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Tutorial: How to Sew Lined Back-Tab Curtains

Let’s just get this out of the way: I don’t know whether to call these “curtains” or “drapes.” Or “drapery panels.” Or “window dressings.” Skivvies for your wall orifices? I also never know whether to say “armoire” or “armuaaaaahh.” Or “vase” or “vahhhze.”

Also unfortunately, my sewing skills are about on-par with my decor-pronunciation (in)abilities. Sorry about that. Hopefully I can still explain this clearly enough for you to go forth and sew your own curtains drapes window pants.
Sew your own blackout-lined back-tab curtains. Easy, straightforward step-by-step instructions!


This process is not hard. It’s just long, with lots of steps. Best completed accompanied by wine and a mom who can sew. This is the method I used to make the drapes in my master bedroom…
Master bedroom with DIY curtains and a DIY bed at www.viewalongtheway.com

And in the nursery.
Baby Girl Nursery with DIY curtains in bright, graphic fabric, DIY crib skirt and DIY chandelier at www.viewalongtheway.com

I leaned pretty heavily on this great tutorial at Midwest Magnolia, but I improvised my own back-tab system because I love how the back-tabs look hanging up:
DIY back-tab curtain drapery panelsBack-Tab Curtain Panels Drapery

So here’s how it all goes down!

Materials Needed:

  • Curtain Fabric (I used this in the nursery and “Premier Prints Avery” in the master bedroom.)
  • Lining Fabric (I used this brand.)
  • Thread (my fabrics are THICK but regular thread seamed to work okay.)
  • Bias tape (I think this is the one I used) or ribbon for back tabs
  • Patience. A helpful mother or friend recommended.


1. Cut Your Drapery Fabric

Measure the finished length you want your panels to be. TIP: Plan to hang your curtains high and wide!
How To Hang Curtain Drapery Panels, height, width

source

Add 10 inches your finished panel length: that’s how long you should cut the fabric for each panel. (My finished panels are 96 inches long, so I cut my fabric to 106 inches long.)

2. Cut Your Lining Fabric

It’s all about the lining isn’t it? No flimsy, transparent curtains for us! We’re using blackout lining and sleeping til noon! In an alternate life.

Okay, remember how long you wanted your finished panels to be? Add 2.5 inches to that, and that’s how long you should cut your lining. (My panels are 96 inches long, so I cut my lining 98.5 inches long.)

Now, cut the width of your lining to six inches less than the width of your curtain fabric. (For me, this was 49 inches.)

Here’s a pretty little picture for ya:
How to cut curtain drapery fabric liner

3. Hem the Bottom of the Curtain Fabric

Fold your fabric up four inches from the bottom and iron the fold. Then fold it up another four inches, iron it, and pin it in place.
Hem lined drapery curtain panels
Sew the hem. No fancy stitches here. Just a plain-vanilla straight stitch or whatevs. Make sure you back-stitch at the beginning and end.

(I like to say things like “make sure you back-stitch,” as if that’s something I was totally familiar with before attempting this project.)

4. Hem the Bottom of the Lining Fabric

Cut blackout liner for drapery panels
Fold the bottom of the lining 2 inches up and iron the fold. Fold another 2 inches up, iron the fold and pin it in place. Sew the hem, doing your back-stitch thang.
Bottom hem of drapery lining
I’d like to draw your attention to the relatively straight hem you see before you. This was unprecedented for me. Hold your applause, please.

No one look at how horribly crooked I cut the lining though. Move along, move along.


5. Sew the lining to the Curtain Fabric

Lay your curtain fabric on the floor, right side up. Now lay your lining on top of it, right side down. (The right sides are facing each other, because in a minute you’re going to sew the sides together, then turn it inside out like a pillow. It’ll be magical. Hang in there with me.)

Please no one ask my mom how many times I accidentally didn’t lay the right sides together and had to go back and redo this step. I was embarrassed for myself.

The bottom of the lining should be 1.5 inches from the bottom of the curtain fabric, and one of the sides should be lined up. Like this:
how to line up curtain fabric liner
Now, pin down the side where the two fabrics are lined up.
Pin drapery panels to lining
And sew that side together. Straight stitch. Nothing crazy. You should probably backstitch here too, but what do I know?

Now that one side of the lining is sewn to one side of the fabric, lay them back on the floor again, and line up the other side. Because your fabric is wider than the lining, it’ll be bunched up and kind of awkward. Just do the best you can to make the second side lined up, then pin it in place.


Now sew that side too.

NOW. Stand up and pat yourself on the back! (Necessary step.) Because here is fun part #1: Turn the panels inside out, and you (almost) have a lined panel! All you have to do is finish the top and bottom! LOOK AT YOU GO!

6. Straighten out the sides and iron

Lay your curtains on the floor, lining side up. Now, kind of maneuver the curtains until you have equal curtain fabric on each side of the lining.

Iron the side edges so it stays in place. Extra credit if you starch it.

7. Finish the bottom

Right now, the bottom corners of your panels look like this:
Miter bottom corners of curtain panels

Fold the corners of the curtain fabric in so it looks like this:
Miter bottom corners of curtain panels

Now, “just” blind-stitch the corners in place. I say “just” because I still don’t really know what that means. Basically, you’re hand-sewing the corner in place. The truth is, you can really skip this step if you want. If you don’t do it, the curtain police will not even know about it. If you do it, it will look something like this:
Blind stitch mitered corner panels
Tres professional, no?

8. Make Your Back Tabs

Warning: I completely made up this entire process. Maybe there is a “right” way to do this? I’m not sure. But this way will get you there.

For the tabs on my master bedroom curtains, I used bias tape:
hem tape

Here’s how much of a beginner seamstress I am: I still don’t know what bias tape is actually for. It’s a mystery. I like to think no one really knows.

First, decide how many tabs you want per panel. I have ten on each of mine. If your panels are less than 55 inches wide, you’ll probably want fewer tabs. My nursery curtains are 44 inches wide and I have 9 back tabs on each of those. I think about five inches between each tab turns out pretty well.

Cut your tabs about 2.5 inches long.
Hem tape for back-tab curtain drapery panels
Because I was using bias tape, I hemmed the top and bottom of each tab to reinforce them, since they will be holding the weight of the curtains.

After I went through that INCREDIBLY TEDIOUS process with the master bedroom curtains, I changed things around when I sewed the nursery curtains, and I just used satin ribbon like this:
white satin ribbon
I cut a bunch of 2.5-inch long tabs out of the ribbon and I didn’t even hem the edges because the ribbon seemed sturdy enough.

(The tabs are not as crooked as they look in this picture, pinky promise.) So far the ribbon is holding well enough for me. I won’t tell if you won’t.

Now that you have a nice pile of back tabs ready, it’s time to pin them to your curtains.

9. Prepare the Top

Fold the top edge down 1 inch and iron the fold. Fold it down 1 inch again and iron it. Don’t sew it yet though, you overachiever. Just hang on one second.
Top edge of lined curtain panels
Now place your back tabs evenly spaced along the back of the panel, tucking them about 1/2 inch underneath the folded top edge you just made.
Back tabs
You definitely need a tab at each end of the panel. Then evenly space the rest in between. Pin them in place. Make sure you’ve tucked about 1/2 inch of each tab underneath the edge of the curtain fabric.
back tabbed curtain panel drapesback tabbed curtain panel drapesback tabbed curtain panel drapes
Now just sew along that fold. You’ll be simultaneously sewing the top edge down AND sewing the tops of the tabs in place.

Once you’ve sewn one straight stitch along the top of the curtains, go back and sew the bottom of each tab in place. I sewed over the bottom, backstitched, sewed over it again, backstitched, a bunch of times to make sure the tabs were on there really good.
back tabbed curtain panel drapesback tabbed curtain panel drapesback tabbed curtain panel drapes

AND YOU’RE FINISHED!

Master bedroom with DIY curtains and a DIY bed at www.viewalongtheway.com
Hang those “curtain drapery panel window clothes” high and wide, then sleep til noon. You (and your mom) deserve it.


Don’t forget to pin this so you have the info when ya need it!


P.S.: Looking for other easy DIY curtain options? Check out my no-sew DIY striped curtains:
DIY no-sew striped curtain panels at www.viewalongtheway.com
And my no-sew Greek key curtains (low-budget, high-impact!)
DIY Greek Key drapes. Simple, inexpensive, high-impact!
Here are some other great tutorials to check out too!


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Comments

  1. When I first looked at the tabs on your curtains, I thought it was going to be one of those tutorials that I nod my head at but secretly know that I would never be able to accomplish it but this not only looks super professional, you made it look easy peasy! I’m particularly excited about this because I can never find curtains in a fabric I love, also, I think curtains are really expensive – can I ask you more or less how much this project cost?

