How to Make Curtains

I learned how to make curtains several years ago when I was in college and I made some arched curtains for my parents' bathroom. I also remember watching my grandmother make curtains for a uniquely shaped window when I was little.

Curtains don't have to be complicated unless you want them to look that way.

dining room curtainsSimple curtains in our dining room

Before we got married, I was busy with several other projects leading up to the wedding, so I made basic rectangular curtains for our kitchen and dining room. The loops at the top are made of 1 inch wide ribbon that I sewed on.

Better for Allergies

I make my own homemade curtains not only because they look nicer and are the right size, but also because many store bought curtains make me sick. Literally!

The last time my mom brought home new drapes, I developed a sneezing fit and started to get a head cold. I  am very sensitive to chemicals such as fire-retardants.

I also have a dust mite allergy and the curtains I made can be thrown in the washing machine as necessary. Some kinds you buy cannot be washed very easily if at all. See more about washable fabrics in the sections below.

When you make things yourself, whether it be food or curtains, you know exactly what goes into them. Knowing how to make curtains is a very useful skill.

Steps for How to Make Curtains

  1. Measure the area you want covered. Remember most curtains go just beyond the window frame.
  2. Develop the dimensions for each layer. Start with your measurements of the window and add the seam allowances (5/8 of an inch is standard).
  3. Decide how the curtain will attach to the rod at the top and calculate that into your measurements for how much fabric you will need. Remember that the depth of going around a rod will shorten the hanging distance.
  4. Draw your pattern on a large piece of tissue paper. If your design is symmetrical, you only need to do half then fold the fabric along the edge when you cut it out, just like with bought sewing patterns.
  5. Proceed as with a regular sewing pattern, pinning the paper, cutting, and sewing.

What Kind of Fabrics to Use

I like to make my curtains from washable materials. It cuts down on the dust and mildew if you can throw them in the washing machine every couple of months. This is really important for people with a dust mite allergy.

kitchen curtainsThe same cotton-linen blend fabric in the kitchen

When deciding on what type of fabric to use, you should look for something washable and consider how thick it is. You probably want it opaque enough so that the neighbors can't look inside at night yet thin enough to let some filtered light in during the day. Some people do double curtains with a thin layer for the day and heavy drapes for use at night.




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