How to Sew Muslin Curtains

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Muslin curtains are a great, inexpensive way to create window treatments with relative ease. The fabric is easy to cut and sew and launders nicely. Purchase muslin in white or off-white to coordinate with any decor.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton muslin, 45 inches wide
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Straight pins
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Tape measure
  • Ruler, yardstick
  • Pencil
  • Disappearing marker

Measuring and Preparing the Fabric

  • Measure the window. Add length for the position of the curtain rod and for the hem, depending on the desired length (bottom of the sill, cafe curtains, floor length).

  • Consider making the curtains 1 1/2 times the width of the window for average fullness and two times the width for maximum fullness. Remember that each panel has a 1 1/2 inch hem along each long edge.

  • Calculate the amount of fabric necessary to cover the window. Select fabric width of 45 inches. Add 5 inches to each panel for the rod casing and bottom hem.

  • Launder the fabric to pre-shrink it. Press the fabric while it is still slightly damp.

  • Cut lengths of fabric for each panel.

Sewing the Curtains

  • Seam the length of fabric together for panels that exceed 42 inches in width. Press the seam open and finish it with seam tape, hemming or serging.

  • Hem the long edges of each panel by turning under 1/2 inch and pressing in place. Turn under another inch and stitch in place.

  • Turn under 1/2 inch along the top and bottom edges of each panel. Turn up a 2 inch hem along the bottom and sew in place. Turn down a 2 inch hem at the top of each panel to create a rod casing.

  • Increase the depth of the rod casing to create a top ruffle. Create a deeper hem, and then sew a seam parallel to the bottom edge of the hem to make a sufficient rod pocket. Allow ease in the rod pocket so the curtains can slide easily back and forth.

  • Measure the panels carefully as work progresses. Make sure that the panels for a single window are measured and sewn identically.

  • Press the panels carefully before hanging. Add novelty embellishments as desired. Sew ribbon across the hem or sew colorful button along the bottom portion of each panel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make muslin curtains for a child's room, then add the child's handprints in fabric paints. Pour a little paint on a paper plate, coat the child's hand and press firmly and evenly on the fabric. Make a row of handprints across the hem or all over the panels.

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