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks Meghan! :) Oops! I meant to post the cost info. So it definitely depends on how expensive your curtain fabric is. I bought on sale with a coupon, so mine was $6.50/yard. I think the lining on sale with coupon was something like $5? The thread and tabs were negligible, maybe $2 each? I think it ended up costing me something like $30 per panel, which is not cheap if you’re looking at simple curtain panels, but it’s a great price for wide-width black-out lined panels. You could bring the cost down by not using black-out lining, or by using cheaper fabric.

    • Debra Owen says:

      I think you did one of THE best tutorials i have ever seen!!!!!! Can’t believe you are a beginner. the back tab curtains are on my to-do list. Thank you.

      • Vicki says:

        I agree with Debra- good tutorial

        • Rebekah McEwan says:

          Agreed! This is AWESOME! Thanks to you I actually did it, I can’t believe it! The ironing almost killed me. Thanks for the easy to understand, step by (slow and steady) step approach.

  2. Maybe because my wife is the one that spots these things but i was blissfully unaware at the differences in your Don’t and Do diagram. i was looking at it for a good 5minutes thinking i cant spot the difference :)

    • Kelly says:

      Hahaha. This might be my favorite comment ever. :) Now I want to go test my husband and see if he is also curtain-blind.

  3. Hey, you did it! I would recommend that the bottom hem on the face fabric (not the lining fabric) be blind stitched, especially on a solid, but you did good! Congrats!

    Oh, and it’s draperies if you want to be fancy. A drape is a verb.

    Ellen

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks! I’m going to update it to say that blindstitching is a good idea on the face fabric. (Face fabric: wish I’d known that term while writing this!) BTW, so good to hear from you! I was thinking of you while I was sewing these!

  4. cassie says:

    man that is a lot of work, but they do look awesome!

  5. I am exhausted, and I didn’t even make them. They came out great, I’m totally pinning.

    Can’t wait to see you next week!!

  6. Wow. This is a great tutorial, but I am sad to say I will never, ever use it. ;-) (and I saw that first image on hyphen interiors –

  7. Carrie says:

    I’m tired just reading that, but WOW was it worth it! They look great!

  8. Whaaatttt?! First of all, you made those?! You are SO talented. Second you made me feel like I might be able to make these! How in the world did you do that?! Oh my goodness these look AMAZING….!!!!! You are making me want to sew my own curtains…. but I seriously have about 16 windows that need treatments… that could either end up great or end up really really bad! :) Totally pinning!
    Jaime

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you SO much! Trust me, if *I* can do it, YOU can do it. I’m ridiculously unskilled at this stuff! :)

      • Jacquie Semiens says:

        I love your finished product. Don’t you just love curtains, drapes, panels, window pants, etc.? I think they just make a room. You did a wonderful job for a novice. I am working on Grommet curtain panels for the first time. I am definitely going to use your excellent tutorial for the back tab drapes in the future. Love how you mitered the corners. Keep on creating.
        Jacquie

  9. ARE YOU KIDDING?? THIS ROCKS, KELLY! Even this no-sew girl is now thinking I could do this. And to get that look, I’d be willing to try. Kudos!! Sharing!! Pinning!! Shouting from the roof-tops!!
    xo heidi

  10. Dianna Hall says:

    Rocking IT! Lady

  11. Kristy Swain says:

    You make it look so easy! I’ll have to pin this to refer back to! Great job. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I SO can’t sew, but I love your entertaining tutorial! Maybe your mom can come over and I can “help” her to sew some curtains for my room:)

    Jessica
    stayathomeista.com

  13. {darlene} says:

    girl. this is an AMAZING project!! I love it. IT is so polished. Bookmarking. Sharing with clients. Pinning.

    Of course for me, the title could have just been: “Tutorial: How to Sew”

    How much will you charge me????

    Oh, and you had me at, “Skivvies for your wall orifices”

  14. Wowza … I know what you mean about writing a tutorial. Painful, right? It might take a few weeks for me to write my painted chest tutorial … I’m freaked just thinking of it!

    But I love your tutorial. I love the professional lining. I’m going to follow your tutorial when I make draperies for my very own master …

    … or are they window pants …

    :)

    Linda

  15. Dara says:

    Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous!!!

  16. Andrea Howe says:

    this is quite the impressive tutorial! As a diy’er i know how much of a pain writing these things can be! they look fantastic :)

  17. Oh my goodness!! My jaw is on the floor!!! These are absolutely gorgeous!! You cracked me up too! I’d love to know your sources for the fabrics- both are lovely! Do you have a nursery tour on here somewhere? I’d love to see an up-close of the one wall. Great job!

  18. Love your curtains! They are gorgeous! My husband wont let me hang my curtains at ceiling height, for some reason he absolutely hates the space between the rod and the top of the window.

  19. Your window pants look so good! I am going to do back-tabs next time I sew curtains–I never realized that was what made the difference in the bunch at the top, but obviously it looks a lot better that way…

  20. Kirby says:

    This is awesome!

  21. Lisa says:

    That was some tutorial.. You made it super easy for us but it must have been exhausting for you. Nice work and your house looks amazing!

  22. Your awesome Kelly! Thank you for putting together this amazing tutorial : )

  23. The timing on this is perfect! I just bought some too-short curtains for our room, which Junior will now inherit and I reeeeally wanted them to be darkened! Plus, I’ve got to figure out how to sew my own goddanged curtains for our room now. Thanks!!

  24. Brenda Bailey says:

    They also make a tape referred to Serpentine tape that is translucent that is continuous that can be applied to the drape to create same effect. Great job by the way!

  25. This is a marvellous tutorial and I give credit to the one who sewed and the one who took pictures of every single step. Thank you for this, Kelly! Now all I need is a sewing machine :) although I have been tempted to consider sewing by hand!

  26. Wine – check.
    Mom in law who can sew – check.

    But I’m afraid I’d still be committed to a padded cell if I tried this! I’m not the most patient gal – but your instructions are so fabulous (love the visuals) that even I might be able to accomplish this.
    Kelly

  27. thistle says:

    You go girl :) This is an amazing tutorial. You need to turn this into an e-book now and earn millions and hire a seamstress to make curtains for the rest of your rooms :)

    blessings,
    karianne

  28. Such a fantastic tutorial. Your drapes are gorgeous!!!! Love your blog.

  29. Lisa says:

    Wow, Kelly! That’s all I can say – wow. You are awesome and so is your mom. Can’t believe you made all those drapes for 2 rooms – you are impressive, Lady!

  30. Omg, these are awesome. I totally agree with you about the back tabs. They make the drapes hang so much better. Great tutorial, Kelly!

  31. Holy wow, that is a serious tutorial! They turned out amazingly and I love the step by step – that must have taken forever to write, so thank you!

  32. These are so pretty! I love the way they hang. I’m definitely pinning this for the next set of curtains I make!

  33. These look amazing. I am bookmarking this post! I just did my first accomplished sewing project that I posted on my blog for my sons room. I would love for you to swing by and check it out. I am also due to have a little girl in October and will be attempting to use your tutorial to sew the window panels for her room. Thanks for the tips! Hope I don’t screw them up! :)

  34. Madge says:

    Ok, love this . . .looks reasonably easy. Couple of questions . . .
    1. What was/is the diameter of your curtain rod?
    2. How far from the edge of the window did you extend your curtains? (How far is the outer edge of the curtains from your window frame?

    Thanks!

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Madge! It is reasonably easy. :)

      1. My curtain rods are pretty dinky, maybe 1/2″. I prefer thicker, wider ones but I already had these on hand and new ones weren’t in the budget. If yours are wider, you can just make the tabs longer.
      2. I like to go as far out as I can, depending on the length of the rod, but I’d say at least about 4 inches on each side. If your curtains are wide enough and your rod doesn’t sag in the middle, you almost can’t go too wide.

      Good luck!

      • Mary says:

        For thicker rods buy PVC pipes at the local home improvement store. They are cheap and easily painted in a color to match or contrast with your curtains. They come in various diameters and are easily cut to length. Check the wood or metal finials and put one in end after painting. Some interesting ones are in the lamp departments. Metal ones are also available in the drapery departments of Bed, Bath and Beyond. Easy to insert the finial into a piece of styrofoam then “whittle” the styrofoam to fit into the PVC pipes. No need to buy the expensive metal rods! There are also brackets available to hold up your new rod. Save money and complete your custom look. Plumbing pipes also work and they are very sturdy with the weight of the drapes.

      • kitty says:

        came across this earlier today – thank you for a great tutorial

  35. This is probably the BEST tutorial for sewing curtains I’ve ever come across because you haven’t scared me with lots of terminology and skipped showing me EXACTLY EVERYTHING you did (I totally need that). You have actually given me a little bit of faith that I could actually attempt this project!!

