Like lots of crafters, when watching TV I notice soft furnishings and possible makes. Whilst watching a detective burst into a child’s bedroom to stop him being shot, I noticed a great set of floaty curtains! So here is my version, I wanted a floaty look so used white sheets for the main fabric (my son has blackout blinds for the night), and use Riley Blake’s One for the Boys Collection for the bunting and tabs.
You can download/print these instructions by clicking here.
Main and lining fabric
Measure the width, starting where you want the curtain to start (which is probably to the left of the window, if you want to have the first tab on the other side of the pole holder, this needs to be a minimum of 3”) to where you want to end (to the right of the window). Divide this figure by 2 and then times the answer by 1.5, finally add 2.5” – this is the width of 1 curtain.
Now measure the height of the curtain, from the top of the window frame (don’t worry that your pole is higher, these are tab top curtains and the tab will be in that space) to where you want the curtain to end, adding 4.5” to the figure (3.5” for hems and 1” to have the curtain start just above the window line).
Each finished tab is 2” in diameter, we have spaced our 4“ apart. To work out how many tabs you need to take the width of your curtain (worked out above) take away 5.5”, divide the answer by 6 and then add 1. It is most likely to won’t end up with an exact figure, but round the figure up or down, depending whether you want to space them slightly closer, or slightly further apart.
The length of your tab is determined by the location of your curtain pole. Wrap your tape measure around the pole, with the start of the measure at the top of the window, take the tape measure over the pole and back down to the start, this figure plus 2.5” is the length of each piece of tab fabric.
You can use the same fabric for all the tabs, raid your stash to make multi-coloured/patterned tabs or use 2.5” strips made of the same fabric as the bunting or main fabric (you can order your fabrics pre-cut in 2.5” strips).
Each triangle’s finished size is 7” wide x 8.5” long. To work out how many triangles you need, take the width of your curtain, take away 11.5” and divide the answer by 11”, then add 1. Round the answer up or down, depending whether you want to space the triangles out more or less.
To work out how many bunting strips you need, take 7.5” off the length of your main fabric and divide the answer by 15”. Round up or down depending on whether you want to increase or decrease the vertical spacing. Times the number of strips by the number of triangles to get a total number of triangles needed.
Main curtain fabric – 1 piece cut the sizes worked out above.
Lining curtain fabric – 1 piece cut 2.5” shorter and 2” narrower than the main fabric.
Tabs – For each tab you need two pieces of fabric, 2.5” wide x the length worked out above. If you are ordering in 2.5” strips, x the length needed for 1 tab (remember you need two pieces for each tab) by the total number of tabs needed and then divide by 44”, round the answer up to get the total number of strips required.
Bunting Triangles – The number of triangles required (see working out instructions above), if you are cutting these yourself, you can save some fabric by turning the template upside down of each other triangle, but only of there is no particular direction to the pattern!
Making the bunting.
Start by ironing a ¼” crease on the left and right side of each triangle. Once you have ironed the creases in, you can cut out the excess fabric.
Now make the strips that the bunting triangles sit in. Take a strip of fabric the width of the main fabric, fold in half and iron a crease in the centre. Now open your fabric out and fold the raw edges into the crease, iron in place.
Now iron the original crease one more time.
Put the triangles and tapes to one side.
Take your main fabric and hem the bottom ¼”. Fold the fabric up 3” (so that the raw edge of the hem is not visible) and iron/pin a 3” crease along the bottom.
Pin the bunting tapes the main fabric, starting 4.25” from the top, and spacing out approx. 15” apart (you will need to play around with the exact spacing for your curtain length, but don’t go below 10” above the bottom crease, or move the top tape higher).
You can now baste these tapes into place by opening them up and sewing along the side closest to the main fabric (this sew line will be hidden).
Pin your bunting triangles into place, spacing them approx. 5” apart (actual spacing will depend on the width of your curtain, start minimum of 3” from the left and finishing a minimum of 3” from the right. Once you are happy you can sew a line across the top of the bunting tape, securing the triangles in place.
Now stich the remaining two sides of each triangle into place (or cheat and apply heat n bond iron on adhesive!).
Now that the front of the curtain is done we need to attach the tabs.
Cut each strip the right size for your tabs. Match two strips up, right sides facing, and sew down each long side.
Now make a template for the V shape, take a piece of cardboard 2.5” wide by 2” tall, fold in half (vertically), open up and fold a triangle on each side, starting the crease at the top corner and creasing down to the bottom of the middle crease you just made, trim off the excess and use this template to mark the v shape of your tabs, sew along the lines (see image above) and cut off excess fabric and turn in. Repeat these steps for all the tabs.
Now space the tabs along the top of the curtain, starting and ending 1.75” in from the edge and spacing equally in-between. Lay the tabs so that are pointing down, with the raw edge of the tab at the top, and the right side of the fabric showing. Baste into place.
Now we need to attach the lining. We have instructions on this site for two methods for lining curtains, this is the easiest and for lightweight curtains is perfect.
Hem the bottom of the lining 0.25”. Place the lining fabric, right sided facing, over the main fabric, lining up the tops and one side (the fabric will be shorter and narrower than the main panel but don’t panic!). Pin and sew down one side. Lay your curtain flat and pull the lining fabric over to meet the other side (doing this will move the seam you just made to the back of the curtain, this is right). Pin and sew the second side seam.
The lining is designed to be framed at the back of the curtain by 1” of the main fabric on each side, this prevents you seeing the sewn edges at the sided of the finished curtain and softens the look (much more professional). So before pinning and sewing the top you need to line up your seams so they are equally spaced on each side (you should have approx. 1” of the front fabric showing on each side of the back and the tabs should be approx. ½” inside each edge, allowing the curtains to be slightly overlapped when closed). Sew a 1/4” seam along the top of the curtain and turn the curtain so that the right sides are facing you.
Fold the tabs over and hand or machine sew tabs so that they finish approx. 2” down the curtain. You can add buttons for decoration if you like.
Now out your curtain over the pole and your almost finished!
Finally, fold the spare bottom front fabric, up over the lining, pin and slip stitch into place (to slip stitch, tie a knot in your cotton and pull the needle through the main fabric you have just pinned at the back of the curtain (hiding the knot by starting behind the fabric), take the needle back through as close to this hole as you can and go straight through the lining BUT NOT the front of the curtain, guide the needle along a little and then take the needle back up through the lining, into the hem of the main fabric, and then again back through close to this hole and through the lining, guiding the needle along….)