Sew Curtains • Sew Window Treatments • Kitchen Curtains
Sew Curtains with Shirred Headers
Shirring tape provides an elegant topping for sheer or lightweight fabrics. While the effect may look intimidating to make, it is actually a snap to sew curtains with ease, thanks to shirring tape.
Decide what type curtain rod you would like to use. The finished curtain panel is hung by pin hooks, which are pinned into the shirring tape and then hung from rings on the on the curtain rod. There are decorative rods with rings, which would allow you to easily pull the curtain open and closed by hand, or you might choose a traverse rod with hidden rings and a draw cord. Keep in mind that the thickness of the shirring tape hinders the stacking at each side of the window when the curtains are drawn back. You may wish to extend the rod past the window to accommodate the extra fabric and maximize the view. Shirred-top curtains can also function as stationary panels. Once you have worked out the desired look and function, mount the rod above the window.
Cut and Sew Curtain Panels
Prepare the curtain fabric for sewing. Cut the individual panels according to the Yardage Calculator.
Shirring the Header
Sew curtain panels together along the side edges to make up the required width. Window treatments that open in the middle need two curtain panels, which mean dividing the available width in half. If you are starting off with an odd number of cut curtain panels, you will need to cut one of them in half lengthwise and use one piece for each side. Plan so that these narrower cut panels fall along the outer edges of the window rather than toward the center when the curtains are hung.
Fold and press a 4-inch double-fold hem along the bottom edge of each panel. Topstitch or blind stitch in place.
- Fold and press a 1-1/2 inch double-fold hem along both side edges of each panel. Machine-stitch in place, stopping 3 inches from the bottom edge. Take drapery weight - a flat metal weight covered in plastic or Pellon - to each bottom corner. Hand-sew the final 3 inches.
- Fold and press the top edge of each curtain panel 1 inch to the wrong side. (To avoid excess bulk, do not double-fold here.) Place the shirring tape right side up on the panel, about 1/4 inch below the folded edge.
- Fold in the excess tape 1/4 inch from each end, leaving the strips exposed and free. Pin the shirring tape in place. Sew one row of machine stitching on each side of every string. Knot the strings at one end of the header.
- To shirr the header, pull all strings at the unknotted end at the same time to the desired fullness. Insert pin hooks into the top of the tape at 5-inch intervals. Hang the hooks from the rod rings.