New Curtains Part 2: Drapes

I am thrilled with how easy these were to construct, and with how great they look!  If I do say so myself 🙂  They match the green paint in our room perfectly while still brightening the room and adding some more interest to the walls, especially since we don’t have a headboard or anything.

sewing out on the sun porch rather than taking over the dining room table

Here is how I made the drapes:

1.  Measure curtain rod and length from rod to bottom of where you want the drapes to be.  Write that number down.  For me, that was 64 inches wide by 57 inches long.  However, I added 6 inches to the width so that there is a little extra fabric to cover the window and block out the light; so let’s call that 70 inches by 57 inches.

2.  Divide the width in two for two panels.  So I wanted to have two panels that were each 35 inches wide and 57 inches long.  I cut 2 pieces from the blackout curtain material that exactly fit these dimensions.

3.  However, because of the big double hems that a) look good on drapes and b) help them to hang nicely, you have to do some more work to determine the size you need to cut out of the printed drape material.  I wanted a 2 inch double hem on each long side, a 2 inch double hem on the top, and a 3 inch double hem on the bottom.  So, I added 10 inches to the length and 8 inches to the width.  Therefore, I cut out two pieces of printed material that were each 43 inches wide and 67 inches long.

you kind of need a lot of space to cut all this out!

4.  Flip the drape material printed side down.  Arrange the piece of blackout material on top of that so that you will get the size hems you want.  Roughly, this piece of blackout material is 6 inches from the bottom edge of the printed material, and 4 inches from the edges of all the other sides.  Or so.  I just eyeballed it rather than measuring it all out.

5.  Fold up a section of the long side so that the bottom of the printed piece touches the edge of the blackout material.  Fold again, so that you have about 2 inches of “stacked” print material cover the edge of the blackout material.  Pin.  Do both long sides before doing the short sides (obviously, you’ll have about 3 inches of stacked print material over the edge of the blackout material on the bottoms side).

flip up the edge about 2 inches so it meets the edge of the blackout matieral; then fold up again so the rough edges are all tucked inside

my 38 week pregnant self scooting around on the floor cutting and pinnning all of can see how the edges are double folded and pinned ready to become double hems

5.  Sew with a 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch seam allowance from the “blackout edge” of the printed material (in picture below).

6.  To secure  the corners, I sewed diagonally from the corner of my hem to the corner of the material itself.  I didn’t draw a line before I sewed because it was a short enough distance that I was confident I could do a straight diagonal line just by looking at it.

7.  Attach rings.  I decided to buy 3/4 inch plastic rings from the fabric store.  The woman who worked there told me to sew them on by hand, but that sounded tedious and hideous.  So, I used the horizontal “wrap” stitch that is parts 2 and 4 of the 4 part button hole stitch on my machine.  I marked the back of the drape at each of the ends, and then roughly spaced out the rings for every 4 inches.

8.  I carefully sewed on each ring, orienting it so that it connects correctly to the hook rings that will actually be on the curtain rod.  I had to fiddle around a bit with this to decide how to best do it.  I used the handwheel on the side of the machine to do the first few stitches, and to make sure that the ring was in the right spot before trying to barrel through it with the full force of the machine.  This was SOOOOO much better than doing it by hand! 

As you can see, it doesn’t look all that great from the front.  But, that valance covers it up, so no worries on the aesthetics.  🙂

9.  Hang curtains!

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