Here's the assorted fabric remnants I have left over from a previous project.
Crafts, Projects, Sewing

Curtains Using Fabric Remnants

This project was about necessity and recycling items I already had. A friend needed a pair of drapes. I had fabric left over from a previous project. Match made in heaven…

After measuring the window in need of dressing it was apparent that my plan was going to have some hiccups. The window was 40 inches wide and fabric is usually 45 inches wide. Not giving much room to gather so it could drape nicely. But being me, I thought, well let’s give this a go anyway.

What you will need:

  • Pinking shears  & fabric scissors
  • Fabric remnants
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Bias tape
  • Mat and rotary cutter
  • Iron and ironing board

Before sewing it's important to make sure all the panels are square.

Looking through my leftover fabric I laid out all the chosen pieces and measured the length, accounting for the seam allowance to sew them together. This way I could figure out how many pieces I needed and then I could play around with the layout. Figuring for seam allowances and a loop at the top for the curtain rod, I only needed 5 of the 6 pieces. I got out the cutting mat and rotary cutter just to trim up the pieces and make sure that they are square. This is probably the point that I should have measured the fabric width instead of just assuming that they were 45 inches wide. We know what assuming does….

I laid everything out on the floor and moved the pieces around until I had a layout that I was happy with. My fabric happened to be stored flat so I didn’t feel like I needed to iron it but if the fabric has any creases or folding it should be ironed out before sewing the pieces together. I then took the first two pieces matched them up right sides together and sewed the first seam. Since some of the patterns have an up or down directionality to them, keep that in mind while you are matching them up.

Play around with the fabrics to get the order you like best.

I trimmed the edges of the seams with pinking shears to help keep the fabric from unraveling and reduce bulk. Begrudgingly I plugged in the iron. I ironed the panel focusing mainly on ironing the seams flat. It then was time to cut the panel lengthwise into two pieces and it was then when I measured to find the midway point that I realized the fabric was only 42 inches wide. This meant that after seam allowance on each side that this would just maybe fit the window. Disappointed, I took a break.

After deciding on a pattern layout, these panels are ready to come together.

During that break I had an idea. I could use bias tape to finish off the edges, giving the curtains a little more width and giving them a more polished look. I calculated how much I would need (same way as in our quilt project) and went to the fabric store. I bought extra wide double fold binding and needed three packages. Back at home I opened all the packages and started by joining the three pieces into one. I unfolded the bias tape sewed one inside flap all around the sides and bottom edges of the first panel (since the top will be folded over for the curtain rod I didn’t sew the bias tape to it). I then folded over the bias tape and sewed everything together. I repeated this process for the other panel.

These curtains are ready to hang up.

To make the loop for the curtain rod I measured the length of the panel starting from the bottom up when I reached 40.5 inches (the height of the window with a bit extra) I folded the remaining fabric over, mark the fold on both sides with a pin. To finish the edge fold over ¼ inch and iron in a fold line and sew it down. Then fold over where the pins are marking the fabric and sew down the bottom of the loop. Repeat for the other panel. Keep the iron out because they might need a final pass before you are finished.

Now it’s time to hold my breath and hang them up.

The final result..

Considering some of the issues they actually turned out pretty good. The fact that they stay open most of the time keeps hidden the fact that they are just wide enough for the window.

The project only took about two hours and my friend was pleased, everyone wins.

If you have other ways to use fabric remnants to create something I’d love to hear about it.

The finished curtains in their new spot.

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