I have included pics and a tutorial for the custom curtains I just made for my bathroom.
Project: Custom Curtains
Estimated Time: 6-8 hours???
As I’ve mentioned before in my blogs, I have fibromyalgia so severely that I no longer work outside the home and I had to close my part-time home business “Stitches by Teresa” a few months ago.
WELL, my new rheumatologist has changed some of my meds and for the first time in many months, I felt like sewing last saturday!!!! SO, I decided to make curtains for my bathroom, a LONG overdue project.
I finished up the curtains today and also took pics so I could add it here as a tutorial for making your own custom curtains. This window is one of those that look like cubes. My hubby and I purchased a Palm Harbor pre-fabricated home 4 years ago after we lost our home to a fire. That was devastating, but God has really blessed us in our new home. I am very greatful for my home and I feel SO BLESSED.
Don’t you just love my model? My cat Charlie jumped up there as soon as he saw the camera! He’s a sweetie.
Before I make a custom project, I graph out my idea on graph paper and do the necessary calculations for the amount of fabric I will need, including seam allowances. I count each graph block as 2 inches.
In this project, I decided to use a tension rod to hang my curtains, so I only needed to measure the length and width of the inside of my window. My window is 34 inches x 34 inches square. I decided to make two curtain panels total for the space, so I divided the same measurements by 2. (= 17 x 34 inches)
I decided I wanted to hang the curtains with tabs, so I changed my calculations for the final curtain panel each to be 17 x 32 inches.
top seam allowance = 1 inch…bottom seam allowance = 3 inches
LENGTH = 17 + 1 + 3 = 21
side seam allowances = 2 inches each
WIDTH = 32 + 2 + 2 = 36
CUT 2 CURTAIN PANELS: 21 inches width x 36 inch length
If you plan to wash your curtains in a washing machine, you will need to either add more seam allowance so you can turn the raw edge under, or you can either zig zag or use an overlock stitch to finish the edge. I chose to leave my edges raw since my curtains are not going to be very big, and they will not be laundered in the washing machine.
For a swag, I wanted my finished piece to be 8.5 inches long and 20.5 inches wide.
Since my material was EXTREMELY lightweight, I decided it will be easier to work with the material if it was doubled. SO I cut my swag the following measurements:
CUT 2 SWAGS: 18 inches long and 21 inches wide
I set the swags aside until a later step.
I took my curtain panels and folded the seam allowances over toward the back of the material. I pinned the seam allowances in place. Depending on the fabric choice, you might want to iron the seams at this point.
I do not like bulky corners because it causes the corners to form odd angles and not look professional. Therefore, I sewed the corners together to look like this on the wrong side of the fabric:
I began on a corner with seam allowance 3 inches by 2 inches.
I used a fabric marker and drew a line on the RIGHT side of the fabric…from the corner to the inside where the seam should end…
I drew a mark on the fabric below before unpinning and marking the second seam.
NOTE: THESE ARE SEAM LINES, NOT CUTTING LINES
Once the two seamlines are drawn, unpin the corner far enough to lay the corner flat. You should have a straight line across the corner as illustrated below:
To double check my markings, I measured from the corner mark to make sure it was 3 inches by 2 inches where the corner was marked.
NOW mark the fabric 1/4 inch on the outside of the drawn line…TOWARD the corner…with a dotted line
CUT on the 1/4 inch dotted line you just made.
You can now unpin the adjacent corner and fold this corner onto it since it is a mirror image…
BEFORE cutting, you will need to mark the seam line at each end because you will need to match the seam line when folding it together to sew…
You should now have 2 corners cut.
Now you can mark and cut the same corners on the 2nd curtain panel…
after it is cut, fold the corner right sides together and line up the dots on the end…because the seam allowances are two different lengths, the sides will not meet up exact at the end, this is why you will rely on the DOTS to line it up correctly…I took a pic to show this…THIS IS NORMAL and CORRECT…PIN in preparation to sew
Now repeat the entire process for the corners with a 1 inch x 2 inch seam allowance.
You are now ready to sew your corners.
Place the needle in the “down” position directly into your marked dot. Remember, you marked a 1/4 inch seam, so this is your seam allowance now. It’s a bit hard to see in the pic, but you can see where my 1/4 inch seam allowance is marked on my needle plate.
Once you have sewn the corner, first clip the corner, then turn right side out.
Push the seam allowance toward the larger seam for further ease of bulk in the corner. (I’m sorry and please disregard my raw thumb…excema that I can’t seem to get rid of)
Now sew the seams down on all sides of the curtain. I actually sewed mine from the back side because my fabric was woven and thick enough to not look obvious on the front that it was the bobbin thread. I used the raw edge as my guide from the LEFT side of my foot. When I got to a corner, I stopped IN the corner seam, lifted foot with needle still down, and pivoted the machine CURTAIN PANEL 90 degrees into the next seam. I then just continued sewing from there. I started sewing from the top down so that my start/stop seams would be hidden by the tabs.
