Sewing some Custom Curtains

There are gorgeous windows on the back of the house, especially in the Living Room. But they MUST have curtains to block the sun during the hottest part of the day. Luckily, there are enough trees to provide some shade, as I have no clue how I would cover the really big windows on top.

Here's the windows and curtains before we moved in.

I was lucky enough to find THESE curtains at JC Penney Outlet. They were having a 75% off sale on curtains AND I was shopping with my mom. She, of course, had coupons for an additional 15% OFF. Love HER! Thanks, mom! So, we got these curtains for about $50!

While I really love these curtains, Ryan and I both felt the room needed more...Something?

AGAIN, I get to turn to my fabulous SIL at Modus Operandi Designs, and she suggested something "beefier" and also suggested raising the curtains to just below the big Palladian windows. (I pay her back in wine and Chiefs tickets. I wonder how that's working out for her, because it's working out GREAT for me!)

The don't make "off the rack" curtains in the length I needed: about 105". Custom was going to cost me a minimum of $3500. Another option is "made-to-length" curtains, which would cost a minimum of $1800 for what we want. (These prices ONLY include the curtains, not the hardware)

SEW, I get out the sewing room, which consists of me dragging my sewing machine and ironing board out into the middle of the Family Room (which, you KNOW Ryan just LOVES.)

Pluses to working in the Family Room?

1. It encourages me to finish up the project quickly, since all my crap is in the way.
2. I get to iron while I am watching TV!

We waited until Jo-Ann Fabric had their 54" Decorator Fabric on sale. We got the fabric at 65% off: bringing our total spent to just under $300. Still a lot, but a significant savings over full price and a HUGE savings over having someone else make them. I also asked the clerk at Jo-Ann to cut my fabric into four equal pieces, which saves me time AND they cut very straight at Jo-Ann. Me...? Not so straight.

First, I ironed in double hems on the tops and sides and then stitched them. This could also be done with double sided Ironing tape with no problem. In fact, that could have saved some time, as I was ironing anyway. The ironing process would take a bit longer to get everything heated well enough to bond, but there would be no sewing.

We bought some nice, heavy wood rods and rings and installed those. (Cost: about $150) Then, after the top and side hems were complete on the curtains, at my mom's suggestion (still loving her!), I hung each panel and pinned the bottom hem in place. Since we open and close these curtains daily, I didn't want any puddling on the floor.

After pinning, I ironed in the double hem and stitched again! And then hung them all.

The LONG TIME Before:

The Middle Before:

And the AFTER:

And then just one more picture with them open!

Raising the curtains makes the room feel more substantial and raises your eye up, where before it stopped at the top of the old curtains. And the heavier rods make more of a statement, too. AND, we were able to reuse the OLD curtains downstairs in the Family Room! YAY! I'll post that pic soon!

Funny side note: Ry and I thought we were really going out there on the color of the curtains. They have ORANGES and GREENS and even TURQUOISE BLUE in them! Once hung??.......they look pretty BROWN...HAH!


  1. Those look GREAT, Melissa! Way to step out on the color ledge, too (hah!)
    For the record, wine and Chiefs tickets work perfectly well for me. Everybody wins! If there's any shot at that Niner game, I'll do just about anything you need!

  2. Oh, honey. I am working on those Niners' tickets!

  3. They look fabulous! I love them! Are they hung with curtain clips? I can't quite tell. I rally like them hung up higher. Loos great!

  4. Thanks. and YES! curtain clips, only.

  5. I totally understand as I have two story windows. Luckily the sun doesn't come in so I don't have to close the curtains. Your curtains are very nice and look great! I am working on making mine from ceiling to floor. I found a deal on fabric but still was about $120. Now I just need to sew them!! What a job!