making your own curtains

Making your own curtains is a great crafting exercise, one that can take your little hobby up to the level of a practical skill-set. Able to provide an inexhaustible supply of gift ideas and new opportunities to explore different techniques, once you know how to buy and use drapery fabric properly your crafting hands will be in high demand. For the first part of our guide on how to make your own curtains, we covered how to plan and measure out your fabric. Now, we dive right into the fold with this tutorial on how to cut and sew your new drapes into shape!

Measuring and Cutting For the Panels

Find a large space on the floor and unfold your fabric (we should have listed 'good hands and knees' as one of the required tools before...). If your roll of fabric is a bit too long to unfold in its entirety, just do as much as you can. If the end of your drapery fabric isn't completely straight, try to make it so by cutting off as little as possible. It's then recommended you iron your fabric to so it's wrinkle free for the best possible accuracy when you come to cut and sew it.

Grab your measurements as outlined in our previous blog, and go down the side of your fabric, putting a pin down for the finished length for your curtains, and another one in the edge for the top and bottom hems. Once you are totally sure you've measured correctly, cut straight through the width of the fabric just after the second pin, then take out both. Repeat the process until you have the right total width of fabric needed.

If you're using patterned, not plain, fabric, you'll naturally want the patterns to match as they're lined up together. This requires the same process as above, but with careful observations that allow the patterns to repeat. The simplest way is to make a note of what the pattern looks like along the top cut edge of your fabric, then measure down the side and put the two pins in as you would for plain fabric. Now, continue down till you find where the pattern matches the top cut edge. Any fabric between those second and third pins should now be removed.

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For curtain and drapery fabric choice ideas, have a look at our newly added Clarisse collection stock by Clarke & Clarke.

Sewing it All Together

Now comes the crucial part. Take one full width of curtain and one half width, and lay the half width on top of the full width on a flat surface. Go down the length of the fabrics, pinning the two together whilst also making sure the ends are properly aligned. If using patterned fabric, make sure your half width is placed on the appropriate side of the full width so that the pattern is going in the same direction (you don't want part of your curtain to be upside down!).

Place one end of these pinned-together-fabrics under the foot of your sewing machine, aligning it so your stitch line is 2-3mm from the salvage (the self-finished edge of fabric). Stitch the full length of the fabric together, taking out the pins as you go. Repeat as necessary until all your cut fabric is now joined.

The hems are the last step, but luckily they will be pretty straightforward for you by this point.

For the top and bottom, iron the entire length of your fabric again, and lay it out face down with the bottom end closest to you. Fold up 6" (or your preferred hem size) of fabric, and place a pin as close to the crease as you can get, remembering to smooth out the crease as you go along. Sew the length of the fabric using your preferred stitch e.g. blind stitch, tucking the salvage end under and down in as you go. Repeat for the other side.

The side hem, repeat the process similar to above, however this time only folding in around 2" of fabric, once again remember to fold out those creases, and to fold in the salvage fabric. You should end up with a 1" hem down each side.

Last thing's last, iron the fabric one more time to get them looking perfect before going up. Then, with the help of a ladder/stool/tall person, hang up your curtains, and admire your efforts.

For all future DIY and guides, and to also keep up to date with all new products on Ajanta Studios, keep and eye on our Facebook page, Twitter and Google+.


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