    I’m applauding now, standing up and the whole shebang. Fantastic. Totally pinning.

    xxx

  36. Can I just give you a hug? I bought some fabric for curtains and have been searching and searching for a good tut. I am so linking the heck out of this when I post my curtains on my blog! Love your window skivvies btw.

  37. I love this tutorial. I’ve not been able to find curtains I liked for our spare room and your tutorial has given me the confidence to make my own – thank you so much!

  38. Vivace says:

    For a novice your results are quite simply beautiful and professional looking. I love them! Think I will be trying this one. Thanks for sharing.

  39. Mary says:

    I am so tired of tabbed curtains, but love the deep folds. I have never ever thought to put the tabs on the inside of the drape.

    Your visual on why you should have them wider and longer is pretty convincing. Thank-you for all your work. It has saved me tons of time wondering what to do next.

    How did you get your deep folds….how wide did you cut your fabric? Twice the width of the finished product?

    • Kelly says:

      My fabric is 55″ wide, and I just left it that wide. The fabric I used for my nursery curtains is 46″ wide, and I also left it that wide. I didn’t cut any of my curtains any more narrow than the fabric. I hope this helps! Good luck!

      • Marnie says:

        Ah I just posted a question at the bottom, but my windows are various sizes (small, not large)…for instance, the first window I’m making curtains for is 28 W x 16 L. So, how much do I add to the width of my panels for the hem on each side? And does anyone out there double that for shirring? I think that’s how I purchased my fabric. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  40. Mary says:

    I have been working on my curtains for about 8 hours. Just finished sewing up the sides of one panel. I have the other panel ready to sew up tomorrow.

    I decided to go with the width of my sun block material. I had to add about 16 inches to the width of the main fabric. My window is 58″ wide and only 33 “long. Each curtain panel, finished is 47″ long (there is a wall heater under it) and 60″ wide.

    They are looking pretty good. It was hard to get the sun block material square. I used the middle of my folding table and one side as my guide. It is also hard to sew with it on the feeder foot. Ugh! It is best to have the main fabric on the feeder foot….other wise it drags.

    So glad to find you. Thanks for all your help!

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks for the update! I can’t remember how we had it set up on the feeder foot. It is a LOT of fabric to work with at once, isn’t it? I’d love to hear how they turn out!

  41. Ally Wilton says:

    Gorgeous! I’m realizing that if I want amazing curtains in the price range, i’ll have to make them. Phew. Where did you get your material?
    And how much do you think it cost you per panel (or per two panels)?
    Thanks! Hoping to get on it (along with a move and 3 small children).

  42. Katie O says:

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. I just finished making a pair of these and they came out great. Your instructions were really clear and they made the process very easy.

  43. Jenn V says:

    Came across your tutorial on pinterest a few weeks ago and have been drooling over it daily ever since. Found my fabric online, patiently tracked the shipping every hour or so until it arrived this past Thursday, then finally made my panels today. They came out BEAUTIFUL!!! Even my husband loves them :) thank you so much for posting this awesome step-by-step sprinkled with witty side notes to grab us all. I so appreciate it!

  44. Mary Feldman says:

    Dear Kelly,
    Three months ago I finished all 4 bedroom blackout curtains.
    I folded them tight and stored them in a box while preparing the moving to my new house.
    Now, that I want to hang them I found them with deep marks due to bending.
    I need your advice on how I can remove these deep marks.
    Thank you very much

    Mary Feldman

    • Kelly says:

      Unfortunately I’m not much of a pro when it comes to this stuff. This is my first time sewing curtains like this. I would try a steamer if you have one, but I know I have ironed my curtains (carefully) and it worked well for them. Good luck!

  45. Cheryl says:

    Hi Kelly

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. It is amazing and so helpful. I do have one question. I am doing bathroom curtains for inside the window box in a bathroom that gets killer afternoon sun. Weight is an issue as the round bars for that application are not very strong. So why do I have to ad the extra weight of a hem in the lining fabric? It doesn’t fray at all.

    Thanks.

    Cheryl

    • Kelly says:

      You probably could skip the hem in the lining and shorten the hem in the facing fabric. I’m sure they’d still look great. If you take pictures, I’d love to see!

  46. Tyler says:

    They make the ceilings look really high. Well done!

  47. Julie J says:

    Wish I’d had you around when I made my draperies! You did such a great job. Stylish, funny and well-written. One of the best tutorials I’ve ever read.

  48. sue says:

    Loved your tutorial!!

    I’ve made lots of drapes and curtains over the years – I’d be the mom in your scenario :-) I’ve generally just figured it out as i went along, like you did. I decided to look on-line for some instructions; just so i could look at the pictures and get an idea of how it’s supposed to go. I wouldn’t want to read all the boring details… I have to tell you, i read the whole thing and it was great fun and very clear. I love the comments saying that people who didn’t think they could ever do this are now willing to try! Great Job!

  49. Rebecca says:

    This was so helpful and clear!! I couldn’t find premade curtains that I liked for our nursery, and knew it couldn’t be THAT difficult, but this tutorial made it super simple! Love the step by step photos and hilarious comments! Our nursery curtains turned out so professional looking (and better yet, they were cheap!!). Definitely agree on the high and wide! Thanks so much!!

  50. Dylan says:

    Thanks for this tutorial! I laughed out loud at your commentary, which I really needed before embarking on my own curtain project.

  51. Amela says:

    When sewing the bottom of each back tab… are you going through the lining AND the face fabric? Or just the lining? If it is the former… don’t you see the stitches/backstitches through the front of the face fabric? If it is the latter… how do you sew this AFTER doing the hem along the whole top? I am confused by that part, but I really like the results (bravo!) so I am hoping for some clarification!

    • Kelly says:

      Yes you sew through the lining and the face fabric. I was worried about this, but I can’t see the stitching at all once the curtains are hung.

    • JennH says:

      I had that same question, so I’m glad you asked and got an answer. It occurred to me that if you match the bobbin thread as closely as you can to the curtain fabric, it’ll improve the chance of those stitches remaining invisible. I need to try this!

  52. Mary Babiez says:

    I found this post while researching how to make my own window treatments. I’ve never sewn curtains, and have actually done only a minimal amount of sewing ever! I used your instructions for my master bedroom curtains, and your step-by-step was superb! I completed lined curtains that match the fabric of my bedding beautifully! These would have been very expensive to have done professionally, which is why I decided to try it on my own. My husband loves them as much as I do! Thanks for your very detailed and effective instructions and photos! After the holidays, I am going to do the rest of the house! And BTW, love your blog :)

  53. Dollie says:

    Thanks so much for your wonderful instructions for the lined tabbed drapes. I started at 10 a.m. And was completely thru by 4:30!!! I found two twin comforters on sale for ten bucks each for my guest room. Then needed curtains. Went back and got a matching queen comforter for ten bucks, took the batting out and wha-lah….beautiful looking matching drapes!!! Thank you so much for your time and effort in sharing this great project. You go girl!!!

  54. sara says:

    Wonderful tutorial! Big question for me though is….. how well do they glide compare to the grommet style? I’d love to know, thank you.

    • Kelly says:

      I’d say they glide about as smoothly as a pair of grommeted curtains I have, but it depends on how big you make your tabs and how big around your curtain rod is. If you want them to be very loose, make your tabs longer and looser.

  55. Kathy says:

    Your ideas and instructions are great, but even better is your humor. Keep up the good work! I am enjoying reading your blog. Wish computers were around when I was your age (well, they were, but they were named Commodore 64 and Atari. We had Radio Shack TRS 80′s at work. Google it.). Bravo!

  56. Christy says:

    Thank you for such detailed instructions. I found this on pintrest and thought it would work perfect for my husband who works 3rd shift. I have one window done and they look wonderful. I used the ribbon tabs and have had no issues. Thank you for posting this.

  57. Rebecca Jeanne says:

    What a great tutorial! I can’t wait to make a pair of these for our nursery. Can I use a regular cotton fabric or does it need to be home decor or curtain fabric in particular?

    • Kelly says:

      I actually just used regular old fabric. Home decor fabric will be wider so it’ll make for wider curtains, but I think the fabric I used in my nursery was only about 40-something inches wide, and it works great with those windows. Obviously the wider your windows are, the wider you’ll want your fabric to be. Other than that, I’d say go with whatever you like! Since you’re lining it, thickness isn’t really important. Good luck! I’d love to see pics once you finish!

      • Rebecca Jeanne says:

        Thanks Kelly! I was hoping regular would work too since it gives me more options. :) Our window is like 54″ wide, so I was thinking 40″ wide panels would work.

