Making your own curtains can be a good way to save money and avoid roaming through the store. You can also personalize your homemade curtains to fit your home decor more than the mass-produced curtain options at the store can do. To dress up your curtains, you can even add a puff top. With this style, you will actually be connecting the puff "valence" to the drapes that hang below. With some basic knowledge in sewing with a sewing machine and making basic measurements, almost anybody can create these curtains.
Things You'll Need
- Tape measure
- Fabric marker
- Sewing machine (with ruffle foot attachment)
- Thread (matching fabric)
- Straight pins
Measure the dimensions of the window on which you wish to install the puff top curtains. The drapes can be the exact size of the window or larger, depending on the style you want. Allow extra width for the amount of ruffle that will be gathered in the ruffling process. The extra fabric needed will depend on the size of the ruffle foot setting and therefore the size of the ruffle. The extra gathering in a larger ruffle will use more fabric than a smaller ruffle. The ruffle can require anywhere from a few extra inches to a few extra feet depending on the ruffle setting. The height measurement will be twice the size you want the puff top to be.
Mark the measurements on the fabric lightly with a fabric marker. Use small marks that are fairly easy to hide as silk is typically not a washable fabric. Water can actually permanently damage some silk. However, spot cleaning can be done with some silks.
Cut the fabric in accordance with the measurements marked on the fabric. The cuts do not have to be completely smooth as they will be hidden during the sewing process and appear on the backside of the curtain that is closest to the wall and window.
Fold over 1.5 inches of fabric on the sides. Press an iron warmed to a silk setting onto the surface of the folded silk fabric to create a crease. Fold the silk over again another 1.5 inches. Press the iron onto the surface of the silk once again to create another crease. Stitch with a sewing machine close to the first fold to hold it in place.
Repeat the folding and sewing process on each side of the fabric to hem the sides.
Attach the ruffle attachment foot to your sewing machine. Remove the standard foot, and slide the ruffle attachment in its place. The process of removal and attachment will vary slightly with each type of sewing machine. However, there is typically a small screw next to the needle just above the foot that can be turned to remove and attach sewing feet. Turn the screw counterclockwise to loosen the screw and clockwise to tighten the screw once again.
Fold the puff top portion in half, wrong sides facing, with unfinished edges aligned. Pin in place.
Sew with the ruffle foot along the unfinished edges of the folded fabric. The ruffle created by ruffle foot will create a puffy effect to the fabric. Separate and puff the fabric with your hands to create a fuller effect. This is the puff top of the curtain that will be attached to the top of the drapes.
Measure the height of the window that will be covered with the bottom drape portion of the curtains with a tape measure.
Cut fabric in accordance with the height measurement taken in the previous step plus a few inches to make room for a curtain-rod pocket. The extra inches needed for the pocket will depend on the size of the rod that you wish to use. The width of the fabric should be just slightly greater than the width of the window. The more excess material used in the width of the curtain, the more you will have a rippled effect when the curtains are hung.
Hem all sides of the fabric that is to be used for the drapes. Fold over, iron and stitch the hems as you did for the puff top portion of the curtains.
Make a pocket for the curtain rod. Fold over half an inch at the top of the drapery fabric and press. Then fold over enough fabric for your curtain rod plus half an inch for a seam. Sew in place, stitching close to the first fold.
Connect the puff top to the drapery fabric. Place the puff top on the drapery panel, right sides together and top edges aligned. Sew, using a half-inch seam. Flip the puff top to the right side of the drape.
Hang the puff top curtains on a curtain rod. Slide the curtain rod into the rod pocket on the curtains. Place the curtain rod in the hangers that should already be secured to the wall.