Sewing and hanging curtains

Window Dressing

by Andrea Cooley

We’re decorating the Christmas tree and sipping cocoa with candy canes tonight, but before we dive into all things Christmas, I had to share our curtains! You may have noticed them hanging in the background of some recent pictures, but now you get to enjoy them in all their glory.

Sewing and hanging curtainsA few months ago I showed you our bare living room windows and asked you to help me choose curtains. I thought I’d narrowed down the options and was ready to pull the trigger and order the ones from JCPenney, but I couldn’t do it. Instead, I took a risk and bought 10 yards of fabric while Laura and I were in Chicago and crossed my fingers that Adam would approve!

First of all, I have to make a plug for The Needle Shop in Bucktown (no, this is not a sponsored post, we just love sharing our discoveries with our lovely readers). It’s charming and fabulous! We need something like it in Des Moines, so if anyone wants to open it, I promise to shop there! The next best thing to visiting the store, shopping their Etsy store. Check it out! You should have heard Laura and me oohing and ahhing over all the fabric and projects on display. I’m pretty sure we touched every single print in the store. Luckily we were the only ones there, so I don’t think we made complete fools of ourselves!

I measured the windows before I went, hoping I would find fabulous fabric. I knew I needed 4 panels that would hang roughly 85 inches. I rounded up to 90 inches per panel, to give myself a little wiggle room for hemming. That came to 10 yards. Since I knew how long the panels needed to be I asked if they could cut the panels in the store, and they did!
Sewing and hanging curtainsAs soon as I saw this fabric, I knew it was perfect for our living room. The brown would complement our brown sofa and I’ve been wanting to bring yellow into the room, and what better way to do that than with fabric! When we painted the living room last fall I debated over trying a sunny yellow shade, before landing on a sagey green. I’m glad I waited, because this fabric looks great against our warm woodwork and blue-green walls!
Sewing and hanging curtainsI found a great tutorial for making curtains over at House of Hepworths (via Pinterest, of course!). She lined her curtains (with a $5 bed sheet! genius!). I didn’t get that fancy. Since the curtains are in the living room and won’t ever be closed, I decided to save myself a step. Otherwise I followed her directions and sewed them with the help of a dear friend. Maybe Santa will bring me a sewing machine for Christmas this year (hint, hint, Adam!) but for now I’m fine working on sewing projects with friends.

Sewing and hanging curtainsTechnically we have 4 windows in the living room, a double window and windows on either side of the fireplace. I decided hanging a pair of curtains on each of the windows by the fireplace would be too much. They would cover up too much of the windows. So I cut costs and only made 4 panels. Two for the double window and 1 for each side of the fireplace. What do you think? I love how the curtains frame the fireplace!

Sewing and hanging curtainsI made the executive decision not to wash the fabric before sewing the curtains. I figured I’ll probably never wash the curtains, so I wasn’t worried about shrinkage. The fabric is so crisp and smooth when you buy it! I knew I’d never be able to replicate that, no matter how long I ironed it! I knew the panels needed to be 85″ long, so I laid the fabric out on the floor and carefully pinned the top and bottom. I left a bigger hem along the bottom, but I don’t think it really matters. Then I ironed 1/2″ folds down each side of the panels, pinning as I went.

Sewing and hanging curtainsKelsey started sewing, while I pinned and ironed. It was a team effort! I’m not an expert sewer by any means, but seriously, these were sew so easy! Just 4 straight seams and you’re done!

Halfway through, we took a break for grilled cheese and tomato soup, and checked the score of the football game our husbands were at. I much prefer sewing over football!

Sewing and hanging curtainsAfter the curtains were sewn, the next step was hanging the curtain rods, which is where my handy husband comes in. I snagged a Black & Decker BDL100AV All-In-One SureGrip Laser Level at work and let me tell you, I wish we’d had it when we were hanging our gallery wall! It suction cups onto the wall and shoots a laser to show you where to put your nails.

Once the curtain rods were hung, the only thing left to do was clip on the curtains and hang them. I followed House of Hepworths’ steps for making pinched pleat curtains. Again, it’s super simple! And I love how it dresses up plain curtain clips and makes the whole curtain look more professional.

Sewing and hanging curtains pinched pleatsI used 7 clips for each curtain. I laid the curtain on the floor and evenly spaced the clips across the top. Then I pinched the fabric and clipped the rings about an inch below the top. It’s that easy!

Whew! 1000 words later and there you have it! I sewed curtains and couldn’t be happier with how they turned out! I think my favorite part about the process was when we were finished with everything and admiring our work, Adam said, “well, now we’re done with projects.” I couldn’t help but laugh! I quickly let him know that we’ll never be done with house projects!

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Andrea Cooley

  1. I LOVE the pattern! I used those same rings for mine too (from Lowes!) it make it so easy to get the pintucked look!

    Good Job!!

  2. Looks great, Andrea!

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