See how to sew curtains, either one for a regular window in your home or for a French door window - an easy diy curtain with a curtain rod pocket. If you can sew a straight line, you can sew curtains. It's that simple!
Also make sure to scroll down for a curtain sewing tips section, see how to measure a window to make a curtain, how to add a bottom rod, curtain pocket sizes chart, and more.
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How To Make A Curtain
Do you want to sew curtains for your windows? On walls or doors? This curtain tutorial is two-in-one! I'll show you how to sew a classic (easy!) rod pocket window curtain, and also, how to sew diy French door curtains. Same procedure, just a minor tweak. Yey!
And not just that: I'll show you how to sew the rod pocket so it fits any curtain rod in your home. Cool, right? And with tons of tips I added in here, you'll soon become a curtain sewing expert!
Now, first, why I am showing you two types of curtains in the same tutorial: because I just happened to need them, and figured out that I can make them both the same way. And you might be in the same position. If you are like me and don't like the thought of a stick-on window film, diy door window curtains are a good solution - and a pretty one!
First, I made a classic rod pocket curtain for the window in a room, and then one for the beautiful French window door (I needed a backside for this pretty panel quilt I made), and got a pretty, matching look for the room. I'm sure you'd want that too!
And did you know that making a French door curtain was even easier than the other one? Go figure! Take a look.
How To Sew A Curtain - Supplies
Now onto the supplies that you need to sew a curtain - be it a French door window curtain, or the classic rod pocket curtain to cover a window on the wall. You'll need:
- fabric for your curtain
- rotary cutter plus a cutting mat, or scissors
- measuring tape, chalk, iron, sewing machine
- matching thread
- I used a stick-on curtain rod for French windows - or a classic curtain rod if you're sewing a curtain for a normal window:
- For a normal window, use whatever curtain rod fits your home decor style. Select a rod that is wider than your window. The rule of thumb is around 10" wider than your window.
- For a fitted door curtain, or a French door window curtain, you'll need this:
Bear in mind is that this tutorial is made for a ¾" rod diameter. This tutorial also shows you exactly how to adjust that pocket, scroll towards the end of the page - no extra fabric is needed for a larger pocket - merely skip one of the 2 seams in step 4!
How Much Fabric Do I Need To Sew a Rod Pocket Curtain?
Height: the piece of fabric will need to fit the height of your curtain rod. Measure from the installed rod to the planned bottom of curtain+ add 10" to allow for the top rod pocket and the bottom hem. You can choose a wider hem too.
Width of your fabric: multiply the finished curtain width (mind the rod length) by 2 up to 2.5 times the width for a gathered look. Plus add an extra of 2" on each side for a generous side hem.
How Much Fabric Do I Need For a Fitted Window Curtain?
Height: the piece of fabric will need to fit the height of the windows + add 10" to allow for the top rod pocket and the bottom hem. You can choose a wider hem too.
Width of your fabric: multiply the finished curtain width by 1.5 up to twice the width for a gathered look. I prefer the double-width for my French door window curtain. Make sure to add an extra of 2" on each side for a generous side hem.
Curtain Sewing Tutorial
Step 1: Measure The Window For Curtains
You'll first have to measure your window to decide on how large the curtain you want to have. See below for detailed help on measuring windows for curtains.
Taking measurements for a curtain for a window on the wall: Decide on how high above the window your rod will be installed. Then measure from the curtain rod to the floor to get the finished curtain height. Then measure the horizontal width of your window area, that is, rod width between the rod brackets.
Secondly, sewing a curtain that will be fitted inside the window: since this curtain will only cover the window, you'll only measure the actual window area. For example, my diy French door glass is 20" wide and 59 ½" tall.
Step 2: Cut Fabric
With all the measurements ready, cut a single rectangular piece of fabric. If you are making a curtain with a rod placed above the window and the curtains hanging to the ground, this:
- Width= width between the rod brackets x 2 ( or, 2 up to 2.5) plus 4"
- Height= measure from the rod to the floor plus 10"
For a diy French window curtain (to fit your curtain INSIDE a window pocket), this:
- Width= window glass width x 2 plus 4"
- Height= window glass height plus 10"
In short, to determine the size to cut, take the dimensions you want your curtain panel to be and add 4" to the width and 10" to the height to account for the hems and pockets.
