Easy directions for curtains?!? Please and thank you.

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Hi .. I need to make some bedroom and kitchen curtains for the new house. I have not sewn since I was in highschool (hint .. I graduated in 1971!)...Soooooo, I need some moral support as well as directions/hints. I have the material and am ready to proceed. I just get chicken...I am running out of time and need to bite the bullet and start them.

I sure appreciate any help...they are not going to be lined and I just want to make it go above the rods about an inch or two.

Thanks and I hope everyone is having a grand Friday!

-- Sher in se Iowa (riverdobbers@webtv.net), February 08, 2002


Sher, there are lots of sewing and quilting sites on the web. Sorry about not having some addys for you. We are not back up to speed after a 'puter crash. I would put sewing, quilting in your search engine and go from there. Now, that said, I do quilt but am absolutely lame about doing anything really usefull, like clothing and stuff. however I can make reasonable(?)curtins as I had to so I'd have my fabric shelves covered! I just measured the length I wanted plus hem wanted(top and bottom), and fold- over for the rod slide. Measured out 1 and a half the width I wanted to cover and have some "drape". Hemm sides and bottom. Fold over top and bring it down as far as you want to have a place for your rod to go and 3" or whatever you want to stick up on the top. Tuck under and hem with a blind stitch. And then measured down from the top about 3" and stitched two parallel, decorative lines of stitches, far enough apart to slip in the rod. I hope this makes sense. I know a better seamstress could explain it better and help you out much better. Good luck, The fun part of course is picking the fabric! LOL LQ

-- Little Quacker (carouselxing@juno.com), February 08, 2002.

Sher...the hardest part of any project is just getting started! Believe me! I suggest, laying the fabric on an ironing board, wrong side up. Iron a 1/4 - 1/2 inch hem at the top. Fold this hem down 3-4 inches and iron again. Top stitch the first hem in place and then top stitch again about an inch or more toward the fold from that. (this is the pocket for the curtain rod & depends on the thickness of your rod). This puts a nice ruffle at the top of your window, when finished. If you use the full 45 inch width of fabric, the selvage edges will never ravel, so you don't even have to make hems on the sides. If you're worried about them ending up too short, hang the curtain in progress up to the window, mark where you want them to hang when finished, add an inch and a half for the hem, and make a little snip in the selvage of the fabric. If the fabric is cotton or cotton blend you can now rip this from side to side and your hem will be straight. I always tear new fabric, near the top like this before I start using it for curtains. That way you are guaranteed the fabric is square to the sides. I can picture sewing your curtains in my mind, I hope I have relayed the information so that you can see it too! If not, I'm here to help!

-- Harmony (harmonyfarm57@hotmail.com), February 08, 2002.

Lil Quacker and Harmony...Thank you girls so much. I think you both helped me more than you know.

I am gonna suck down this Pepsi...suck up my courage and go over to the new house and SEW my buns off!!

I may be back if I run into a problem... Thank you both so very very much!

-- Sher in se Iowa (riverdobbers@webtv.net), February 08, 2002.

my wife went and picked out some pretty sheets at the store and made curtains out of them. in most cases they already have a hem sewed in the top and bottom. She cut them to the right length and added a ruffel to the top. if you want more direction, she can email you.

-- randy wybrant (rwybrant@coin.org), February 08, 2002.

Well, here's a thread to which I'll bet no one thought I'd be posting a response. Maybe this is 'the bachelor way,' but here goes.

I measure to allow about 1 1/2" inch more than I want for my finished width then hem the sides by first folding and ironing about 1/4" then folding and ironing 1/2" back from that new edge. You can pin it if you like. Then sew your hemline near the inner ironed edge so as to sew through three layers of material. You'll eliminate any fraying that way.

You then measure the length you want for your finished product. Add to that whatever amount you want for your foldover at the top to make the opening for your curtain rod and for your finished bottom. Add those three figures and add 1 1/2" to that. Measure twice, do the math twice and cut once. ;o)

Finish those edges as above first. You should now have enough length to do your foldovers at the top and bottom. Fold over the top and iron it (pin it if you prefer) and run your seam. Then you can do the same thing at the bottom, BUT, before you do that, hang them up to make SURE of the length you want. A little chalk or soap is great for marking material then. You get to figure out whether to add a little for shrinkage or to take a little off to allow the material to 'hang out' a little. When you have that done, fold, iron (or pin) and run your seam. The only other thing I do is close the ends of the bottom loop on the sides. I just like the more finished look of that.

Anyhow, that's what I do. As to 'the real bachelor way,' I try to find something I like in a bedding top sheet then I have a beautiful bottom edge and one side edge already done for me. I can then even put up a second curtain rod and have little shams on top with some of the extra material. If it's a strip or check pattern, I can run those on a 45 degree for some contrast. Aren't I just the little homemaker? ;o)

-- Gary in Indiana (gk6854@aol.com), February 08, 2002.

Sher, good suggestion already made, I believe... use cheap sheets that would wear out in two months if you would try sleeping on them. Just measure the height of your window and add half a foot to that measurement for how long to cut the sheet. After cutting the bottom off, split the sheet down the middle.

Take a plain or ruffled lace and lap the straight edge of the lace barely over the cut edge of the sheet. Using a wide zigzag stitch, but a short stitch length, sew the lace onto the edge of the sheet. Take it across the cut edge of the bottom, too.

The top hem of the sheet makes a nice rod pocket. If you want to use lace at the top of the sheet, sew it on right on top of the stitching line is of the hem. As the curtain is gathered onto the rod, the lace will ruffle.

Lace cut to the right length makes easy, fast tie-backs.

Having moved at least 17 times since being married, I have whipped these kinds of curtains up so many times, I cant count em. Have gotten good comments on them, too.

-- daffodyllady (daffodyllady@yahoo.com), February 08, 2002.

I use self sticking velcro dots and strips of material for quick tie backs. If you fold the material right, no sewing is involved. Best wishes!

-- cowgirlone in OK (cowgirlone47@hotmail.com), February 08, 2002.

I did a set of tab tops at the ironing board with a glue gun one time, and got alot of compliments on them. I of course couldn't wash them when the time came. And, I used to sew for a living shame shame, I would probably do it again some people just never learn. If you have the sewing gene and can visualize the steps you should have no problems. good luck Ronda.

-- ronda (thejohnsons@localaccess.com), February 08, 2002.

My husband and I sewed curtains, valances, bedspreads and shower curtains with the help of neighbors like above. He used the glue gun method and it worked great and very fast. I also recommend ironing first.

-- Narita (hsnrs@att.net), February 08, 2002.

Easy Peezy, one and one half or even twice the width of the window. Add a couple of inches for the hem and 3 or 4 inches for the top. Sew the top wide enough to allow the rod to pass thru. You'll do fine.

-- Susan in Northern Michigan (cobwoman@yahoo.com), February 09, 2002.

How can I thank you all enough? I have a window done and am getting around to go over and start on number two!! I actually used bits and pieces of everyones ideas. I already had material for four windows, but I was really intrigued by the sheet curtains! I have eight windows to go and will no doubt try this on at least some of them.

You are ALL awesome and I thank you for helping me so much! I can only hope that I can share some helpful wisdom (on what..I do not know!?!) with you on something.

I pray you all have grand weekends and blessed moments! Gratefully yours,

-- Sher in se Iowa (riverdobbers@webtv.net), February 09, 2002.

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