Curtains are expensive!
I wanted a few curtains in our house when we moved in and decided to just buy some. Until I saw the price! Then I realized I better make my own! Follow my frugal saga to learn how to make your own curtains.
After I discovered the high price of regular curtains, I began frequenting the clearance isle in hopes of finding some deals there. After several months, no luck. Just more high-priced curtains.
In the meantime, the fabric section rolled out this huge bin of clearance fabric bolts. The clearance prices were still pretty steep so I kept dreaming. Every time I walked by the bin I picked out a few patterns that I liked.
Finally I narrowed my dream down to two fabrics I would like for curtains in my son’s room.
Then one day…the fabric bin got marked way down! I grabbed my bolt of fabric I had been drooling over and got it measured and priced.
Over three yards for $3.28! I could live with that!
At home I already had the thread I needed from random collecting over the years.
[Actually, all sewing notions are so expensive these days! It’s sad that now it really is more frugal to buy clothes (especially thrifting) than make them.]
Because my son’s bedroom window faces east, it is pretty bright for his morning naps. I wanted to make blackout curtains to help him sleep better. Double layered fabric would serve well as the blackout feature.
I had an old sheet that I was saving for the second layer that would be the backing. Actually, if I was thinking, I would’ve gotten another bolt of cheap fabric and used it as the backing. Then I could have reversible curtains! As it is, my old sheet isn’t a very pretty print so I won’t be reversing them at all.
How to Make Your Own Curtains: The Fit
You can see in this picture that my curtain fits inside my window. We have casement windows in our house so there is a nice inner sill. The tricky thing about fitting my curtains for this window is there wasn’t a lot of room for crookedness! It took me a couple tries to get them to fit snuggly like this.
And I got a cheap tension rod so it sags in the middle. Not ideal, but it works.
If you have sliding windows, you may not have room inside the frame for a rod. In that case, you will want to mount your curtains on the trim or wall.
How to Make Your Own Curtains
First, you measure your window and decide how much, if any over hang you want. With your overhanging curtain dimensions, add enough extra for seam allowances. For a nice amount of gather, make the width of the curtain 1 1/2 times that of the window.
I ironed both pieces of fabric so that they would lay flat.
I laid the first piece of fabric down on the floor face up. Then I laid the second piece of fabric on top, face down. I pinned the edges together and measured the length. [The easy thing about curtains is rarely will you have to trim off the width.]
For the edges of my curtain I allowed 1/2 inch on the sides and ends for seams so I added a one inch to both dimensions.
After measuring, I adjusted my pins a little closer to where I wanted to cut. Then I cut both pieces of fabric together.
Sew, A Needle Pulling Thread!
Once I was done cutting, I sewed the edges with the 1/2 inch seam allowance. I left a five inch section from each top corner down the side unsewn to allow for the rod. With these sections, I ironed each one under at the 1/2 inch allowance and sewed them each separately at 1/4 inch to frame the rod opening.
After sewing the edges I snipped each corner. This makes the corners less bulky after it has been turned right side out.
I turned the curtain right side out and gently poked the tip of the scissors into each corner to shape it. I ironed all the edges so they would lay flat.
For the rod opening, I measured 4 1/2 inches down from the top and stuck a pin for the bottom edge (should be right at where you started sewing). I allowed 1 1/2 inches for the rod opening and stuck another pin to mark the top edge of the rod sleeve. These measurements should allow for a three inch ruffle along the top.
Sew a top stitch at 1/4 inch allowance from the top corners down to the rod openings and then continuing down the lengths of the curtain after the rod opening.
Trim up your thread tails and inspect! Make any nips and tucks to adjust the curtains as needed. After all, not everyone’s sewing is perfectly straight and not everyone’s windows are straight!
Pretty windows can be affordable once you learn how to make your own curtains!