I then ironed my finished seams before going to the next step.
Now for the tabs…I decided to make 3 per panel, so 6 total. I cut 6 tabs 2 inches by 4 inches. Depending on your curtain rod size, you may need to make your tabs longer than 4 inches. My curtain rod is pretty small, so I just added the 2 inches that I left off the curtains and doubled it to total 4 inches long since it would be folded over the rod. I chose 2 inch width just because I knew that would be large enough minus seams to accomodate my custom buttons.
I then folded over the edges as shown below on the top row, middle tab.
Next, I folded over the end tip as shown, and pinned in place.
NOTE…I plan to add buttons on my tabs, so I chose NOT to cut the excess material on the back of each tab because it will serve as extra support when I sew on the button.
NEXT, I sewed a 1/8 inch seam on the sides and a 1/4 inch seam on the v-section of the tab as shown below:
NOTE: Cut excess strings as you go along for a neater finished product.
Now you need to pin your tabs to the top of each panel. Find the center of each tab and place a tab there…place the other two tabs approximately 1/4 inch from the edge of the finished seam.
Sew the tabs in place…follow up w/a zig zag seam for added support, and to make the tab lay flat against the panel. The tab should be pointed away from the panel and you should see the right side of the tab, and the back side of the panel until you add the swag and buttons.
I had sewn my tabs down, then flipped them over and zig-zagged across the finished edge…HOWEVER, I could have eliminated the first step…just didnt notice till I had already sewn all 6 tabs on there…either way works fine, though.
ALMOST FINISHED…just add swag and buttons…
To make the swag, fold swag material lengthwise to make a 9 inch by 21 inch rectangle.
Sew around three sides, leaving a small hole to turn inside out.
Clip corners and then turn swag out to right side.
Slip stitch the hole closed and repeat entire process for 2nd swag.
Pin swag to front of curtain panel in three places, as far down as you want the buttons to be, matching center and 1/4 inch from finished edges.
Tack in place with a couple stitches and reinforce (either by machine or hand is fine).
Now apply buttons. I made my buttons from leftover material that was used to make my shower curtain in this same bathroom. This is what unified my overall design in the bathroom.
If you do not know how to make your own buttons, I will now explain this process (directions are also included when you buy button kits). I purchased my kit at Walmart, but you can find them in fabric stores and online, as well. I bought three packs because each kit contained 2 buttons.
For my particular project, my shower curtain was partially transparent, so I added a piece of white fabric behind each piece of shower liner. This step is not normally needed w/normal fabric.
Cut material twice the size of the button cover.
Now place the white fabric/curtain liner over the metal button and push fabric side down into the white gadget on a hard, flat surface. The blue gadget makes this process easier.
Push fabric edges toward center, then press back of button in place.
Now just sew the 6 buttons onto the tabs, going all the way through to the back of the curtain panel.
Matching Shower Curtain…hanging above our shower.
The area is an irregular size, with a slanted ceiling…SO I measured the height from end to end of the area above the shower, then I laid out a shower curtain on my kitchen island with the finished edge included in measurement. I cut the curtain marking each side based on the height of each edge plus a seam allowance. I then cut a curtain liner the same size. I sewed the liner to the shower curtain at the top only, right sides together, then flipped it over and sewed a rod pocket into the top large enough for my curtain rod…works great to hold the moist heat in our shower!
I used the excess shower curtain material to make my buttons for the window curtain panels.
Our master bathroom is the coldest room in our house. This is what inspired me to do these 2 projects. Adding the shower curtain above the shower traps the moist heat into the shower instead of dissipating out into the cold room. Additionally, adding the curtain to the window and closing it during cold months should also help keep cold air out, warm air in. UNFORTUNATELY, even though I bought all the materials in winter, I didnt get the project completed till mid-spring, so I won’t know how well my idea worked till next fall/winter!.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you have questions or comments, feel free to ask away. I do not claim to know everything, I am only giving you examples of how I have learned to make things. There may be simpler ways out there, so please feel free to share this knowledge with me!!!!!
This is a pic of some more custom curtains I made…I did not match up the corners like I did in this tutorial. I noticed they stick out a little when I first saw the pic, but I didnt notice when I made them, or hung them up. They were still cute. (for a child’s play room…was a very large window and I made a bench cushion cover to go just under it):
Below is a rooster themed curtain I made for someone…I just draped it over my cabinet doors, so doesnt look as good as it did in her kitchen…I just forgot to take my camera with me when I delivered the curtain! DUH
Have a wonderful week!