  58. Ceci says:

    THIS IS THE BEST TUTORIAL I HAVE EVER SEEN ON THIS SUBJECT!!! GREAT JOB. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

  59. Becky says:

    Great tutorial – thanks for sharing Kelly! I wish you could see my first attempt at curtains when I first was sewing – NOWHERE near this nice looking when complete! (which is why I am now sich of them after only 3 yrs. and now searching for a great tutorial like this one instead of just “wing-ing it” this time around). While my curtain making ability lacks a little something, I am better with other craftiness (including projects with bias and hem tape). total side note and doesn’t effect the tutorial itself: you used bias tape (which just means a piece of fabric that has been folded and pressed in a certain way – fold each side down 1/4 so the unfinished edges meet in the middle – used to finish off edging of projects such as bags or quilts). Hem tape is a bit different (used when hemming to cover the finished stitching on the wrong side of the hemmed pants – helps conceal the ugly hem + helps prevent a heal from catching on the inside seam (generally hem tape is made out of a thin piece of lace or I’ve used grosgrain ribbon as it generally does not have a fold).

    • Laura H says:

      What makes it bias tape has nothing to do with the way it’s folded. You could fold any fabric or ribbon in a palmier pattern like that and it wouldn’t suddenly make it bias tape. What makes it bias tape is the fact that it’s cut on the bias (a.k.a. the fabric is cut diagonally or at a 45 degree angle from the way the thread the fabric runs) You can make your own bias tape with any fabric you have. The fact that the strips of fabric are cut diagonally makes them really stretchy (consequentially not a great choice for back tabs which should be sturdy, not stretchy,but it’ll work) you use bias tape to edge things that need to stretch (such as the neck hole of a tshirt) or something with a curved or wonky edge that would wrinkle if you trimmed it with something that doesn’t stretch well (such as the brim of a tiny top hat or the edge of a keyhole neckline).

  60. Jenn Kinney says:

    Hello!
    In step 6 or so, why is the fabric wider than the lining? Do they end up being “even”? I am so ready to head to the store and by the materials to do this, but I need to clarify that step before I start….I’m afraid to be frustrated in the middle of the process. thank you soooooo much =)

    • Kelly says:

      If you look at the picture just under step 6, you’ll see how the back of the curtain ends up looking. You want the fabric to be wider than the lining so the fabric wraps around the backside of the curtain and the lining doesn’t show from the side of the curtain. When you straighten it all out, the backside of the panel will have a stripe of fabric going down each side. Kind of hard to explain, but you definitely need it that way.

  61. Catherine Zaring says:

    I’ve been sewing for over 40 years and I must say that you, my dear, are a total genius! I have never seen a better explained/diagrammed set of instructions for making simple drapes. My only suggestion, since someone else already mentioned the blind hem stitch, would be to add buckram at the top so that your drapes will maintain their beautiful folds and not end up sagging from the weight of the fabric. In all, this is a A++, 5-star tutorial.

  62. Alison says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! I used it to make curtains for our nursery over the weekend. I followed your steps exactly and they turned out great. I keep walking in there just to look at them! Love your blog.

  63. Marilyn says:

    I am getting ready to make these drapes that you have on your web site. You talked about the length of your drapes but not much about the width. I realize that is a variable depending on the It is a great tutorial. Thanks so much.

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you! I just made mine the width of the facing fabric. In my master bedroom, they are 54″. In my nursery, they are 45″. :) Good luck! I’d love to see pics when you finish!

  64. Lisa says:

    Hi! I’m looking at using your tutorial to sew curtains for my dining room. Typically I always wash my fabric before use but I’m being a little lazy and wondered if I should skip that step or not. I’m using home decorator’s fabric also. Did you wash yours before you sewed them?

    Thanks!
    Lisa

  65. IF I could sew, I would totally make gorgeous curtains like yours … love the length and your fabric choices!

  66. lucy says:

    I’m always intimidated by sewing window treatments! I love your step by step guide. I have a mother in law that can sew, well, like a mother! ha She usually does all of mine. Just in case she can’t help next time, I’m pinning this for future!! thanks!

  67. Once I discovered back tabs it was all over! These look the best, in my opinion. It’s like a hybrid between a rod pocket and nice pleats. I’ve even purchased tab tops (which I despise) an pinned them down in the rear to make back tabs. Great tutorial for lined drapes!

  68. Kathy says:

    In your tutorial you never said anything about the top. How far from the top does the lining come up?

    • Kelly @ View Along the Way says:

      After you line up the sides and the bottom, assuming you’ve cut the pieces the right length, the top will fall into place. I don’t remember what that number ends up being, but if you follow the instructions in the tutorial, it’s a number you won’t actually need.

  69. J Haynes says:

    Hello, question… All th tutorials talk about the length of the starting fabric. What about the width? How many inches should I add to my starting out fabric?

    • Kelly says:

      I left my facing fabric the width it came in; I didn’t cut down the width or add to it at all. I addressed the width of the lining fabric in the post. I hope that helps!

  70. Kimberly Jordan says:

    Ok, so I pinned this month’s ago and now I’m ready to get started. Just re-reading the tutorial and was so entertained and could sooooo relate to you. Sure wish you were my neighbor…lol! Can’t wait to get started :-)

  71. Cheley M says:

    Oh Kelly!
    After what seemed like hours! of searching for a tutorial for sewing black-out curtains, I stumbled across your site. I swear… not only was the tutorial wonderfully detailed, but I don’t think I’ve ever had that much fun learning how to do something!! (and I’m OLD! – so that says a lot!) Your sense of humor is out of this world! I laughed out loud at the end of every step. You’re a riot! Thanks for such a great tutorial – and for making my day :-) #youmakelearningfun!!!
    ~Cheley

  72. I have just emailed this article to a Landlord who needs to put some curtains up in a property in Crawley. I hope their ability is greater than there desire to try and refurbish the apartment.

  73. Lani says:

    I’m planning on starting curtains this weekend and still didn’t know how much fabric to buy, now I do. Thanks!

  74. Joani says:

    I’m trying out these curtains and I can’t figure out how wide you cut your face fabric :-)

    • Kelly says:

      I didn’t cut my face fabric. I just used it the width it came in. I addressed the width of the lining in the post. :) Have a great weekend!

  75. Mrs Kelly says:

    This is a great tutorial! I’m not sure I’m brave enough to undertake it, but I have to tell you that it’s one of the more entertaining “how to’s” I’ve ever read. “Window Pants” truly made me laugh out loud! Will pin it and then maybe someday…

  76. Denise Rose says:

    Hey! Love them! I am an experienced sewer and love this plan! I also wanted to ask if they open and shut easily? Or do you ever open and shut yours? Thanks for the inspiration and tutorial!

    • Kelly says:

      Yes! They are SO SO SO easy to open and close. I think if you made the tabs too small, they might not slide easily, but ours are no problem at all. Good luck!

  77. Rachel B. says:

    Thanks for posting this awesome tutorial. It was super easy to follow along and I finished three sets of drapes this afternoon! Since our house is horribly insulated and faces west, we desperately needed a solution (plus, we’re expecting our first baby this fall, so I wanted an excuse to practice these for our nursery curtains, too!). Thanks again for sharing!

    P.S. Your baby’s nursery is fabulous. How lucky she is to have such a crafty mommy!

    • Gaye says:

      Hey Kelly! I love this tutorial! I’m in the process of making these drapes for my grandsons nursery. I’m using a premeir zig zag fabric in blue. I’m concerned about the top stitching showing through on the front when you attach your tabs. Can you see this top stiching?

      • Kelly says:

        You can see it if you get up close, but you have to get really really close on my curtains to tell it’s there. I don’t think anyone would ever see it if they didn’t know to look. Definitely get a thread that’s close in color!

  78. Kasie says:

    Love your tutorial! I acutally bought cheap curtains and plan on adding the lining to the back, But does the lining make it a “blackout” curtain? Thanks for you help!

    • Kelly says:

      It depends on which lining you buy. You can buy “blackout” lining that will completely block the sun, or just regular lining that will add some extra weight and make the curtains look better from the outside. Good luck!

  79. Stephanie says:

    Beautiful curtains! one question…does the black out lining smell when the sun heats it up? I purchased already made black out curtains and I can’t stand the smell of them when the sun is out! :-( …So if the black out lining you used doesn’t smell, I may have to make my own as well!

    • Kelly says:

      I’ve never noticed any smell at all. Ours don’t really bake in the sun much – mostly indirect sunlight – but they don’t have much of a scent at all. Hope that helps!

  80. Gaye says:

    Hey Kelly! I’m almost through with my panels! Yay! Thanks to your inspirational tutorial! Just one quick question. When you sewed your tabs down, did you leave a little slack or sew them straight? It’s hard to tell with them on the curtain rod.

    • Kelly says:

      Yay! That’s exciting! I actually did just sew them straight down. Make sure your tabs are long enough to allow enough space for your curtain rod, because if you have an extra chunky curtain rod, it could be an issue, but they worked great for me just sewed down flat. Good luck with finishing yours!

