Curtain call everyone! See what I did there? It’s curtain making week here at The Urban Acres. We have several large windows on the front of our house, so one of my top priorities has been making and hanging curtains.
I know millennials are all like “Who cares if anyone sees me, let them see” (yes, I know people who have said that). Oh, millennials. I for one like my privacy and am therefore in favor of curtains.
As you probably know though, curtains are expensive and even though Target has some great options these days, sometimes you need something a little more custom. And this my friends is why sewing skills are so important.
Curtains are seriously one of the easiest things to make yourself. All it requires is good measuring skills and the ability to sew in a straight line. You can handle that, right? Thought so.
Now that I’ve boosted your curtain making confidence, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
I’m basing this curtain DIY on a formula you can use for any window. It’s a little math-y but I promise it makes sense. Now, get out those calculators!
Window Height + Top Loop + Hem Length + 2in = *Curtain Length
Let’s break this down.
*The number you get is not the final length of your curtains, it is the length of your curtains before they are sewn. For instance — I cut my fabric at around 100″ but after sewing, my curtains ended up being around 86″. Keep that in mind as you are cutting you fabric.
Window Height – How long do you want your curtain? This is the measurement from the top of the curtain rod, to the bottom of where you want your curtain. I go for a “kiss” where my curtains just gently graze the floor, so I measured mine at 86″. Here’s what style guru Emily Henderson has to say about curtain lengths.
Top Loop – This is the measurement for the loop — what your curtain rod will go through. I like to add 6in to the top of my curtains so I have a large loop that’s not squeezing my curtain rod for dear life, but hey you do you. When you fold this over it ends up being about 4in, but start with 6in.
Hem Length – How wide do you want your hem? Personally, I like a wide hem at the bottom of my curtains so I add an additional 4in. that way when I fold over my fabric the hem is still 3in. wide.
Additional 2in – I add these because when you run a curtain rod through your curtain it tends to shorten your panel. These are basically safety inches. It is always easier to hem curtains or cut them down than it is to remake them! Add those safety inches!
• Sewing machine
• Straight edge
• Rotary Cutter and Mat
• Measuring Tape
• Iron and Ironing Board
- Measure your window then use this formula to come up with the your pre-sewn curtain length.
Window Height + Top Loop + Hem Length + 2in = Curtain Length
Note: This initial length of fabric will be much longer than the finished product, but we need lots of extra inches for folding over and covering raw edges and such.
- On a large surface, most likely the floor, roll out your fabric. Measure out to the length of your curtain. The bottom edge of the fabric probably won’t be in a straight line to start, so you’ll want extra room to be able to straighten that edge. Cut your fabric a few inches above your final cut line.
- Now we’ll start squaring up those edges. Fold your fabric in half to line up the edges — notice the corners probably don’t meet and that’s ok! Use a rotary cutter and mat to cut a straight line on the top and the bottom. Measure your fabric to make sure it’s at your final length.
- Use a hot iron to press a 1in fold onto the long edges of your fabric. You’ll fold over once, then fold again so that no raw edges are showing. Sew up the sides.
- Now we will create the bottom hem. With the right side of the fabric facing down, fold the bottom edge up 1in then iron into place. Now use your ruler to pull the fabric up 3in. (or however many inches you wanted you hem to be minus the 1in we just used) Iron in place then sew on the top line.
- Now it’s time to create the top loop. With the right side of the fabric facing down, fold over 1in then iron into place. Use a ruler to fold the fabric over remaining loop inches (consult your formula!). Iron into place then sew.
- Repeat with the other fabric panel.
You’ve just made curtains! Easy right? The real key here is measuring, so always always measure twice, cut once, and sew once. Let me know how yours turned out!