You will need ticking fabric, a wide ruler, water soluble pen, a sewing machine with both a regular foot and a gathering foot, thread, pins, a curtain rod the size you need, rotary cutter and mat or scissors, an iron and ironing board will be key, as well. Optional: Even feed foot, seam gauge..
While this is a sewing project, it is all straight sewing so any one can do it. The only tricky part is the ruffling if you have never done that before. Other than that, it's easy peasy.
Here is the finished product of my project and a close up of the ruffles.
Here is the inspiration.from Pottery Barn.
Image from Pottery Barn web site.
They obviously had a little more space for photography than my daughter's narrow galley kitchen allowed for. She was sitting on the counter on the opposite wall to get that photo! We opted for the red ticking rather than black, as well.
For the length to cut, I added 8" for the top hem (4" double) and 8" for the bottom hem (4" double) to the measurement of the opening including the trim at the top of the door. For the width, I only needed one width of the fabric which included 4" (side hems 1" double).
1. Remove the selvage edges off the fabric by either tearing or cutting.
2. Measure the length you need by placing the fabric on the floor and using a steel tape measure. Be sure that you are cutting at a 90 degree angle so that your panel will be square. I've been known to use a carpenter's square for this process. In this case since I was using striped fabric, I just made sure the lines on the wide ruler (Omnigrid 6" x 24") lined up with the stripes.
3. Mark and cut both top and bottom to make sure you have square panels . Yes, I'm repeating that -- it's very important
4. If you have more than one panel, sew the length together with a serger or use a flat fell seam so the raw edges are covered.
5. Press 1" under for the side hem and then fold again so the raw edge is encased forming a double 1" side hem. Pin as you press the second time.
6. With matching thread straight stitch along the edge of the hem to hold in place.
7. For the bottom hem, you will do exactly the same thing except you will fold up 4" and then fold up again to form a double 4" hem. This will make the curtain at the bottom edge hold its shape better and look more polished. Custom drapery shops use this technique which is why their curtains look so nice. I always close the sides of the hems with a slip stitch as well, but that is optional.
If you are observant, you can see that I actually press up the 8" and then fold in the 4" to the first crease. Either method gets the same results.
8. Stitch the bottom hem with a straight stitch along the top fold.
9 The first row of ruffles will be along the seam line.
10. On the outside, measure up the distance you want your ruffles apart. I measured up 4" from the stitch line of the hem for the second row and used a water soluble pen to mark the sewing line. If you want more rows, just keep marking lines for each row at even intervals.
11. Make ruffles and attach.:
You will want to have the ruffles 1-1/2" x 2 times the width of the finished curtain panel. Be sure to include this amount when you figure how much fabric to buy. (1-1/2 " times the number of widths you need for each ruffle)
To determine what the settings were needed for my ruffle foot, I experimented with 6" x 1-1/2" pieces taking note of which setting gave me the gathering density I wanted which was 2 x the width of the curtain. The strip in the middle is approximately 3" after gathering, so those were the settings I used.
This is the ruffling foot on my Bernina 1230. Ask at your local dealer what foot you need to make ruffles on your machine. Ask them to demonstrate how it works. My instructions are for my machine, but when I had a Singer with a similar foot, it worked the same way.
First make sure your machine is set for a straight seam. I like to use the needle down position. If your machine has it you may want to engage it during this step.
Adjust the stitch length to the setting needed for the ruffle density desired. I used a 5 which is the longest on my machine.
Adjust the tension tighter to get the ruffle density desired. You will need to play with this on a scrap sample to make sure you get the desired effect.
I needed a 7-1/2 setting. Once determined what gives you the correct effect, write this down. It may vary depending on the weight of the fabric you are using, but it would be a starting place if you do ruffles on another project. Keep these notes!
Stitch down the center of the length of 1-1/2"it will ruffle as you sew.
When you have stitched as many ruffle lengths as desired, it's time to pin them in place.
For the first row, turn under the end and pin in place. The center should be along the seam line for the hem. Measure from the bottom of the hem using a seam gauge or other ruler and pin the ruffle in place.leaving the last end loose.
Pin the next row(s) so that the stitched line matches up with the line you have drawn on the fabric. Be sure to turn under the beginning of the ruffle, but leaving the ed loose as before.
Once the rows are pinned in place, you are ready to stitch.
Stitch down the center using an even feed foot if you have one almost to the end and tuck under the end for a nice finished edge. The edges on the length of these ruffles are raw so they will fray a bit. If you want to finish them you may, but you will need to allow for more width on the ruffle pieces you cut. I thought the raw edge would be nice on these.
Hang on, we are almost done!
Before making the top hem, hang the rod if there is not one already hanging. For my daughter's we were replacing a bi-fold door so there was no rod. Here are the before pictures.
Before with door closed.
Before with door opened. Bi-fold door + 4 kids = not so good!
Delegate hanging the rod. It takes two people anyway to measure and hold pieces.
Check for the final length you will need. Curtain should be about 3/4" to 1" off the floor. If you are using rings, as we were, allow for the amount down from the rod the curtain will hang attached to the ring.
Using a metal tape measure, and a partner, measure the length where the fold will need to be based on the actual measurements you just took of the opening. Airwen acted as a weight and Prince was not interested in helping. Airwen was quality control and looked over my shoulder often! Note: both Prince and Airwen adopted my daughter's family - Prince followed them home and Airwen was born in the furnace room of one of the schools Mindy inspected for disaster training.
Before stitching, check the actual length by hanging before stitching and make adjustments. If using a telescoping rod, sometimes you need to adjust for the side where the smaller metal rod is. This is usually only a fraction of an inch, but adjust it so the bottom of the curtain remains even.
Press, fold and pin the top edge as you did for the bottom hem and stitch in place.
Attach to the rod using the rings. An uneven number of rings is perfect. Place one in the center and one on each edge and then attach the remaining rings with even spacing between.
The final step is to finger press the folds from top to bottom and tie the curtain in place in an open position. Leave them for a couple of days this way to set the folds for a nice looking curtain.
For custom measurements. Add 16" to the measurement of your opening. If this is a window, usually rods are hung about 4" above the trim, so add the width of the trim plus the space to the rod. You can adjust at either the top or bottom hem, just don't cut too short.
For the width, you will want about 2-1/2 times the width of the rod. If you are hanging the rod for the first time and want "stack back" which is the amount of space needed for the curtain to hang beyond the glass when open, you will need to figure extra width for that amount. The amount you need for the stack back is dependent on a lot of factors, such as if there are pinch pleats at the top and the weight of the fabric. It is usually somewhere between .3 and .5 times the width of each panel added to each side if hanging a pair and to one side for one panel on a sliding door. You may want to check with a professional for the exact amount or Google stack back to figure your own.
Wow, believe me when I say it took almost as long for me to write these instructions as it did to make the actual curtain! Though it takes a lot to explain the how to do it, it really is simple straight stitching plus measurements. Okay, figuring out the ruffle could be tricky, but it's still not hard to do.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Remember this is just the way I do it, it is not the only way to make curtains.
One last look at the finished pantry curtain. This was taken just after finishing and had not been tied to set the folds at this point.
Please leave me a comment to let me know what you think of the PB knockoff curtains. I love to hear from you!
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