How to Sew Curtains (and the guest room design)
Updated: Jun 24
For the record, I basically know how to sew straight lines. I can't do "pleats" or fancy stuff, just straight boxes, like pillows and duvets. I don't do zippers, and I can barely do buttons. But thanks to IKEA, I have learned a super easy way to sew curtains "from scratch". I will also share the design plan for my dad's guest room.
The room started as empty and brown.
We planned on repainting, putting twin beds in, hanging new curtains, putting up some shelves, and bringing in a vintage dresser and TV. Here is the design board.
You can see the reveal of the room here.
Today, I want to talk about sewing curtains. They are super easy since they are pretty much a rectangle. But I have found that with IKEA, they are even easier.
I bought these before I started.
The Kronill pleating tape is about 10 feet of "tape" that you can sew right to the top of your fabric and hang your curtains three different ways.
The way you hang a curtain determines how the fabric will "drape". We will be hanging these curtains like you see in the first picture.
We picked this fabric up from Fabric.com.
This has a SW vibe, is lightweight, and has a bit of a youth vibe to it. It was also very affordable. Because there is a pattern, I needed to cut the fabric and line it up to make sure when it was hemmed on the sides and top, it still lined up. Keep this in mind when you purchase patterned fabric for curtains. There should be information that tells you what the "vertical repeat" is. That will help you to determine how much more fabric you need so that it will line up when they are hanging.
Once I had the fabric lined up, I hemmed the sides and top. I hem fabric by folding the side about 1/4 of an inch and iron the fabric as I go. Then I fold it again, 1/4 to half an inch. Again, I run the iron as I fold to keep the fabric in place. Then I sew the edge. Once I had both the top and sides hemmed, I cut the Kronill tape to what I needed and folded the ends in for a clean look.
Here, you can see that I tucked the end into the top hem. I suppose you don't have to keep everything this "clean", but I like knowing this looks professional and not just thrown together.
Once everything was lined up and pinned, all I had to do was sew. I used the lines on the tape to guide my needle for a straight line. Once I was done, all I had to do was hang the rod for the curtains, and slide this backing on the pole. I chose to hem the curtains after they were installed so we could decide how we wanted them to pool (or not to pool, that is the question).
Next up is the long pillow. I was inspired by this pillow from Citizenry.
Honestly, this was the inspiration for the whole room. And if I could have afforded the price tag, I would have gotten it. We were on a tight budget, and I knew I could make something similar, saving me about $150. But if you have the budget for this brand, go check it out. They have AMAZING rugs and pillows, among other things. This pillow is 12 x 48. I looked around on the internet to find an insert that big, and just couldn't find anything, so I made my own. I started with some white fabric at IKEA, and two FJÄDRAR inserts. The fabric and 2 pillows cost less than $30.
Once I sewed my new pillow form, I used the feathers from the IKEA pillows to fill it up. In my head, this was going to be an easy transfer from one structure to another-like pouring sugar from the bag to your measuring cup. The reality took a lot longer and required so much vacuuming when I was done. But it was worth it.
I made 3 smaller pillows from the fabric that I had left over.
We did several other DIY projects for this space, including painting the two small tables the teal from this pillow, and printing and framing five different pieces to be hung and displayed throughout. We also decided to make a "headboard". We had two twin beds in this room that could be pushed together to make a king when needed. That means a headboard had to look right for the twins AND the king bed set ups. We decided to paint a piece of plywood black to delineate that space. It broke up all the white and showed very well when we finished.
Finally, we added three shelves. The styling of this space was my favorite. We added a picture of our daughter playing golf. My dad is an avid golf player, and is the one that helped Rachel to start playing when she was in 8th grade. She went on to play Varsity for four years, was Captain her Sr year, and is going off to play golf in college. In 2017, she had been playing for almost two years. This is still one of our absolute favorite pictures of her playing.
We actually repainted the shelves that we got from Target to better match the dresser we bought at a vintage shop. At the end of the three days, this room looked completely different, and the girls loved having their own space when they went up to his house.
Here is a list of what we put into the space:
See the full reveal here.