Simple Café Curtain project

Make a Simple Café Curtain

You can make a basic curtain to shirr on a rod provided you can cut a straight line, mark a straight line, and sew a straight line. You can do all those things? Brilliant! Let’s proceed.

Measure and Calculate

Measure the height of your window from top of curtain rod to top of windowsill (or wherever you want the curtain to end. Measure the width of the window from side to side. Call these measurements H and W. Now you can determine how large your rectangle of fabric needs to be and arrive at the amount of fabric to purchase.

To your H, add 10 centimeters (4 inches) at the top and 10 centimeters (4 inches) at the bottom for hems. For W, multiply by 3 for a sheer to lightweight fabric or by 2 for a heavier fabric. This will allow the fabric to shirr (gather up) on the rod.

Now assume your rectangle needs to be 2 meters wide and 2 meters long. You will need enough 2 meter pieces of fabric to sew together to make the curtain wide enough. For example, assuming your chosen fabric is 1 meter wide, you will need to purchase 4 meters of fabric. You will cut the length in half and seam the two lengths together using a narrow French seam to make your 2 by 2 meter square.

Hem the Edges

You will hem the sides of the curtain first. Turn under 1.5 centimeters at each side edge. Press and stitch. Turn under again to enclose the raw edges. Stitch again.

At top and bottom, turn under 5 centimeters (2 inches) and press. Turn under again, press, and stitch to make a casing. The curtain rod will fit through the openings at the sides of the hem. Because we made top and bottom hems the same, these curtains can be turned with each washing and will wear more evenly!

For visual instructions for a similar curtain, see this video.

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