Curtains are a great way to update any room, and with this simple curtain construction method, my bedroom was transformed in just a couple of hours!
When I moved in, my windows had old mini blinds which were outdated and seem to always be dusty. I knew I wanted a nice sheer fabric that would let in a lot of light but would obscure the view since my bedroom windows face the street. I searched Cali Fabrics for sheer fabrics and came up with so many lovely options! I settled on this ivory striped cotton; it’s classic, easy to work with, and washable.
Luckily at my work we have a nice long cutting table which is perfect for laying out long lengths of fabric. I started by measuring my windows from the top of the curtain rod to the finished length I wanted. Then I added 3″ for the top casing and 1″ for the bottom hem. I cut two lengths for each window, plus four pieces for the valance.
Because my valance was only half the correct width, I put a flat felled seam in the middle. I started by sewing a 5/8″ seam. Then I turned that seam on itself and top stitched the edge. This creates a flat seam that isn’t very noticeable when they are hanging.
Next I hemmed all of the pieces. For heavier curtains, you’d probably want a wider hem to add weight, but for these breezy curtains I though a 1/2″ double turn was sufficient.
Here you can see the incorrect way to turn a hem, followed by the correct way. I’m using the seam to demonstrate how it is easy to put the top of the fabric when turning it, but it should be turned perpendicular to the edge the whole way down. Because the feed dog pulls the fabric from the bottom side only, it is easy for the top side to lag behind. To counter this, I turn the fabric about 5″ before my needle without tugging, grab all layers at the turn, then pull them gently against the needle and smooth out the fabric that is about to be sewn. It takes practice! Try this technique with a striped fabric; you can see if you’re skewing the edge if the stripes don’t line up.
I used the same double turn method for the top casing. It finishes at 1 1/2″ wide which means it’s a bit more difficult. I use my ruler to keep the width consistent.
One thing I love about this fabric is it is 45″ wide, so two widths of it cover my window nicely. Plus, the selvage was so clean and attractive I decided to just leave it raw rather than finish the edge. This minimized both cutting and sewing and I was able to complete them in about an hour and a half!
What a huge difference these made to my room! It’s so much brighter and softer.