  81. Nicole says:

    Hey Kelly! I just finished making my curtains, and followed your tutorial, which helped a bunch. I did, however, take 3 months to make mine hahah….worst part was trying to get the material cut square! I ended up taping the floor to use as a straight line :| Unfortunately, I decided I was going to make my curtain rods from electrical conduit, so I can’t even hang them yet…why do I do these things to myself?? Anyway, Thanks for the tutorial!!

  82. Cherice says:

    I love the curtains and laundry room makeover. I would love if you checked out my blog and became a follower. Is there a way to follow yours?

    • Kelly says:

      Yep just at the top of the sidebar there are options to follow via RSS or email. At the bottom of the sidebar is a link to follow via bloglovin. Thanks so much!

  83. Alicia says:

    I just finished my first of two pairs of these curtains for my children’s rooms. They turned out really nice! Thank you so much for your tutorial. I can’t wait to see the second set finished as well.

  84. Loretta says:

    Hi! These are genius! I’ve made these the old fashioned way using drapery tape and those metal things that pleat the fabric and hang it up; this is way better! They hang better and it is more simple to make! Love your tutorial. Very well done, you make me want to sew again!

  85. I found your blog in Pinterest land. After I finish redoing my dining room chairs with new material, I am going to tackle making curtains that match. I am so glad that I found your tutorial. I like the idea of back tags. It seems very easy but it will take some time. Thanks for sharing and I can’t wait to look around your blog.
    Tammy

    Mrs. Flickinger’s Butterfly Oasis

  86. Nam says:

    Great job on explaining how to make these curtains. Guess what my mom and I will be doing in the coming weekend..:)

  87. Alys says:

    Just finished making my very first curtains using your tutorial. They look great and your instructions were so easy to follow. Thank you!

  88. Diane Phillips says:

    I just read your tute on the lined curtains and decided it was a good one to add to my sewing category, but when I did, I was informed that I couldn’t because I was ‘blocked by the owner’. It is the first time I have seen this tute, so I am confused as to why I’ve been blocked. Can you explain please?

  89. Kimberly says:

    Thanks for this tutorial– I definitely need the info for making window “treatments” in my new house. Now, I just need yo to help me pick out fabric & do the actual sewing!

  90. Mary says:

    Try looking for tablecloths in a pattern that you like to make these curtains. The tablecloths can be very inexpensive on close outs or clearance. The material is often a little heavier and the choice of sizes can accomodate the higher placed rods. The sides of the tablecloth are already hemmed and easy to turn in for a wider hem. There are many textures and patterns available. A lighter weight white or ivory tablecloth could work perfectly for the lining.

  91. Sharon Farrell says:

    I think some of the questions on the width of your curtains are really asking how you determined the width of your drapery panels compared to the width of your windows. For a “wide” window, you may have to sew panels of fabric together to increase the finished width. Is the total finished width (of the two panels together) equal to twice the width of your windows? More than that, or less than that? How did you figure how far off the side of the window to have them stack off?
    I have two bedroom windows, one is 67″ x 58″, the other is 63″ x 32″ (a long narrow window above the bed). These measurements include the 4″ wide trim around each window. I am unsure how wide my finished pair of drapery panels should be to cover the windows with plenty of fullness, like yours.
    I plan on making the one pair “long and wide”, but am not sure on how long to make the pair over the bed. We currently don’t have a headboard, but my husband plans on building one. I’m thinking about having the curtains hang about 3″ above the planned headboard? Does that sound right, or do you have another suggestion?
    I loved your tutorial. I have sewed a lot of clothing and Halloween costumes over the years, and have made a shower curtain, but not window curtains. It was very informative and easy to follow. I am anxious to get my bedroom draperies started, but I’m just not sure about how to determine the width for my windows. Thanks for any help you can give me.

    • Susan says:

      Sharon, I saw no one had answered you yet… Usually its 1 1/2 times the window width, but if you want them even fuller you could totally go with doubling it. As far as how far above your future headboard, I think that would be just whatever your preference is.. Hope that helps you out.

    • Kelly says:

      Yes! Usually they’re 1 1/2 times the window width, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. I have a very wide window in my living room and very narrow curtains. It’s not the ideal look, but if I did 1 1/2 times the width there, I’d have SO MUCH FABRIC that it would be ridiculous. I always say, just go with what looks right to you! As for length, I always prefer them to go all the way to the floor, even behind a headboard. And for how far off the window to have them stack off, I usually just hang them so the inside of the curtain skims the outside of the window. Just a personal preference. Hope that helps!

  92. Susan says:

    Kelly, beautiful job on the (I call them) curtains. Probably called different things based on where you are. I am a sewer (definitely not a seamstress, that would be my mom) and have made curtains and valances many times (with moms help), but your tutorial simplifies so much in regards to attaching the lining. At first I was like “huh, what” but then I got to the next step and I think I heard a choir of angels! And your hidden tabs….marvelous!!! I am so inspired!!! All I have to do now is find the “one” for my material, which I will add has been proving challenging at best the last 6 months. Thank you for you humor, I absolutely loved it… cracking up the whole time.

  93. Nicole says:

    Hi Kelly, I commented earlier about how I had finished my curtains, but hadn’t hung them, well I finally got that done, and while they are nice, they don’t fall as nice as yours …which may be because I sewed the tabs too close together (the material twists a bit between the tabs). It might be helpful to let others know how far apart your tabs actually are, I had mine around 4 inches apart. Thanks, again:)

    • Kelly says:

      Good feedback, thanks so much for letting me know! Maybe you can take out every other tab (just take it off the rod) and see if that helps? Mine are 5 inches apart.

  94. Mindy says:

    I’m curious, does the stitching from the bottom of the tab show on the front?

    • Kelly says:

      If you look closely (very VERY closely) you can see it, but I used a thread that blends well, and the tabs are in the recessed portion of the curtain, so I think it’s pretty well camouflaged.

  95. Afton Anavitate says:

    I have an awesome secret for getting tons of fabric for CHEAP…. Top sheets at thrift stores. Great for many a project and you can find some fun prints for $3-6 a top sheet. Yes, you must dig for the gold but I would not have been able to do some of projects I’ve done without this find. Especially quilting, and rag rugs, and now some fantastic black out curtains! Yay to the the rich people who donate their 1000 thread count fancy sheets for me to find!

  96. Natalie says:

    Love it!! I love how honest you are about your skill-level and your spunk in writing. It’s all about creativity and using what you got to make something beautiful.

  97. Kelley says:

    Love your blog. Will be following your pattern for living room curtains. Neat fact – we are also an Andy & Kelley couple.

  98. Heather says:

    I really really really love the fabric in your daughters room. Would you be willing to share the name of it and where you got it? It has all colors in it so you can change the bedroom to whatever color and not have to change the curtains! LOVE!

  99. Bernadette's Daughter says:

    You girl, are quite creative! Great job on the tutorial. Just a suggestion, when you first make window treatments that are going to hand in folds or pleats if you train them they will hang nicer. With the drapery open accordion fold the panel at the middle and bottom replicating how it hangs on the rod at the top. Secure with ribbon, saran wrap, or masking tape. A steamer would speed up the process. If you leave them a couple days they will hang nicely all the way to the hem.

    • Mildred James says:

      I have been making window treatments for 50 years (and yes I said 50 years) and I think you did a great job. How do you know if you can do anything if you don’t try!

  100. Amanda says:

    Maybe I missed this in the comments as I didn’t read them all… but you never said when to flip it right side out like a pillow….????

  101. Andrea says:

    Love these! And just in time because I need to make some! I featured your tutorial over at Go To Sew yesterday. http://gotosew.com/2013/08/featured-lined-curtain-tutorial/

  102. Kathy says:

    I have been sewing for 40 years and this tutorial was “sew” helpful. My daughter wanted floor to ceiling curtains for her new apartment in pink satin. I hate measuring, especially long panels of material. Together we whipped out four, 100 inch panels in no time. Learned a few tricks and took the guesswork out of our project. Thanks for the humorous, easy to follow steps!

