I did pretty well. The pattern also proved a great choice for another reason I hadn’t expected or planned: the small regular pattern made it really easy to set straight lines with the iron by matching the pattern at the crease.
For my curtain design, I wanted to keep things simple and clean looking. This means a single curtain panel, width of about 1.5x the window size, and no extra ornamentation. Here are the steps I followed in my curtain construction:
Sewing Window Curtains
- Cut the fabric to to 1.5x sash width by sash height plus 10 inches. For my 27″ by 25″ window sashes, I measured 42 inches wide and 35 inches tall. The extra width provides gathering on the curtain rod, and the extra length provides the top and bottom hems and the rod pocket.
- Press, pin and stitch 1/2″ on each side of the fabric along the entire length.
- Press and pin 1/2″ at the top of the fabric and then measure another 2″ down and press a crease. This will create a 2″ overlap, with the 1/2 ” top edge folded back up inside the overlap.
- Stitch a straight line along the bottom edge of the 2″ overlap to create a pocket, then bisect the pocket with another stitched line to separate the top hem from the rod pocket.
- Press and pin 1/2″ up from the bottom of the fabric.
- Install the curtain panel in the window, then fold and pin the corners to set the curtain height. Press along the line established by the pins– this hem should be about 5 inches.
- Sew along the top edge of the bottom hem to finish the curtain.
- Hang the curtain panel!
Not only was this a fun and easy part of my kitchen project, but it was affordable, too. The cafe curtain rods cost just $6 and with help from a 30% off sale at the fabric store I spent an additional $17 on the curtain material.
Kitchen Project Cost Tracker
- Material: $17
- Cafe rods: $6
- Sewing machine and thread: $0 (on hand)
- Previous work: $111
Total so far: $134
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