January 28, 2013

Kitchen Curtains

When I moved into my house I took down the kitchen curtains because they were all but dry rotted. 
I put up some sheers and used those for a while but didn't really love them.  Too fancy for my country kitchen.  I took them down (oh about 5 years ago) to wash them and just never put them back up.  So my poor kitchen windows have been naked for a while now.  When I first bought my sewing machine I got gun ho about making curtains.  I looked at all kinds of fabric and different tutorials from Pinterest and online to learn the best way for newby to make curtains.  I got discouraged because frankly fabric isn't cheap and I didn't want to buy the perfect fabric for my curtains and mess it all up.  

So earlier this week I saw some tutorials on Pinterest about making curtains with table cloths, sheets, & shower curtains but lo and behold when I started looking at the tutorials the lady had just used those little clips with the ring and put them on a cute curtain rod.  My kitchen bay window had the old style rod and the way it is positioned really putting in the new cute curtain bars isn't an option :(  But it did give me an idea.  I could get table cloths and still make regular curtains from them.  So out I went to Old Time Pottery.  

I found some SUPER cute table cloths that were just the colors I was looking for.  AND they were considered "fall merchandise" so they were marked down 75%!  $2.99 each - what a steal!  
I bought three table clothes - two 60 *84 oblong and one 52*70.  
I didn't really know what I was doing but I thought it was as good a place to start as any.    
With that being said my disclaimer is that I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL - but this is how I made my curtains and they turned out quite cute. 

First I measured from the length from the top of my curtain rod to the bottom of my window ledge.   My measurement was just over 57 inches. 

I decided with the 60 *84 table clothes that I could make the "side" curtains 84 inches wide for maximum fullness and easily still make the top of the curtain work with 3 inches of material.  

I didn't take a picture of this because I was standing on a chair but I grabbed my pins and actually hung the fabric from the curtain rod to see how much tuft that I wanted to be at the top of my curtain (above the rod) and how much material I needed to go around the rod (this will vary depending on your curtain rod diameter).  
I marked my stitch spots with a straight pin.  The pink pin indicates where I want the bottom stitch (that will be under the bottom of the curtain rod) to go and the white pin indicates where I want the top stitch to go which is where the tuft starts.  My tuft above my rod is about 3/4 of an inch tall.  What you can't see in this picture is that the fabric is folded over and back down to where the pink pin is on the back side.  This will allow for my curtain rod sleeve and the top tuft. 

This is the back side of the fabric from the picture above.  I am getting ready to sew the fabric together to make my bottom seam that will go under the curtain rod.  Since I have a table cloth that has great lines on it I actually ironed the fabric at the top fold (above the tuft) and didn't take the time to pin all the way down my fabric.  If I had a unlined piece of table cloth I would have measured my top fold, ironed it in place and also pinned it so that my seam would be in the right place.  

Because I think it is a much more forgiving stitch than a straight stitch I am going to use a zigzag stitch. I  stitch the length of the table cloth.
  If you don't want the tuft over the top of your curtain rod you could stop here - thread your newly made curtain onto the curtain rod and have curtains but I like the little tuft so I am going to following suit and stitch  a zigzag stitch down the length of the curtain on the line from the white pin.  
TaDa!  My first "side" curtain.  Now that I have made this curtain I am going to line up the table cloth fabric for the other side of my window and make an exact duplicate.
So there was no cutting at all for my two side curtains for my window because my table cloths were the right length for a nice full curtain.  
I used my 52 by 70 inch curtain to make the valance curtains to go on the middle of my bay window and for the small window over my kitchen sink.  
I decided that I wanted the 70 inches to be my width of my valances so I cut the fabric into three equal pieces of just over 17 inches (three pieces because I knew I would need 2 to fill the middle of my bay window).  Now I have three pieces of material that are 17*70.  All three pieces already have the short sides hemmed.  Two of the three pieces have a one long length already hemmed.  I hemmed an unfinished (meaning I didn't do two folds and make it super pretty) 1 inch hem on the bottom of the one piece that did not have a hem on its long length.  Then using the same method as above, I made the "top" curtain hems on the three pieces of valance. 
And here is the finished product:
I also decided that I liked the side curtains held back instead of hanging straight down so I used the two tiny strips of fabric that I had left over from making the valance curtains and tied them back for the time being.

 My plan is to get some solid fabric the red color in the curtains and make better looking permanent tie backs. 
And here is the picture of the valance over my sink window:
 I know that these weren't the most in depth instructions but the curtains really were easy to make.  Your fabric cuts will vary depending on how big your windows are, how big your curtain rod is, and how full you want your curtains to be so there is no one set instructions on making these.  And remember when using table cloths, use as many of those nice straight hems that are already there to cut down on your hemming time.  I think taht is what made these so easy to make. 
Happy Sewing!

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