  103. Janice Veiga says:

    I have sewn all my life. Well, except when I was a litle girl under 5. Since then, well, if yo can sew it, I want to make it! ha, ha. I had a small drapery business and dressmaking business for years. When I saw your pin on Pinterest, I was intrigued. Well girl, as my teenagers you to say to me, You Rock! You are a great teacher and you blog was a fun read. Thank you so much for the tutorial on this technique. You are just what is needed to get shaky new sewers to try to make ‘window treatments’. You have a great style and your choice of fabrics were beautiful. Congratulations. Janice Veiga, FrenchShabbyEssentials

    • Janice Veiga says:

      Sorry for all the typos. My old fingers and sticky keyboard just blunder along these days.
      I have sewn all my life. Well, except when I was a litle girl under 5. Since then, well, if you can sew it, I want to make it! ha, ha. I had a small drapery business and dressmaking business for years. When I saw your pin on Pinterest, I was intrigued. Well girl, as my teenagers used to say to me, You Rock! You are a great teacher and you blog was a fun read. Thank you so much for the tutorial on this technique. You are just what is needed to get shaky new sewers to try to make ‘window treatments’. You have a great style and your choice of fabrics is beautiful. Congratulations. Janice Veiga, FrenchShabbyEssentials

  104. Stephanie says:

    I did it!!! I just finished my first pair, and I am NOT a sewer (wait, that says sewer…I’m not a sew-er. I’m not a sewer either) :) Thank you so much for your very easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions. I couldn’t have done it without you! Now on to the next pair!!!

  105. AmyJ. says:

    I must say, that you madam, are my favorite blogger of all things DIY. You have an uncanny ability of keeping my attention, the one that tends to drift, with your witty honesty. If I don’t actually get to this project, I’m glad to have relived yours.
    Thanks!
    AmyJ

  106. Stacye says:

    Great tutorial. Thanks for doing all the math for me so I don’t have to sit down and do all that ciphering. Gives me a headache. FYI, the major difference in a blind stitch and whip stitch in hand sewing is with the blind stitch you are hiding most of your thread in the fold with the long stitch and using a tiny stitch to connect the two pieces together.

  107. Sam says:

    Great tutorial! I might even have a crack at this :)

  108. Melissa says:

    I would just like to say THANK YOU! This is SO helpful and just what I needed! I am sitting here trying to find fabric to redo my living room curtains and was trying to figure out the best way to go about it. BOOM. stumbled upon this loveliness :) DONE

  109. sally says:

    Very beautiful draperies and instructions. One tip to complete the project….you can train your draperies to hang with perfect pleats by tying a string about 8″ down from the top, in the center and at the bottom. Leave for several days and remove the strings. The draperies will hang perfectly plumb!

  110. Val Bresin says:

    I am a very experienced at sewing. But I found your tutorial so helpful. I just made curtains for my daughters new bathroom using your instructions. They taught me so much and saved me so much time. All the steps were spelled out, Wow! Thanks for a great idea that paid off.

  111. Marilyn says:

    Hi! I’ve had these instructions saved on my Mac for months. I am now in the process of actually making these lined curtains. Whew! 11 yards of fabric and 11 yards of lining is a lot of fabric to deal with. I just finished one panel so far of four. I still need to finish the top of that one and then on to the other three. I am using wide grosgrain ribbon for the tabs. I hope that t works as well as your satin ribbon did. My cotton shrank about 2 inches when I wished and dried it before starting, so my side “bands on the back are only about an inch wide. But I think they look ok. Thanks so much for this tutorial!! By the way, my fabric is birch tree trunks and I am making them for our cottage up north in Michigan. :)

  112. Welshcakes says:

    Hallo – thanks so much for this blog. I have to make 15 curtains with heavy weight linings and I was racking my brains for a tidy, modern top heading-tape-free-edge – you provided it. I’d looked at several DIY pages for back tabs and I just couldn’t get my head around the written instructions, and I’ve been sewing for more than half a century, oh, maybe that’s why! Yours is so easy to follow The house is still full of fabric but I am just about to finish the first curtain. This upholstery fabric is heavy and fire retardent so I can’t make double hems, I’m having to tiddle around with top and bottom hems because of the weight of fabric but I’m getting there. Thank you again!

  113. Jessica says:

    “Window pants”! Haaaaaaa ha ha ha ha! You crack me up! Love your blogs. I think I can do this project, even!

  114. Thank you for this blog. My wife wanted a sewing machine to make new curtains with so have just sent her the link

  115. Dan says:

    Thanks for the lined curtain tutorial! I especially like the instructions for turning the lining and finishing the bottom edge.

    I have one suggestion – bias tape is meant to be a little stretchy so you can work it around curved edges without distorting the shape of the garment or whatever. That stretchiness makes it less perfect for weight-bearing applications like curtains. Obviously this didn’t ruin your beautiful curtains, but I would recommend using a straight-grain ribbon or tape next time.

  116. Chris says:

    I’m following along this tute right now… One question
    Are all seeds of curtain hemmed before lining sewed?
    Ps
    Drape, drapes. Tomato tomahto

  117. Jenn S (FotoJennic) says:

    You sure make me want a sewing machine. I’ve wanted some lined curtains for a long time now, and always thought I should make some due to the cost. BUT, I never had much luck with mom’s sewing machine so I have a small phobia of them now. This tutorial is exactly what I need, IF I can ever sew. so to Pinterest it goes, Thank you so much!

  118. Kylha says:

    Skivvies for your wall orifices? I think I almost peed myself reading that!! Wow, that was awesome!! I will definitely be making these if we don’t go with Roman Shades for our new place. Thanks for the giggles (I giggled throughout, but with wet undies due to the ‘skivvies for your wall orifices’ comment at the beginning.
    Thanks again,
    Kylha

  119. avital says:

    These curtains are so absolutely stunning! I’ve been searching and searching for the right diy curtains and these are perfect.
    I’m curious why the bottom needs 10 extra inches of fabric? Is it to add weight?
    Thank you for your beautiful post!

  120. Sydney says:

    Wait. So how many yards of fabric do I need to buy? Idk if I can do thisssss. Lol I shall try, I have a nursery to finish in oh about 4 weeks or so. It’s empty right now. Ain’t no thang.

  121. Alesha Brown says:

    LOVED the tutorial and EXTREMELY funny! Who knew that someone who sews could be so funny. Isn’t that like, illegal or something? lol Personally I am applying this application to some VERY heavy hotel salvage drapery with black out material so I will be a busy beaver. I am looking up what type of needle I will need so I am very behind the times with sewing. Wish me luck, thanks for the post your interiors are incredible. I see a designer at work!!!!!

  122. Lisa says:

    I loved your tutorial and decided to take the plunge. Armed with measurements, I went to the fabric store to purchase fabric. My daughter is a huge college football fan and wanted her favorite team’s fabric. The only problem was that the fabric was only 42″ wide and we needed a width of 64″. Did anyone else run into this problem? I am completely at a loss as I cannot find “the” fabric in a wider width.

    • Kelly says:

      Yep, did you see the info about the nursery curtains? I used more narrow fabric there and it was fine since the windows were more narrow. Home decor fabric is wide, usually at least 54″; quilting and clothing fabric is more narrow. Should be fine. :)

  123. Rachel says:

    This is a great tutorial! Thank you. I followed the directions to at “T” (except that I had neither bias tape nor satin ribbon so I just cut tabs out of extra lining fabric I had), and my dining room curtains turned out really nice. Thanks again.

  124. This is the most detailed instruction I have found for making back tab curtains. Today I’m going to use it for my curtains! Thank you so much.

  125. Sandy Wynne says:

    Kelly, I’m in the process of making your back tab curtain panels but I have extra lining fabric left at the top of the panel when I layed it on the floor to pin it. Not sure why. From your pics it looks like yours was even shorter than the fabric panel length. Think I should just trim it down but must have measured wrong. Do you recommend having it so many inches from the top so that when you fold down the fabric the 1″ + 1″ you don’t have double the thickness at the top??

  126. Karen Collins says:

    Since I read your tutorial about Lined Back-Tab Curtains, I have followed up with making all my treatments this way. I just recently took 4 cheap black out curtains, took all hems, etc. out (washed them about 4 times) and re-made them using your tutorial. The curtains I used were 84″ long, but by taking out the hems, they are a perfect length. I have to say they look gorgeous in my Master Bedroom. I am getting ready to do a re-do of this room and didn’t want to spend ANY money until I have my plan developed . I am so grateful for you and your tutorial. I am one happy woman!

  127. This is such a great tutorial. I’m planning on using it to help sew some wall orifice skivvies for my nekkid living room. Thank you so much for the inspiration! The wall I’m covering is massive (12′ tall x 11′ wide) and looking at your beautiful finished product and the simple step-by-step to get there might just help me get around to it.

  128. Elizabeth says:

    Where did you get the fabric? I have the exact same bedding!!!

    Great job on the curtains, and I love how clear your instructions are!

  129. elizabeth rogers says:

    Thankyou! Such a good tutorial for making curtains. I followed it to the letter (and many pins) and now have wonderful curtains in my sewing room. Would you mind if I linked to it from my blog?

  130. Julie says:

    Window pants…..hee…hee… love it! I have been looking for ways to make window coverings for ages…. but none that I thought I could do and like, until I saw yours. The tutorial is great and your sense of humor, refreshing. Thanks so much for posting. I am now a follower!

