4 December 2011

No Sew Curtains For The Curtainly-Challenged

Making curtains is apparently not my thing. It seems so simple, but I always manage to complicate it somehow. One time I picked a ridiculously thick and heavy fabric that broke about a thousand sewing machine needles. Another time I chose a gorgeous raw silk that was too stiff and slippery to stay put on the rod – the drapes kept spreading out and shrouding me in darkness.

So it's something of a miracle that this attempt turned out well :) I used fabric tape to make a set of curtains for the large wall-to-wall windows in the main living space of our apartment. 

I still made a bunch of mistakes and it took me several tries to get it right, but the finished product looks great :) If I can do this, honestly anyone can. I wish I had a before shot so you could see what a dramatic difference the drapes make in the space!

If you are curtain-challenged like me, I've made a list of dos and don'ts for my future sewing-self to learn from my mistakes :)
  1. Accept the fact that your husband’s mind just isn't wired to understand the decorative necessity of curtains, and pray that he comes around :)
  2. Pick the right fabric! Something lightweight and flowy
  3. Measure like 10 times, maybe even 12. I measured 3 or 4 times but my drapes still ended up too long. I re-measured and re-hemmed, and they were still too long! (I swear I do know how to do math...)
  4. Fabric tape is your friend :) It was super easy to use with an iron, and it made a perfect hem. Just don’t try re-hemming like I did without opening the first hem – two layers of the tape plus several layers of folded fabric left me with a very thick and very stiff hem. Not helpful if you want the drapes to fall nicely!
Eventually I got it right though :)
I'm in loooooove with this fabric! It's light and bright and I love the pretty subtle pattern. I'd had my eye on it for over a year at Fabricland and it was finally marked down, it was totally meant to be :)

These curtains make me happy : ) I smile when I see them. They really soften the look of the windows and make the room look a lot cozier. Best part is that they almost hide the old school office-looking blinds that I can’t stand.

By the way, you may or may not be eyeing my fabulous new desk lamp too :) Just picked it up today at Goodwill for 13 bucks!

Love it! And it looks perfect next to the new curtains! 

What do you think? Let me know if you have any tips to add to my list of dos and don'ts :) 


  1. Absolutely beautiful! Great work!

  2. This post was so witty and funny. I love the curtains, they turned out fabulous. I have to giggle about how long it took you to get them the way you wanted them, because that is sooooo something I would do! Which is why I don't sew. No matter how many times I measure I will always cut things way too short.

    BTW, how did you know I was eyeballing your lamp? Were you spying on me? ;o) LOL

  3. You did a wonderful job, and they turned out perfect! They look WAY expensive! That lamp is a fabulous find!

    Love your blog (I'm a sucker for polka dots). Am I really your first follower?

    Creating Wonderful Spaces

  4. Hmmm... Fabric tape. What a great concept! I have a set of curtains I "hemmed" with duct tape! Hey, it's lasted like 3 years! I just have to pray no one ever looks at the backside! :)
    Next time I'll have to try this "fabric tape" you speak of. As long as I can still avoid the sewing machine... Not that the iron and I are great friends, either!

  5. Your curtains look very nice.
    How did you do the top part?
    It looks very professional.
    Love the lamps as well and the colours you have used.
    Dec. 11, 2011

  6. What a wonderful piece of aesthetic. May the future bring plenty of all good things for both of you and may Allah bless all.

    Mom-bai & Dad-Bai

  7. I love that lamp tooo... I have kind of similar one but I silver leafed it and I regret it :( I told you I was a silver gilr few months agoooooooo :( now I love these antiques color