Saturday, June 2, 2012

How to: Burlap Curtains

My AWESOME momma helped me make curtains for my dining room!  My poor windows have been curtain-less for a year.  I knew burlap curtains were the way I wanted to go.  My mom had made some for her den, and they were so cute!  I had to get some for myself.

Disclaimer (ha!):  While my mom and I can sew (she's waaaaaaay better and more knowledgeable than I am), we are by no means professionals.  We didn't follow a pattern to make these curtains, and I have no idea if we did them the 'right' way.  I also don't know much sewing terminology, so I apologize if I don't describe things correctly.  Also, burlap is super messy to work with.  It sheds like crazy!  

STEP 1: Determine how long you want your curtains to be and add a few inches to the length when you buy it so you account for the hems. (I wanted 8 ft. curtains, so I went ahead and got 3 yards of fabric/panel to work with).  I got the burlap and the muslin (for the lining) I needed.

STEP 2: Measure and cut your fabric (burlap and muslin). For 8 ft. panels, we cut the fabric to 100 inches so we would have 4 extra inches to work with for the hems.  We used my hardwood floors, measuring tape, a yard stick, a fabric pencil, and good fabric scissors to cut straight lines.

STEP 3: If your fabric is like mine and the long side is frayed, it's good to iron the fray down so hemming the sides is easier and looks nicer.  You'll want the fray to fold into the wrong-side of the fabric (the side of the fabric that won't be showing).

STEP 4:  Lay your burlap fabric right side down and then lay your muslin fabric centered on top of your burlap.  At this point, we pinned the long side of the curtain panel's hems.  We measured our hem to be 2 inches. TIP:  Keep the pins about 2 inches apart.  This helps keep the hem from bubbling when you're sewing it.  Now, repeat this on all of the long sides of your curtain panels.  (We'll work on the tops and bottoms later.)

STEP 5:  Now it's time to sew the hem.  Sew as close to the inside of the hem that you can.  Keep it straight and use the medium length setting on your sewing machine's stitch width.

STEP 6: Once you've sewn all of the panel's side hems, remove the pins and iron them so they are nice and flat.  Ironing always makes things look more finished.

STEP 7:  Time to work on the top hem.  Repeat step 3.  You'll need to iron the fray down so it's easier to create your hem. Then fold your hem over.  We also made the hem 2 inches for the top.

STEP 8:  Sew the top hem.  Make sure you secure as you begin and finish sewing.  Like it step 5, keep it as close to the inside as possible.  Remove the pins and iron when you're finished.  Then enjoy how pretty it looks. 

STEP 9:  I decided to use the curtain clips to hang the curtain.  So clip those on and hang them on your curtain rod.  (This is how you'll determine the bottom hem of your curtain.)  

STEP 10:  Smooth your curtain out and let the fabric fall to the floor.  (This part is probably the 'redneck' way to do this (ha!), but momma and I didn't know the official way).  Now, lay your yard stick along the bottom of the curtain panel and push it against the wall so it makes an indention.  Along the indention is where you need to pin.  This will be your guide to know where the bottom of your hem will fall.  I wanted my curtains to hit the floor but not pool.

STEP 11:  Remove the curtains from the rod and back to your working area.  Using a yard stick and your fabric pencil, draw a line on the inside of your fabric to follow where your pinned your guide line.

STEP 12:  Using the line you just drew as your guide, mark a 2nd line below the pin-guided line.  We wanted our bottom hem to be 1.5 inches.  This will be the line you cut along.

STEP 13:  Cut along your bottom guide line.  Repeat steps 7 and 8 for your bottom hem.

STEP 14:  Iron your curtains.  Clip the curtain hanger clips back on, then hang them back up.  Enjoy your beautiful homemade burlap curtains!