(This is not a tutorial. This is a summary of a novice sewer making HUGE curtains, for the first time, and only messing up once. ; )
I finally finished my Lined Curtain Project. It only took me an entire summer. I worked at my own pace, and managed to enjoy it. In spite of the sore back, knees, and neck!
Have I mentioned that these lined curtain panels are over twelve feet long? Panels at this length are ridiculously expensive. (They would have cost more than my first car). With this amount of area, the fabric, alone, can be very heavy. And difficult to handle. In one afternoon, I may had gone from knees to standing to bending several dozen times!
The size and weight of these curtain panels would be the least of my troubles. There was also finding the right fabric, determining the amount of yardage to purchase, finding the right hardware…
Oh, yeah. And learning how to sew lined curtains!
I bought a sewing machine a year before we moved into the house, to give myself time to learn how to sew, beyond what I learned in eighth grade Home Ec. class.
So, here are some photos of my progress. From start to finish. This is not a tutorial. I’m not that good, yet.
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First, I needed to set up a large work area. I decided to use our large and unfurnished living room.
Since I’m tall, I custom created a work-table.
The next step was to line up the widths of 3 rows of fabric. Since I’d only be making one panel per window (pushed to the side), I wanted them full and wide enough to cover each window, as well. I think I got the patterns pretty darn straight.
Then, I laid out the lining on top of the back side of the fabric. Oh my gosh, it was so hard laying them both down and smoothing out all the wrinkles! Using a ruler, I went across the bottom and pinned the lining 2-inches above the fabric.
Next, it was time for me to finish off the top of the curtain. This was the trickiest part, and ultimately the part I would mess up, on my last panel. I’m still getting over that.
But anyway, I decided to make French pleats. I used Google to find a “curtain pleat formula”, so I knew exactly where to sew each pleat. There are dozens of websites that have a pleat calculator.
Throughout this sewing process, I was working on getting the right hardware for the windows. Fortunately, I found three Allen + Roth curtain rods, on clearance at Lowes! They were the perfect color. A cross between oil-rubbed bronze and the color of our hardwood floors.
Of course, the rings and brackets that matched this rod were discontinued. I had to search high and low to find curtain rings that would fit around a 2-inch wide rod. (Beware. When a description says, “2-Inch Rings”, that does NOT mean 2-inch center diameter. That’s where I was running into trouble.)
I had to custom order the rings at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Fortunately, I had plenty of 20% Off Coupons. I also had to custom order brackets to hold a 2-inch rod AND stick out far enough to clear our blinds. They didn’t come in the right color, so I opted to paint them myself.
Finally, was the big reveal day. I had somewhat rushed my last panel, the night before, as I was over-tired and growing impatient on getting this project finished. (Big mistake.)
So, when I finished the last of the three panels, I inadvertently cut too much from the top before doing the pleats. This panel here is six inches shorter than the others. No puddle. This reminds me of pants in the 70’s. Floods.
I can fix this somewhat, when I have the time. I can take down the hem, and at least reach the floor. But, for now, my writing chair covers the bottom of this panel so perfectly. So, I’ll deal with this maybe next summer!
The good news is that, from a distance, these window panels look stunning! And, even though it took several weeks, a few back-aches, and one semi melt-down, I’d say I’m happy with them.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this summary. It took almost as long to upload all these pictures than sew these curtains! LOL