I thought I would show y’all today how to make curtains with a super simple tutorial. If you can sew a few straight lines you can make a valance that looks just like the one pictured. This quick and easy tutorial is for the beginner to the more accomplished seamstress that just wants new curtains. Come see how I make these fully lined curtains for the windows in my bathroom.
Want longer curtains instead? Try this tutorial!
- Patterned fabric (you can see where to buy fabric online here)
- Lining fabric (you can even use blackout lining like this)
- Sewing machine (here is my recommendation for beginners)
- Tape measure
- Straight pins
How to Make Curtains:
Step 1: Cut your fabric
Start with a patterned fabric you love and lining fabric in white. (ALWAYS wash your fabric before beginning any sewing of these curtains!) I used the width of my fabric as the width of my curtain. The patterned fabric was not as wide as the white so I cut the white fabric to the same width. I then needed the height of my curtain. I wanted the final valance to be about 16 1/2 inches from the very top to the bottom. In order to do that you cut 16 1/2 inches of your white material and add 2 inches to your patterned material (or 18 1/2 inches in this case).
NOTE: What if you need a curtain for a wide window that is wider than your fabric? You can make a series of these smaller curtains and hang them all on one rod. In my final picture at the bottom of this post, I used two of these smaller curtains on one set of windows.
Step 2: Sew the top and bottom seams
Begin with the right sides together and sew across the top and bottom. Yes you will have those 2 inches of excess pattern material but we will be ironing that in just a second. Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance when sewing. What does that mean? Run your material along the edge of your foot and your needle in the center of the foot.
Step 3: Iron
The ironing is a very important step in any sewing tutorial and especially this one. You will need to press your bottom seam flat and then pull up into that top seam to get your excess to fold over the top. I have given you a brief ironing demo in the video below. Why have the excess? I have made curtains before and not cut my fabric exactly right or sewn completely straight. Then you are left with a portion of the liner peeking out on the front of your curtain. This method is fool proof. No matter if you make a minor mistake on sewing — this curtain will look great from the front….trust me!
Now that you have ironed along with my demo above you have this excess folded over to the back and a nice crisp folded pressed edge…right?
Step 4: Sew the sides
It is time to sew up those sides. Turn your sides in about 1/2 an inch all along the edge. Use straight pins to hold in the edge until we sew it closed.
Note how my pins are placed. This is a fancy trick to make removing your pins easier when you sew so remember to place them horizontally. You can also see more tips for using sewing pins here. Second tip place one pin about 1 inch down from the top and another pin about 2 1/4 inches down from the top. I will show you what those are for in just a second. Remember the top is where you folded over all of that excess material when ironing.
Now begin sewing at the top and stop at the first pin that is 1 inch down from the top. Start sewing again at that second pin that is 2 1/4 inches from the top. Why did we just leave a gap in the seam? That is where our rod pocket will be in just a minute. Again I am sewing about 1/4 inch from the edge by allowing my material to run along the edge of my machine foot.
Step 5: Finish it off
After you have finished sewing both sides, go back to that unfinished pocket and open it up. Sew both sides a bit just to keep it from turning out when you put the finished product on the curtain rod.
We are now going to finish that rod pocket and I have a super quick and easy trick for you. Take tape and measure 1 inch from your needle. Lay your tape down so that the left edge is on that 1-inch mark. Do the same for a 2 1/4 inch mark. These will be your guides for sewing your rod pocket. This is a lifesaver, especially when sewing more than one curtain.
Run the top edge of your curtain through your machine running that top edge along your 1-inch tape edge. Then do the same while running the edge along your 2 1/4 inch tape. You have now made a rod pocket to hang your curtain.
The best part? You are done with one curtain! Hang it up and admire your handy work. Then if you are anything like me….get started on more for even more windows. Stay tuned as tomorrow I am showing off my entire home in a home tour that you won’t want to miss! In the meantime get started on some super simple curtains today.