This is a project I took on as part of Ellie's room makeover. You can see my plans for her little room here, and how I refinished her dresser here. The girl has to have complete and utter darkness in order to wake up happy so blackout curtains were a must. Previously she would drape extra blankets over her curtain rods to block out the light. So fashion forward I tell you. You can see some of her room in these curtain pictures; by Wednesday I'll hopefully be finished and have the full, wait for it, reveal.
I looked at a few different tutorials online and the one I really followed was this one from A View Along the Way. It is very clear and well done.
I'm so happy with how these came out I'm looking at every window in my house with a critical eye wondering what fabric would look best as a new dress for them.
So if you're ready to make your own blackout curtains, let's get cracking!
I do everything with a sort of casual approach, I hope that doesn't bug you. Don't stress out when you're making these; you can do it! And all mistakes are fixable.
So first, cut your fabric. Ideally you should cut your fabric 4-6 inches wider and 6-8 inches longer than you want your panel to end up. I, on the other hand, got excited and immediately cut my fabric to almost exactly the length I wanted my panel to end up. But after a brief moment where I thought I'd have to stab myself in the eye with the scissors, I realized I'd just have to make do with smaller hems. And it worked out fine.
Lock your dog in another room and lay your fabric out on the floor if your panels are too long to cut on a table.
Next cut your blackout lining a few inches shorter and narrower than your fabric panels. I cut mine 6 inches shorter and 4 inches narrower.
Fold up a hem on the bottom edge of your fabric, iron it, fold it again, iron it and sew it with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. I was trying to make my hem as small as possible since I was an over eager cutter, but if you cut your fabric 8 inches longer than your finished panel you can fold up a two inch hem and then fold it again taking up four inches total. It will look nice and professional. Are you following? Great!
A 1/4 inch seam allowance is basically when you put your presser foot right against that fold and follow it for the whole seam. It makes it easy to sew straight. You will see that I didn't bother pinning. I also just eyeballed what an inch hem looks like and folded it without measuring. I like living on the edge that way.
This is quick and dirty curtain making my friends. Not really though, it actually looks very good. I just hate spending a million hours trying to make everything perfect and then being hyper aware of every uneven hem or crooked stitch; instead I like to eyeball things and remember that the curtain police probably won't come check on me.
Okay next hem your lining fabric again using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Now you have a hemmed curtain panel, and a hemmed lining. Lay them right sides together and line the left edges up together. The right side of the blockout fabric is the side that is a little bit soft and fuzzy; the wrong side feels like rubber? It should look like this. Go ahead and pin it and sew the edges together.
Next you need to take the right edges and pin and sew them together. The fabric panel is, obviously, bigger than the lining so the fabric will be loose. It's okay, just go with it.
After both of the edges are sewn together, you get to do the fun part...turning the whole thing right side out! It will look like this:
Kind of smooth and straighten it so that there are equal amounts of fabric on each side of the lining. Be excited! It looks like a real, professional, blackout curtain panel! Iron it up.
At this point you could simply hem the top and then hang the panels using curtain clips like I did with my kitchen valance.
If you want curtains hung with back tabs you can cut 2 1/2 inch lengths of grosgrain ribbon to use as tabs. Double fold down the top of the panel and iron it. Slide the ribbon pieces under the edge of the hem and pin them. To get even spacing I put one tab at each corner, then one in the middle, then eyeballed the two tabs in between the middle and edge tabs.
Now sew the edge down securing the tabs as you do.
Now sew the ends of the tabs down. I went across, backwards, and across again.
And finally, trim the loose threads and hang that beautiful curtain up! After you make the first one you'll be amazed at how easy it was and probably, like me, excited to make more. Cheers!