  131. Brittney says:

    How do you go about searching for the perfect fabric? I never know what to write in the search engine or even what search engine to use. Help?

  132. Holly says:

    I want to thank you for dedicating yourself to this blog. I made these curtains for my daughters room and they are beautiful and since your directions were so user friendly it was fairly painless. I plan on making curtains for every room of my house! That’s how much I love them. Thank you. Keep it up! :-)

  133. Sydney H. says:

    I’ve had this pinned – and decided to try it today! One problem I have is that I am coming up 2 inches short from being able to cut 10 in more than my finished panel length. So my curtain cut length is 8 inches more than the desired length. What is your advice on how to maintain the desired length? Should I make the hem smaller? What would look the best in your opinion?
    I hope to hear from you soon, since I am mid-project! Thank you so much for the fantastic tutorial! :)

  134. uazip94 says:

    Thank you very much for sharing this step by step process. It had been many, many years since I had sewn any drapery and this made my life so much easier. Panel one took a couple of hours. I think it was the measuring twice and cutting once that gave me the most heartburn. Off to panel two tonight and I’m sure it will go much faster thanks to you. Happy sewing!

  135. Lynda says:

    WOW! As I was looking for things like interior sliding barn doors I stumbled upon this tutorial. Since there is fabric laying across my ironing board that has been cut, ironed and one hem pinned and ready to sew I thought I’d click on your tutorial and am so glad I did…for the writing style and humor, if nothing else!!!

    Although my project is much smaller — an exterior door window, which requires visual blockage more than light blocking — this back-tab idea will be so much more functional and less bulky when I gather them to the middle from the top and bottom rods…when I want the open window thing.

    Since my place is more cottage style on the lake, elegance is not my first concern which is always the budget these days. I’m using a sheet (very cheap) in a print I love and works with my decor, lined with old cotton “sheers” that I just never got around to throwing away. I’m sure I have enough bias tape in one of my sewing boxes to complete the project this morning. Thank you for the great tutorial!

  136. All these curtains look beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I am getting ideas to finish my bedroom.

  137. Beth Reichert says:

    If you take a match and heat the ends of the ribbon it will melt the material and seal it. It will never fray. (Don’t burn it; you will see it melt a little)

  138. absewlute beginner says:

    This is the type of tutorial i love. Clever, funny and with the understanding that we don’t all have the sewing police around at our places to check for professional finishes!

  139. Danielle says:

    Thanks so much for the tutorial! I used it to make a pair of blackout curtains for my nursery while making a couple of changes which ultimately made it more complicated. I posted my version here: http://thegeekyloft.blogspot.com/2014/04/blackout-curtains-made-not-so-easy.html. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish them without this. Thanks!

  140. Taylor says:

    Wow, this is just so awesome. Thanks sooo much for sharing this. I am starting to learn how to sew and would love to make my OWN curtains.

  141. gail says:

    Thank you! Have now completed my first pair of fully lined curtains, your tutorial was spot on with photos and info. Amazed myself at how quick and easy it was. x

  142. Hi –

    We have featured your fab curtain tutorial on our website – I hope that’s ok, have included a link back :)

  143. Joy says:

    I just love your tutorial and how simple the curtains are to make! I just made my own set for one of my windows and I am working on the second set now! Thank you so much for the easy to follow tutorial!

  144. Madi says:

    This was awesome! I had, up until this point, literally no experience with sewing. All my friends ask me where I got my curtains and I proudly tell them that I made them!

  145. Debbie says:

    This is the best tutorial I have every used. I sewed two pairs, one for each of my grandchildren’s rooms in their new house. Sooo easy to do!

  146. Athena says:

    I made this curtains for my babies nursery! They are adorable and look very professional. The tutorial was easy to follow. The only issue that I had was that for some reason my tabs weren’t big enough to pass my curtain rod through so I had to redo them, which wasn’t the end of the world. Thanks for the great tutorial! I love them!

  147. Jenna says:

    Thank you so much! This was such a great detailed post! It was easy to customize. I wanted to use to different materials on each panel but it was so easy to just add this as a first step before your instructions start. Thanks for making me look like a pro! I knocked out huge professional looking curtains in a couple evenings (very pregnant) for under $80 in materials. Anyone can do this with your help! Oh and I even added lead weights to the bottom hem!

  148. Helena says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I loved this tutorial and made black-out curtains for our wall of windows in our bedroom. However, once I hung the curtains up the top hem above the tabs drooped down and exposes the tabs, which is not very pretty. I am afraid I made the top hem stick out too high above the tabs… :/ Any hints on how to fix this? Thanks in advance!

  149. Courtney says:

    Did these today with the help of this post! Love them! Thanks so much!

  150. Claire says:

    This is the best curtain and tab tutorial I’ve seen! I have store curtains that need to be hemmed and they are pole pocket (…which I hate), so I’m going to use your tutorial starting at the hemming the top and adding the tabs – I’m super excited to whip them up after reading your blog!

  151. Magda says:

    Thanks so much for posting this! Such a great tutorial, I followed it exactly and the curtains came out great! Love the shortcut of using a ribbon, in the past I’ve made tabs and it was much more tedious!

  152. Kelly says:

    Fantastic tutorial. I am actually in the process of redoing my entire first floor. I love the hidden tab look as much as you do, and I will totally be trying this . It’s a lot of work for sure, but yours look way easier than the draperies I’ve made in the past.
    Now if only an easy tutorial for slipcovers! I’m just so bad at it!

  153. First Real Sewing Project says:

    I did it! Thank you for the step-by-step tutorial. This is my first real sewing project (not counting home-ec class when we made aprons) and I completed it on my own! When I first read the tutorial, I thought I’d skip the back tabs. In the middle of the project, I changed my mind and they turned out beautiful! Though, actually sewing on the tabs was awful since the machine kept jamming. Only when I had two tabs left to go did I figure out that I had been sewing wrong…the top thread goes underneath the presser foot while you sew…ooops! Keep this in mind beginners :)

  154. Laurie says:

    Thank you, Kelly for such an easy-to-understand and well-photographed tutorial! I used it to make a shower curtain for my husband’s bathroom. The use of ribbon is genius and saved lots of time. It looks so great that I think I make some curtain as well!

  155. Claire says:

    Great tutorial! I just finished my first set of curtains and your tutorial made it so much easier than I thought it could be. My curtains look great and open and close so easily, thanks!!

  156. Tricia says:

    Great tutorial. I am planning on making drapes for a couple of bedrooms with the blackout lining & wondered if I could line the curtains only about half-way down in order to save on the lining. The window is not that big. Or would it make the drapes look odd or not hang well. Thanks for any input.

  157. Royal Crest says:

    You’re gonna put me out of business Kelly! Haha just joking, loving your DIY advice and the finished product in the bedroom looks great!

  158. MPaula says:

    I pinned this mainly for the back-tab concept. I have 2 drapes that I plan to combine – one is a loosely woven fabric in a colour that suits my kitchen. The other one is a thermal fabric that I will use as the lining. I may have to hand sew due to the weave. I won’t know until I try. I need to have them finished before the cold weather!

  159. jilian dee says:

    this tutorial is great! The only thing that is off with this tutorial is the finished measurements. If you want your width to end in 55″ you’ll have to add 1.75 on each side (a total of 3.5″) to come out at 55″ (1.5 for the fabric to tuck around and a standard 1/4″ seam allowance). Other then the slight measurement difference this is great! I made some for my whole house and couldn’t be happier!

  160. Marlene says:

    I just read your tutorial and found the finished product looked very professional. I am sewing my Christmas curtains (2014) with tabs. I have to admit that I was laughing when I was reading your tutorial, which made the reading very enjoyable and of course it was also informative.
    Thank you.

  161. Jordan says:

    This is GREAT! I am a beginner sewer and this was SO much better than any real pattern with sewing vocab that I don’t understand, haha. I wanted coral curtains for our living room and could not find them pre-made ANYWHERE (or atleast one’s that weren’t super pink-coral). When I found out it was going to cost $300.00 to have them made (not including material), I decided to take on the project. All to say, it was feeling pretty impossible until I found your tutorial, so THANK YOU for putting in the time to put this up!

  162. Patty says:

    I love the printed pillow on your bed. I have been loking for a pillow with these colors for months. Where did you get it?

  163. Patty says:

    Where did you get the lumbar pillow? I have been looking for pillows with those colors for months.

  164. Mary says:

    Love your tutorial. I am using a light weight cotton with some blackout lining. Should I prewash all of the fabric before I begin? The curtains will be used in my grand-daughter -to-be’s nursery and may need washing in the future. Thanks so much!

  165. Renee says:

    I’m just curious but you don’t mention when you cut your panel if you added extra to the width? Your panel had a finished width of 55″ when you cut the liner your mention that it should be 6″ less then the finished width. If you cut the width of your panel at 55″ you’re losing out on the width, correct? So I should be cutting my panel wider then 55″ or whatever width I chose, right?

