Friday, January 20, 2012

DI(fr)Yday: How to make café curtains

How to make café curtains

After moving into our new place, I quickly assessed all the windows, deciding what kinds of curtains they needed and making plans to sew them.

The big windows in the living room and dining room are going to have long floor-to-ceiling curtains in a bold black and white chevron print. The fabric came in the mail this week and I have it all cut and are ready to be made into curtains in time for my brother and his wife to see our place next week. I'm so excited about these chevron curtains, man.

But, for the kitchen and bathroom, which have smaller windows, I decided to make café curtains; black and white gingham in the kitchen and mint green in the bathroom.

How to make café curtains
How to make café curtains

One of the great things about cafe curtains is that they still let a lot of light in and look great whether the curtains are open or closed.

How to make café curtains
How to make café curtains

If you want to spruce up an area in your home, I highly recommend making curtains. They're practical and decorative, and you can choose from a wide array of fabrics, personalizing your space to your taste and vision.

You will need:

- 2 decorative curtain rods
- Enough clip-on curtail-rod ring for both rods
- Fabric (to calculate how much see step 3)
- Matching thread
- A sewing machine
- Fabric scissors
- A tape measurer
- An iron and ironing board

Step 1. Mount your 2 curtain rods, one at the top of the window and one about halfway down or wherever you want your curtains to fall from.
Step 2. Measure the width of the curtain rods. Hang a ring from the lower rod and measure the distance from the clip on the bottom of the ring to the windowsill or wherever you want your curtains to end.
Step 3. Cut your fabric into two pieces: the valance and the curtain. The valance width should be 1.5 times wider than the width of the rod plus 4" for side hems. The valance length should be 22.5". You can either make two curtains as I did or one long curtain if you don't want to be able to draw the curtains open. For now, cut one big pice of fabric; you'll separate it into two later. The curtain width for two curtains together should be 1.5 times the width of the rod plus 8" for side hems (if you're doing two curtains) or 4" for side hems (if you're doing one wide curtain). The length of the curtains should be the length between the ring and window sill plus 12.5" for hem, seam allowance, and facing.
Step 4. Cut the curtain fabric in half lengthwise.

The following steps should be done the same for both curtains and for the valance. I find it easiest to do each step on all three pieces before moving to the next step, rather than doing all steps on one piece before moving to the next piece.

Step 5. Cut a 4-inch wide strip from the top of your fabric to make a facing.
Step 6. Using your iron, press under 4" from the bottom of your fabric. Fold this under another 4", making one big 4-inch hem. Stitch hem in place.
Step 7. Press under 1/2" on one long edge of your facing.
Step 8. With right sides together, line up the un-folded edge of the facing with the raw edge at the top of your curtain. Stitch them together with a standard 3/8" seam.
Step 9. Press seam allowance toward facing.
Step 10. Press under 1" on each side of your curtain. Press under 1" more. Stitch these side seams in place, folding under the corners at the bottom as seen in the second photo below.
Step 11. Fold over the top of your curtain at the seam between the facing and the curtain. Stitch the facing down to the curtain right along the hem you already pressed for yourself in step 7.
Step 12. Clip rings to the top of your curtains and valance, spacing them evenly about every 5 to 7 inches.
Step 13. Hang the curtains and the valance.

Unfortunately, since my SD card broke this week, I was unable to get step-by-step photos for this project. But, I have captured the following images showing you what all your work should look like after step 10 and before step 11. These photos should help clarify anything confusing. Also, feel free to ask a question in the comments or email me if you need additional clarification.

The top right corner of your curtain:
How to make café curtains

The bottom right corner of your curtain:
How to make café curtains

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