Paranoia + Procrasination = DIY Window Curtains
You know sometimes when you’re so scared to try something that you procrastinate in the hopes that someday you’ll wake up feeling confident and knowledgeable and ready to tackle that something with skill and dexterity? That’s kinda what happened with the fabric that we got for our nursery curtains. It quietly sat in the closet of our guest bedroom, waiting for me to overcome my fear of cutting the fabric wrong and having horribly crooked curtains and disappointing my mom who bought it and embarrassing our baby who would have to sleep in a room that was decorated by an obvious amateur.
I didn’t wake up one day feeling confident and knowledgeable, but I did wake up one day feeling that I couldn’t put it off any longer because I couldn’t paint anything and I was feeling pretty useless. So I took a deep breath and laid out the fabric on the floor in the kitchen and told myself to just CUT THE FABRIC and it would all turn out to be okay, hopefully, in the end.
Too much prose for a simple set of curtains? Perhaps. But I’ll show you how I cut it and how I “hemmed” it, in the hopes that this post will help at least one paranoid, procrastinating person out there.
I measured the full length of the wall in our nursery, which came to 93 inches. I then added 1 1/2 inch to the top and to the bottom = 96. I even asked my math teacher husband if I did the math correctly. I have a history of bungling seemingly simple measurements (the reason why our closet bookshelves are not YET done), so Nick has politely requested that I run all numbers by him.
After laying out the fabric on the kitchen floor, I measured the length on both sides and used a L-ruler to make the marks. The L-ruler gave me some security because I figured that the L would line up with the side of the fabric and thus my marks would be straight across the fabric.
Then I marked the whole length of the fabric, holding my breath all the while and hoping it would be straight. I guess it all worked out and all the cuts were okay, even though I did throw a mini-tantrum at the last cut when my markings were completely crooked and off. Luckily, since I would hem the top and the bottom anyway, my messed up markings didn’t matter.
Next up was to actually hem the fabric. I used iron-on hem, which I recommend if you have a sewing machine that has been in its box for the past four years. I did the sides of the fabric first, which gave me some more confidence since there is a clear border on the sides which I followed when folding over the fabric. Before hemming, I ironed the fold so there would be a crease for me to follow. Then I just put the hem strip and ironed over it for two seconds, let it cool, and peeled it off. Fold over the fabric and iron again, for 6 to 8 seconds, resist the urge to pull on the fabric to test if it sticks because it won’t stick until cool, and then you’re golden. It was pretty easy, but time consuming. Luckily we were watching Dexter while I was doing this, so I wasn’t too bored.
After the sides, it was time for the top and the bottom. I did the top first in the same manner, with a little more paranoia because there was no clear border to follow, but I just eyeballed it and it turned out fine. Then I hung the curtains up and pinned the bottoms until they pooled on the ground just a little bit (I hoped this would hide any imperfections in my hemming) and took them back to the ironing board.
Since the bottoms of the curtains had more fabric to fold up, I decided to do a double-folded hem. Does that term make any sense? I’ve already blathered on for too long on this post, so I will let the photos do the talking and you can see how I did the double-folded hem on the bottoms.
The curtains look great and I’m surprised that they look so good! SO RELIEVED. Even though it took forever, I feel motivated to do curtains in the other rooms in the house! I’m not too sure if making curtains is much cheaper than buying curtains – the costs seem to be similar in the end – but it’s nice to get the exact fabric that you want instead of settling on what is available out there.
It is so hard to photograph the curtains with the light shining out of the window – I tried my best with our little point and shoot. (If you have any tips, let me know!)
I plan to get a white roller shade with blackout shade on the window and perhaps add a fun orange ribbon on the roller shade.
The lesson here, at least for me, is to stop worrying about perfection and just do my best and it’ll be OK in the end. If not, it’s not exactly curing cancer, so I need to just chill. Right? Right.
Fabric: Covington Wilmington Multi.