  166. Ruth ramos says:

    I love it, I will try this way, I need curtains and they are duper expensive, thank you, you got a new subscriber ,

  167. Dominique says:

    Thank you for the tutorial, it was very useful in creating curtains for my nursery! I did use a different approach for the top, so that the backtabs are sewn right in at the same time as the top edge is sewn.

    I used the same approach for the bottom of my curtains, but in retrospect the lining is a bit heavier so it would have been better not to sew in the lining into the bottom hem and do it like you did!

    If you want to see the result, and the slightly different steps I followed:
    http://www.lemonandmint.ca/2014/10/tutorial-back-tab-blackout-curtains.html

    I think you’ll like the way I made the top!

  168. ely says:

    thanks for sharing…..am doing it now!

  169. Sybil says:

    Great tutorial!! :) Beautiful drapes…very professional looking! From what I faintly remember working in window treatment department many MANY years ago….drapes are heavier, often lined whereas curtains are lighter fabrics unlined…sometimes sheer. I have no idea if that holds true today though. Found your page as I was googling “sew lined drapes”…about to sew blackout lining into some Ikea panels for the bedroom…hope it turns out okay.

  170. Shelley says:

    Hi Kelly. Just wanted to say thanks for this fantastic tutorial! I actually made curtains for my daughters room last week and showed off on the blog today. They’re at http://barnaclebutt.blogspot.com/2014/11/how-to-sew-blackout-curtains-diy.html. I think you’ll be proud of me :-)

  171. Alyssa says:

    I really enjoyed this tutorial. I am SO bad at following directions it’s actually sad but your directions are so clearly laid out, it all made sense. And I loved the funny comments along the way too.

    I did have an issue with the final length of the first curtain I made, however. I wanted a finished width of 36″ but since the curtain fabric ends up wrapping around a few inches on the sides (as it’s supposed to), the final product will always be narrower than the initial measurement. That’s fine as long as you account for that lost width, which I didn’t. My finished curtain was supposed to be 36″ but after sewing together with the lining (which is 6″ narrower), the final curtain was 32″. Did I miss a step or piece of instruction on measuring correctly (this is entirely possible). I plan to make more panels but am wondering what I did wrong on the first one!

  172. Marnie says:

    Forgive me, I didn’t read all the comments/replies…
    How do you determine the width of the panel in relation to the size of your window? I *think* I read somewhere (a year ago, when I was planning the cabin curtains that I’m *finally* getting around to make) that you should make the width of your panels double the width of your window for shirring? Thoughts?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] They’re black-out lined back-tab panels and um, I made them myself (WHAAAT?! For reals!). Here’s the full tutorial on that. Can I say this again though? I made them myself. With a sewing machine.Enough, you guys! Quit [...]

  2. [...] But for that twelve seconds? It was pure, unadulterated love and devotion. It’s such a soft, serene greige that changes colors in different lights: revealing the faintest tones of blue and green depending on the time of day. It’s absolute perfection. Please, someone use this paint in memory of my master bedroom, which is now a beautiful soft grey-green: Benjamin Moore Silver Sage. (See it here.) [...]

  3. [...] form and the function of a room. Here’s my master bedroom before: …and after adding DIY lined back-tab curtain panels: (Instructions to sew your own lined back-tab curtains [...]

  4. [...] and probably without the use of a husband or straight-edge. P.S.: Check out my tutorial for how to sew lined back-tab curtains! And see my tutorial for making DIY striped curtains too. { 35 comments… read them below or [...]

  5. [...] medium or… not messing it all up and redoing your work? P.S.: Check out my tutorial for how to sew lined back-tab curtains! And see my easy tutorial for crib skirts here too. { 48 comments… read them below or add one [...]

  6. [...] was completely DIY-ed, from the lined curtains which I sewed myself to the pinwheel wall and everything in [...]

  7. [...] tips in this post. If I can just help one person find true love, then it was all worthwhile. 3. How to Sew Lined Back-tab Curtain Panels: I think because you guys know that if I can do it, so can you. If the girl who can’t sew a [...]

  8. [...] board paper and sidewalk chalk! Several people sent me pics of their new curtains following my lined back-tab curtain tutorial. I can almost guarantee you their seams are straighter and more professional than mine!Here’s [...]

  9. [...] post, I’ll show you the full tutorial for how I made these and the nursery curtains.UPDATE: See the tutorial here!You guys know I sew about as well as I yodel (I’ve never yodeled, so I might be making [...]

  10. [...] year’s goals:Repaint (Done! Color is Olympic Irish Lace.)New window treatments (Check. See how to sew lined back-tab drapes here.)New art and fun stuff (Done. Just today I was happily admiring that pretty Katie Daisy print [...]

  11. [...] past month and a half or so, and I just love the results. I followed Kelly’s tutorial over at View Along the Way, and I love the way the back tabs make my drapes look almost pleated–they certainly dress [...]

  12. [...] Or our baby girl’s nursery — completely DIYed from top to bottom, including the DIY lined curtains, pinwheel wall and chandelier [...]

  13. [...] you’re looking for other ways to customize your own curtains, here’s my tutorial for how to sew your own lined curtains with hidden tabs, or here’s my tutorial for DIY striped curtains with [...]

  14. [...] sewed those blackout curtains for me while I was having some contractions on Memorial Day. He used this tutorial for pointers. Aside from just making the room darker for baby, I think the curtains will help with [...]

  15. [...] not horrid or offensive or anything, but I much prefer the clean look of back tabs, like the curtains I made for Mila’s room… And the DIY Greek key curtains I put in the breakfast nook. Back-tab panels just have [...]

  16. [...] found this, this, and this article helpful when preparing to sew these back tab curtains. I am certainly no [...]

  17. [...] in Ivory lined with blackout drapery lining to make these full length, back tab drapes using this tutorial from A View Along the Way. This project was much more fun than I thought it would be. I mean, I was [...]

  18. [...] can change the feel of an entire room. This wonderful tutorial from View Along the Way walks you step by step through sewing tab top, lined curtains. There are also some great style tips, [...]

  19. [...] something nicer looking that curtain rings. I had almost decided on grommets when I ran across this tutorial on hidden tabs. I liked this idea, because it was cheaper than buying grommets, would block a [...]

  20. [...] with the idea of making my own.  Biggest sewing project yet for sure.  I am considering this tutorial. Does anyone have any advice before I tackle this mammoth project? Or even better a link to buy [...]

  21. [...] posted on how to sew lined back-tab curtain panels here. Are they perfect? No. Are they CLOSE to perfect? Um… also no. But they are functional, and [...]

  22. [...] designer” (don’t judge), and so I could have fun making nice things for our family, like curtains and [...]

  23. […] for the linings – this will take care of project goal #1 (above).  I’m using this fantastic step-by-step tutorial for making the lined curtains.  I found the link to the tutorial where everyone finds ideas and inspiration to try new things: […]

  24. […] look, but I didn’t want to do the full pleating thing. I found a great tutorial at View Along the Way. It’s pretty clear she used a lighter weight lining than I did though. There’s a drape […]

  25. […] curtains came from a great tutorial via View Along the Way.  I was able to purchase all the materials for under $35 from our local Mardens (a salvage and […]

  26. […] your spouse is really into the idea of weather-proofing, it’s the perfect way to convince him you need to make new lined curtains! Ask me how I […]

  27. […] not an expert in the field, and so it takes me a while to make any decisions. After reading View Along the Way’s tutorial on lined back-tab curtains, I knew I’d be able to make them for myself once I found […]

  28. […] used this pattern. I love how it so versatile. We were able to use the same pattern for our standard windows and for […]

  29. […] our baby girl’s nursery — completely DIYed from top to bottom, including the DIY lined curtains, pinwheel wall and chandelier […]

  30. […] followed this tutorial that I found on Pinterest, but I added my own modifications, especially since I added a grey […]

  31. […] that sometimes the best solution to a problem is to seek help from the pros.I love that Kelly’s curtain tutorial  isn’t impossible for the non-sew’er to follow! *chuckle* I borrowed a slew of […]

  32. […] room curtains. Made with Waverly Barano fabric in Indigo and sewn according to this pattern for backed-tabbed curtains (without the blackout lining) on View Along the Way. I’ve been ordering fabric at Fabric.com […]

  33. […] made the curtains using the tutorial from one of my favourite bloggers, Kelly at View Along the Way. Her ideas are really spot-on, and this curtain tutorial was very approachable, particularly for […]

  34. […] red thread your friend from high school gave you one summer. Then cover all the windows with thick, black drapes. And don’t forget to throw out the garlic. And that means no more garlic bread pizza on […]

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