Monday, March 28, 2011

Making some drapes

After reviewing SEVERAL blogs about how to make curtains without sewing, I finally took the plunge! And it really wasn't too difficult. It was a little time consuming, but I'm sure it is still less time consuming than actually sewing them. The most difficult part was making sure everything was square and straight.

I wanted the curtains to go all the way to the ceiling to help elongate the space, or about 7ft 6 inches
 (there is a little bump down where a pipe runs through so it isn't quite the height of the real ceiling)
see it up there at the top??
So, with a 4 inch seam on the bottom and a 2 inch seam on the top I figured I needed to cut the fabric right at 8 ft long. The easiest way for me to do this STRAIGHT was to lay it out on our rug in the Wii Room that just happens to be 5' x 8'. I have to say- this was super helpful and is probably the only way I could confidently cut straight- but that's just me- I can't cut straight for the life of me. It's a disease!

you can see my measuring tape in the top corner- just to be sure

Anyways- so I got both panels cut (I bought 6 yards of fabric so I knew I would have more than enough- and I ended up having enough to make a roman shade for the window above the kitchen sink!)

Then I pretty much just followed the directions of the Heat N'Bond ultra hold hem tape. Having everything laid out completely flat first I ironed the fabric a little to get all the major wrinkles out, then just pulled the tape along the long sides first.

In sections I ironed the sticky side of the tape on to the curtains, holding the iron on each section for at least 5 seconds. The paper side of tape is what you will be ironing directly on.

Also- I realized this as I was about to iron- make sure to set the hem tape in a few inches so that you have enough fabric to pull all the way over and cover the hem tape. See above how I left some space; the tape wasn't right up against the edge of the fabric

Let this cool for a few minutes- while each one was cooling, I did the next side- I did the two long sides together at once then turned and did the short sides. After the tape has cooled, come back and peel all the paper off of the backside of the tape. I found it worked easiest without tearing if I kept a finger on the tape with some pressure as I pulled it off with the other hand:

Then just fold your fabric over the tape- making sure to fold over the same amount all the way down- a little tricky on the long sides but if you use a ruler as you go its not too bad. And really, I'm sure mine isn't completely perfect,errr who am I kidding- I KNOW it's not all completely perfect but you really can't tell once they are up as long as it's pretty close.
So I continued doing this on all four sides of each panel- I had two, one for each side of the window (OBVIOUSLY!) so it was a nice Saturday morning's worth of work, but it gets faster as you get more comfortable with the tape and get into a groove.
This is the seam once it was put in place and ironed down. It's really a nice sharp corner that looks really good- I was impressed!

I did not make curtain pockets because I had already decided to use curtain rings. I decided on these for two reasons-
1. It's easier to make the curtains without the pocket
2. It's easier to open and shut the curtains when they are on the rings. ( I know because none of the rest of our curtains are on rings and they are so hard to move around, I desperately want to get rings for all of them!)

In the end I found out reason #1 isn't really valid- all you have to do to create the pocket on the top of the curtain panels is to put the hem tape about 5 inches further down that you normally would so that when you iron the tape to secure it you have about a three inch space between the top of the fabric and the hem- just enough to run through a curtain rod! So it's really just about ease of use and aesthetics.

And voila! You're done.

close up of the curtain rings

you can see how I folded over the top until I got to the perfect length- I didn't want any fabric pooled on the floor because I worry about them getting dirty in the kitchen, etc.
Unless you are anal like me and want to make more stuff with your super fun hem tape while your poor husband quietly and patiently (well trying to be at least) waits on you to finish so you can go to lunch!

Being myself, I threw together a little roman shade for over the kitchen window sink too- and it was RIDICULOUSLY easy- especially after the big curtain panels. I just measured how wide it needed to be- I wanted mine to be completely flat, not ruffle-y so I measured the exact width of the window and the length I wanted and got to ironing. On this one, since I was not using curtain rings, I made sure to put my hem tape a few inches lower than normal to leave myself some space to run the curtain through the rod and BAM!

So cute don't you think?


  1. Oh my gosh- your drapes look so good!!! I think I have that same fabric too:) Since you're in Houston, you should come to our blogger meet up on April 30- check out my blog for the post about it:)

  2. Thanks Megan!! I LOVE that fabric! I knew I had to have to use it somewhere when I first saw it.
    I'll def email you about the blogger meet up. I'd love to come!

  3. Way to go! I don't need any curtains in the house but I am thinking I could use that hem tape on some pants! haha :)