Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dream curtains

Do you dream of curtains like these??
I do! I see them in magazines and online, but have yet to find anything similar at Target or Bed Bath & Beyond. And these, from Ballard Designs (a place I LOVE) go for a whopping $120 a panel! Too rich for my blood. So I recently set out find my own fabric & make my own.
Now don't mistake me for an experienced seamstress. I'm not even sure how all of the gadgets on my sewing machine work! But how hard can a straight line be?? I at least knew the first step. Buy fabric! I rummaged through wholesale shops to find the perfect ones. Check the back of the store first, before you fall in love with something full price.
Measure your windows & cut your fabric. For full curtains, like our faves from Ballard, you'll want to double the width of your window & add 4 inches for side seams. My windows are 30" wide, so I cut my fabric at 64". If you're a sewing newbie like me, you may want to use a measuring board to help with those straight cuts. For the curtain length, measure from your curtain rod to the floor. Add 10" for the top & bottom hem plus an additional 3-4" if you like your curtains to drag the floor.
See again, the pros at Ballard.
Start with the sides. Fold under 1" all the way down. Then fold again 1". This will tuck away any loose threads. I pin & iron my seam before attempting to sew it. It may seem like an extra step, but it makes my straight curtains...well...straight.
Next, sew the top and bottom hem. Turn the fabric under 1" and then an additional 4". Again, pinning & ironing is optional.
Attach your curtains to the rod with rings clips, and "voila", you're done! Here are the new curtains in my dining room! They only cost me 2 hours & $45, for 2 panels. Totally worth it!
I quickly took inventory of the rest of the rooms in my house.
My daughter's room needed some color so I made this turquoise panel.
It came out too short. Oops!
But hidden behind the chair, who needs to know, right??
For the guest room, I got bolder & braver and attempted to combine 2 different fabrics. What do you think??
Because I'm terrible at math, it took me a little longer to measure and cut the fabric, but sewing it all together was just as easy.
To sew the fabrics together, simply lay one on top of the other (FRONT to FRONT) and sew, leaving an inch or so on the other side. For you perfectionists, open up the seam and iron the "wings" back flat so that they lay smoother.
I then sewed a chocolate cord right on top of the seam where the to 2 fabrics met. Super easy! Just allow an extra inch or so when cutting the cord, so you can wrap it around to the back. Gives it a little extra something, don't you think?
Last but not least, I thought the shower curtain in the girls' bathroom could use a facelift. I bought it from Target a few months ago, and while I think it's super cute, I wish it was longer. That way I could hang it higher and make this little jack n jill bathroom look bigger.
The original curtain was striped on top with toile on bottom. I simply added the pink fabric to the bottom. I did the sides and bottom hem of the pink fabric first and then sewed the whole piece right to the the toile fabric. I should note here, to remember to lay the material front to front when sewing. Rookie mistake that I'd never admit to. I came back with a pink pom-pom cord right on top, just like the brown cord of the guest bedroom. Nothing to it.
Seriously! If I can do this, YOU can do this!
Grab an extra shower rod from Wal-Mart so you can hang your shower liner at the correct height. No need for cuteness to trump practicality!
So there you have it. Dream curtains, made simple, by YOU!


  1. Simply LOVE love the shower curtain idea! Think I'll have to try this one as I'm in the middle of remodeling ours at the moment. Thanks!

  2. Tiff... you make this look easy! YOU have inspired my guestroom curtains... I'll be in touch :) Abbey

  3. Okay, I totally love all of these!! SO CUTE! I have been wanting to make some, but I can ONLY sew a straight line, so maybe I can pull it off.

    Great inspiration AND motivation!

    Lou Cinda :)

  4. This may be a silly question but how do you get the rings on?


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