Today I am going to show you the step by step process to make your own DIY Designer Curtains! Several years ago I contacted someone to have a set of custom curtains made and when I received the quote I was shocked at how much they were. Guy’s I’m talking $500.00 to $800.00 for a set! There is absolutely no way the hubs would ever go for me spending that much on curtains.
So I thought if I had a sewing machine surely I could make them myself. Even though my 7th grade home economics class was the last time I had been behind a sewing machine. Christmas was quickly approaching so I asked for a machine as one of my gifts and started practicing sewing a straight line as soon as I opened it.
Once I thought I had it down I spent one Sunday sewing my first set and they turned out okay, but they could have been better. Fast forward to last week I knew I needed to finish the curtain project I had been putting off for over a year for the room to finally look somewhat complete. So I started tackling the project and they turned out great! Much better than the first time around and I wanted to share my process with you in hopes that you can learn to make your own and also save some major money.
Plus I’ve included a Free Printable Guide at the end of this post!
- Sewing Machine
- Seam Ripper
- Ironing Board
- Fabric Shears or Sharp Scissors
- Fabric (I used 6 yards you will need to calculate it depending on how long you want the curtains to be)
- Thread (same color as fabric)
First, you will want to look at the washing instructions for the fabric you purchased, typically this can be found on the site you purchased the fabric or make sure to ask if you purchase your fabric in a store.
Follow the instructions and wash and dry the fabric *only if directions state it can be dried* Some fabrics may shrink up in the dryer. The fabric I used was actually quilting fabric so it is pretty thin and I thought it would shrink quite a bit but it didn’t. Don’t worry if it does shrink some, you want to make sure it happens before you start sewing and not after. Doing this allows you to wash your curtains at any time and not have to worry about shrinkage.
Decide how long you would like your curtains to be once finished. Then allow 4″ for bottom hem and 2.5″ for top hem, so you’ll want to add roughly 6-10″ to whatever you would like your final length to be. Then make the cut down the center of the fabric like so. I purchased 6 yards of fabric and just cut it in half because I didn’t mind them being extra long. Make sure you look at the fabric repeat (pattern) before you cut to check that everything will look the same on both curtains.
Once your fabric is cut its time to iron! Make sure all wrinkles are gone for the most part because you don’t want wrinkly curtains hanging on your wall, that doesn’t look good. Typically I iron the reverse side of the fabric just to be safe.
Iron the entire panel first, then go back and iron both of the lengthwise edges. This is what you will be hemming to make it look professional, it is much easier to sew when everything is ironed into place.
To iron those lengthwise edges I folded them over 2″ and iron into place down the whole edge. You can do less if you’d like, I just like the way it looks when there is a bigger hem.Make sure your selvage edge is folded under where it is not visible. Do this to both lengthwise sides of the panel.
You can also pin into place once you’ve finished ironing just the help it stay in place. Just remove the pin as soon as you get close to it while sewing. If you want to line your curtains skip this step for now.
Once you’ve done both sides of the panel you will locate the top of the curtain. When choosing the top hem make sure the fabric is going the right direction on both curtain panels and fold the edge over tucking the raw edge in then fold over to 3″ and iron into place. Note: If you’d like a bigger hem you can change the size.Lined Curtains: I did not line these curtains since they were being used for a bed crown but if they are going on window’s I recommend lining both panels. You can do this with a $5.00 twin size flat sheet from Walmart in either cream or white. Cut the side hems and the bottom hem off of the sheet. Then take your seam ripper and unstitch the top hem of the sheet then iron the entire sheet.
Next, take the sheet and place it over the top of the reverse side of the curtain. Make sure that the top and the right edge are lined up perfectly. Now carefully tuck the sheet under the ironed edges on the top and right side that you completed earlier, then place your pins. I usually place pins every 7-8 inches. Make sure you are also grabbing the sheet as well with your pins so it all stays together.
Now you’re ready to sew!
Lined Curtains: If you are lining your curtains you will only sew the right side and the top side. Removing the pins as you go. You will want to start your needle about 1/8th from the edge. Don’t be nervous just try to keep it as straight as possible. Be sure to back stitch each time you reach the end through this entire project.
Unlined Curtains: If you are not lining your curtains you can sew both lengthwise sides and the top hem now. Being sure to back stitch each time you reach the end through this entire project.Lined Curtains: Once you’ve sewn the top and right edge lay your panel out on the floor. Making sure you get it as smooth and taut as possible then cut the excess sheet/ liner on the left side off. This needs to be large enough to tuck under the left side hem so be careful not to cut too much off. Also be careful not to cut your fabric. Once the sheet is properly tucked go back and pin it just like you did on the left side and top. Now you’re ready to sew the right side.
Unlined curtains: Now you’re ready to iron your bottom hem. Iron a 4″ hem into place and also place a couple pins to hold it while you hang the curtains to make sure 4″ is enough for you. Once they are hanging up check to make sure you like the way they look and if they are too long you can add more hem. I like mine to puddle on the floor so I didn’t bother testing.Once you have the bottom hem figured go back and make changes if you decided they needed to be shorter. If not just pin in place and then sew the bottom hem.
Yay! You’re done! See that wasn’t so bad was it? I promise it gets easier the more you do it. I did so much better on my second set than my first, also don’t stress out if they are not perfect. I mean when have you seen someone go over and pull back your curtains to give them a once over? Here’s my completed look. If you missed last weeks post I was supposed to have a full reveal of our daughter’s room, but the longer I was in the room the more I hated the furniture. Needless to say, we came up with a new plan for her bedroom you can check out the post for more details here.
You can see here how much the curtains puddle. I love the way they turned out and wish the furniture wouldn’t have given me fits but I’m over it now. Craigslist here we come! The plan we created for her room will give her much more function and just look better in general.
This weekend we’re starting a new project that we have been putting off for what seems like forever. We finally decided which direction we are going to go in our home as far as style and it really helped lay the groundwork for all of our projects from this point on and I can’t wait to share it with you guys. I will fill you in on what all of this means and where we are going from here very soon. No, I didn’t forget the free printable guide I promised you! Please see instructions below to find out how you can receive this awesome two-page printable guide.