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Saving Thousands by Sewing Your Own Curtain Panels – A DIY Tutorial
Sewing seems to be somewhat of a lost art. But, I know many women my age who are picking up the needle (or sewing machine) again, and taking an interest in crafting and creating themselves over buying mass-made clothes/draperies and decor.
“I got quotes upwards of $1500 a panel. A PANEL! I’m sorry. Say what?”
My mother taught me how to sew over 20 years ago, but I haven’t really taken much interest in sewing, outside of making some quick and easy curtains for my classroom. Then I priced the panels for our living room a few months ago! OH. MY. GOSH. When did curtains get so expensive?? We have 20 foot ceilings in our formal living room, and 12 foot ceilings in our master bedroom. I got quotes upwards of $1500 a panel. A PANEL! I’m sorry. Say what? (Yall – I’m talking custom made panels here – not the cheap store bought ones – they don’t make those for 20 foot ceilings).
That’s when I decided it would be well worth my time to renew my interest in sewing. So I went about picking a fabric from JoAnn’s. (They didn’t have an upholstery fabric I liked in store so I special ordered.) With all of the special order fabric (which was pretty expensive), the new sewing machine, and the thread and supplies needed, I spent approximately $2500. So far, I have made curtains for the formal living and dining room, and the master bedroom. And I have enough fabric for the front bedroom and game room left. That’s a total of 13 total panels completed, and fabric for 6 additional. Let’s do the math here for a second … 19 curtain panels multiplied by $1500 is $28,500. Yea… I would say that savings is well worth my time.
So, if you’re like me and want to save some serious cash, and love to create things, pull out your trusty sewing machine, or buy the one I bought.
Some other supplies you will need:
- Liner (We used a blackout)
- Measuring tape
- Curtain rods
- Curtain clip rings (We used the ones on the left)
The hardest part for me was picking a fabric that I loved. I knew that if I was going to put in the time to create the curtains myself, then they needed to be so beautiful that I would love them for a long time.
For the formal living and dining areas, I selected a shiny silver threaded fabric that goes very well with my decor and is elegant enough to elevate our formal rooms, while not outshining the rest of the decor. For the bedrooms, I picked a fun patterned fabric that coordinates well with our rugs and bedding.
So, after checking out samples, and bringing them home, I held them next to the walls and other decor to make sure the patterns wouldn’t clash. I also waited to purchase until the fabric was on a great sale. You’ll notice it says $59.99 a yard in the picture on the right! Oh. My. No, I did not pay that. They were running a 40% off sale on special orders, plus I got 15% with my teacher card! So, with all the discounts I paid a little over $30 a yard. Not bad for a fabric I really love!
After getting all my fabrics in, I tackled the unlined curtains in the formal living and dining room first. The lined curtains for our master bedroom took a little bit longer because you have to wrangle two fabrics, but the end result is so worth it! No light in our bedroom at night! Woohoo!
Easy Lined Flat Panel Curtain Instructions
Here are the step by step instructions for how to sew your own lined flat panel curtains:
- Install the Curtain Rod.
- Using a measuring tape, measure from the bottom of the curtain rod to the floor.
- Add 8-10″ to the length you measured depending on how large you want the hems to be.
- Roll out your fabric on the floor (You need it to be flat, so roll it in a large hallway or open space).
- Use your measuring tape to measure (in inches) the height you need (Don’t forget to add for your hem).
- Cut the fabric in a straight line using very sharp fabric scissors.
- Start your sewing machine. (Not sure how to get started? I will upload a quick start for the Brother CS6000i soon!)
- Select a simple single stitch.
- Hem the side of the curtains by folding over the fraying edge by 1/2″. (Sew face down)
- Sew a single stitch down the length of the curtain.
- Repeat steps 9 and 10 along all other sides.
- Roll out your Lining.
- Cut the lining to the original length you measured (No need to add for a hem).
- Lay out your curtain fabric face down.
- Layer the lining along the back side of the fabric – be sure to lay it out flat with no wrinkles.
- Pin about 1″ down each side of the curtain, folding the decorative fabric over the lining and inserting the pin. (Do not pin the top or bottom)
- Sew a zig zag (or any sturdy stitch) down one side to hem the fabric removing pins as you go.
- Lay the fabric flat again on the floor. Make sure the pins still have both fabrics laying flat (If not readjust them).
- Hem down the second side of the curtain removing pins as you go.
- Lay your panel flat on the floor.
- Fold over the top of your fabric until it covers the lining by about 1/2 an inch. Pin in place.
- Hem the top using a sturdy stitch like the zig zag.
- Take your panel and hold it up right underneath the curtain rod. (You will need another person here).
- Fold the bottom until you have the curtain just barely dusting the floor. Pin in place. This will be your bottom hem. – When you add the clips, the curtain will hang even lower creating a beautiful pooling effect.
- Hem the bottom at the desired height.
- Add the clips to the top of the curtain panel and hang from the rod.
- Repeat for however many panels you need to make.
- Sit back and enjoy your hard work!
I think it goes without saying, but making something like this by hand, just gives you such a sense of pride at what you have accomplished! I LOVE the way my curtains have turned out so far, and I can’t wait to make more with my new sewing machine. Like I said above, I have 2 rooms left to finish and then who knows… maybe some throw pillows!?
What are some fun things that you have sewn?? Put your pictures in the comments!