Some painless math and simple sewing result in a great pair of grommeted curtain panels to cover any window in your home.

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Designer: Donna Babylon of More Splash Than Cash Decorating

Materials

  • Decorator fabric*
  • Lining fabric*
  • Decorator rod (no larger than 1-3⁄8" diameter), mounting brackets, and finials
  • 1-9⁄16"-diameter grommets (an even number for each panel, spaced 6" to 8" apart)
  • Water-soluble marking pen

*Determine amount in "How Much Decorator Fabric Do I Need?" and "How Much Lining Fabric Do I Need?" below.

Finished curtain size: Custom to fit your window

Measurements include 1⁄2" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise noted.

Measuring Math

Download the printable chart by clicking "Download this Project" above. Our step-by-step measuring guide may look formidable but it's an easy-to-use, fill-in-the-blanks worksheet for perfect window covers. Think of it as the secret formula for determining the right amount of fabric to purchase and how to cut it. Before you take your first measurement, hang the curtain rod in place. The rod should be 2"–4" above the window frame and the brackets that same distance from the outside edges of the frame. Take measurements as directed and fill in the blanks in the charts. Remember, decorator fabrics are usually 54" wide, not 42" like quilting cottons, though either can be used for curtains-just fill in the correct width in the chart.

How Much Decorator Fabric Do I Need?

1. Measure from top edge of curtain rod to the desired finished length (see photo) A _____. (Suggested finished length for floor-length curtains is 1⁄2" above the floor.)

2. 10-1⁄2" + A _____ = B _____. (This is the cut-length measurement.)

3. Measure the distance between curtain rod brackets and multiply this number by 1-1⁄2 or 2 (depending on how full you want curtains to be) C _____. (The panels shown use 2 for the multiplier.)

4. The width of your fabric is D _____.

5. C _____ divided by D _____ = E _____. Round up to the nearest whole number. (This is the number of fabric widths needed for a pair of curtains.)

6. The fabric pattern repeat distance (if applicable) is F _____. (Any printed decorator fabric has a pattern repeat-it's the distance from one complete motif until you see that same one again. It can vary from 1" to 36" or even more on some large motifs.)

7. B _____ + F _____ = G _____. (This additional amount of fabric is needed to match the repeat design.)

8. G _____ multiplied by E _____ = H _____.

9. H _____ divided by 36" = _____ total yards of decorator fabric you'll need for a pair of curtain panels.

How Much Lining Fabric Do I Need?

1. Measure from the top edge of the curtain rod to the desired finished length (see photo) A _____.

2. 7-1⁄2" + A _____ = BB _____. (This is the cut-length measurement for the lining.)

3. BB _____ multiplied by E _____ (determined above) = CC _____.

4. CC _____ divided by 36" = _____ total yards of lining fabric you'll need for a pair of curtain panels.

Cut Fabrics

Cut fabrics in the following order:

Straighten one edge of decorator fabric; cut off selvages. Cut one fabric width to length measurement B. Using this piece as a guide, cut additional widths needed (E), matching design repeats on subsequent panels (Diagram 1). If E is an odd number, cut one width in half lengthwise to create two half widths.

Straighten one edge of lining fabric; cut off selvages. Cut number of widths needed (E) to length measurement BB. If E is an odd number, cut one width in half lengthwise to create two half widths.

Assemble Curtain Panels

1. Sew decorator fabric widths and half widths together to make each curtain panel, matching repeats if needed. If using half widths, sew them to outermost edge of each curtain panel (Diagram 2). Use pinking shears or finish raw edges of seams with a zigzag. Press seams open.

2. Fold up bottom edge of each curtain panel 4" with wrong side inside; press. Fold over another 4" and press (Diagram 3).

3. Set up machine for blind-hem stitch; machine-stitch hems in place (Diagram 4).

4. Join lining fabric widths and half widths to make a lining panel. Use pinking shears or finish raw edges of seams with a zigzag. Press seams open. Trim lining to be 6" narrower than curtain panel. Repeat to make a second lining panel.

5. Fold up bottom edge of each lining panel 3" with wrong side inside; press. Fold over another 3" and press. Using a blind-hem stitch, machine-stitch hems in place.

6. With right sides together, center a lining panel on each curtain panel, aligning top edges. (The curtain panel should extend 3" beyond each side edge of the lining panel.) Join pieces along top edge with 1⁄2" seam allowance (Diagram 5).

7. Bring lining over to wrong side of a curtain panel. Press top edge flat, including remaining 1⁄2" seam allowance that extends on each side of the lining (Diagram 6). If desired, stitch close to top edge through all layers to prevent lining from showing on the right side. Repeat with remaining curtain panel.

8. On side edges of each curtain panel, turn under 1-1⁄2" twice, encasing lining raw edges; press. Using a blind-hem stitch, machine-stitch hems in place to complete each panel (Diagram 7).

Add Grommets

1. With the panel lining side up, use a watersoluble marking pen to draw a line acrosspanel width 2-1⁄2" from upper edge.

2. Plan placement of an even number of grommets along drawn line. Centers of first and last grommet should be at least 2" from each side edge and 2-1⁄2" from upper finished edge (Diagram 8). Divide remaining distance across panel top evenly for number of grommets being used, placing the grommets 6"–8" apart.

3. Using your grommet, trace inner opening at each grommet location.

4. Working with one grommet at a time, pin around outside of one marked circle to prevent fabric from shifting when cut. Carefully cut on marked line through all layers to create grommet opening (Diagram 9). (This circle needs to fit snugly against the grommet. If opening needs to be made larger later, it can be trimmed away one thread at a time.)

5. Place grommet rim-side up on a hard surface. Gently place grommet opening, lining side up, over grommet. Without distorting fabric, trim opening if necessary to fit over grommet rim. Use your fingernail to push the fabric as flat as possible around the grommet.

6. Place the remaining grommet half over the fabric/rimmed grommet half. Using your palm, apply quick and direct pressure to snap grommet halves together.

7. Repeat steps 4–6 to set all grommets.

Hang Panels

1. Weave rod through grommets in panels.

2. Set rod into brackets and arrange panels to hang in even folds.

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