Step 3: How To Make Side Seams On A Curtain
First, we'll make two side seams to make the sides pretty. Press both of the sides by 2" towards the wrong side. Then turn the raw edge of the hem under so you'll form a double-fold hem. Stitch in place using a straight stitch.
Step 4: How To Make A Top And Bottom Hem On A Curtain
The top and the bottom will be identical. Not just to make it easier for you, also to allow you to use the rods both on top and bottom of your curtain, or just at the top. And you'll be able to change your mind even after the project is finished. How cool is that!
Here's how to sew a curtain with top and bottom rod pocket:
First the top: fold the top towards the back by 1 inch, press and fold again by 4 inch this time.
Sew across along the bottom of the hem.
If your curtain rod is smaller than 1 inch in diameter, mark a line at 1 ½" away from the curtain's top finished edge and stitch a second seam, this will fix your curtain rod:
Repeat the same at the bottom.
Step 5: Hang And Admire Your Diy Curtain!
Hang your diy curtain on the rod and admire your new sewing skill!
And here are a few bonus tips for sewing curtains, to make your curtain sewing project easier.
How To Measure The Window For Curtains
For a regular window, you'll first install a curtain rod that is wider than your window. The rule of thumb is around 10" wider than your window. Decide on how high above the window your rod will be installed. Then measure from the curtain rod to the floor to get the finished curtain height.
Then measure the horizontal width of your window area, that is, taking into account the rod width between the brackets. Multiply by 2 and this is your finished curtain width.
When you are sewing a diy French door window curtain, the measurements to take are even simpler:
When you are measuring for a curtain that will be fitted inside the window only measure the actual window area. This curtain will only cover the window.
Install the curtain rods in the window. If the rods are not entirely at the top of your window, you'll need to account for that difference. Measure the height between the top of the rod and the bottom of the glass opening. Then measure the horizontal width of your window glass.
What type of rods to use for the fitted door window curtain?
If you're asking yourself how do you hang curtains on a door window, you'll love what you see here: this tutorial uses easy stick-on curtain rods for French windows. So handy, affordable and you can use them anywhere without any drilling involved.
How To Make A Door Window Curtain With Top And Bottom Rod?
Simple. If you want to, you can add a bottom rod (mine came in sets of 2) for a different look, or if you want to really fit the bottom into the window frame too.
With this tutorial above, you've already got it all done. One rod pocket is at the top and the other rod pocket is already sewn into the bottom of your curtain. You can use it always, occasionally, or never. Your choice. This is how it looks like:
How To Sew the Curtain Rod Pocket Size So It Fits My Curtain Rod?
It can be a pain to alter a curtain once it's already been sewn. This is why I've got you covered! This tutorial has a 4" pocket on top and bottom. What I added was a second seam on each top and bottom, to make this 4" pocket narrower - that is, if you have, like me, a thin curtain rod. If your curtain rod is larger in diameter, say 1, or even 1 ½" in diameter, you can simply skip that second seam and you're safe.
You can also adjust the second seam to fit your curtain rod. Now, here's a list of what curtain pocket size to sew, so you can adjust your rod pocket accordingly:
|Curtain Pocket Size||Rod Diameter|
|1 ½" pocket||¾" curtain rod|
|2" pocket||1" curtain rod|
|2 ½" pocket||1 ¼" curtain rod|
|3" pocket||1 ½" curtain rod|
How To Sew Light Blocking Curtains
If you want to keep light out, use a layer of blackout fabric, which means a serious reduction in light and noise. These are also called blackout curtains, and sewing those can be the same as what I showed you above, the only thing to keep in mind is that you'll want to cover a larger portion around the window. That is, install the rod as high as possible, and make the curtain touch the floor to reduce as much light coming from the edges of the curtain as possible.
One of the most popular curtain rods to use for darkening is this room darkening blackout rod. Useful to keep light out!
I'll be adding more curtain sewing tips as I keep decorating my home - my best tips come from when I try to improve my own living space. Stay tuned and make sure to save this photo to Pinterest to have it at hand when you need it:
I hope this tutorial on how to sew curtains was helpful for you. If you like sewing for the home, you'll also want to check out my favorite free table runner patterns. Happy sewing!
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