DIY Blackout Curtain Tutorial

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Today I’ve got a super easy and practical tutorial brought to you by Amy from Silly Bear Handmade!!

Blackout curtains are great for keeping kids rooms (or any rooms) dark and cool. Our family benefits from more sleep in the mornings and good, long naps, thanks to blackout-lined curtains. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to sew your own blackout lined curtains. The fabric choices are endless, and the process is fairly simple. With a few common materials, and an hour or two of your time, you can have beautiful DIY blackout curtains to be very proud of!

Materials:

rotary cutter and mat or fabric shears
1 & 2/3 yards of curtain fabric of your choice
1 & 1/2 yards of blackout curtain liner.
coordinating polyester thread
iron and flat, heat-tolerable surface for pressing
large flat area for cutting and preparing panels
sewing machine
sewing needle for hand stitching

Prepare Fabric

Cut curtain fabric in a 44″X 60″ rectangle with your rotary cutter or fabric shears
Cut your blackout lining to 42″ X 54″.
Prepare your fabrics by pressing fabric to flatten any wrinkles and creases.

Sew side seams

Bring the right edge of the liner fabric to meet the right edge of the cotton fabric, smooth, and pin in place from the under-side (the heads of the pins should be on the wrong side of the printed fabric – [See Fig. 1B]).

pin fabrics together
Bring the left edge of the liner fabric to meet the left edge of the printed fabric. Because the liner fabric is shorter in width than the printed fabric, you will have an extra 3-4 inches of printed fabric. Do not attempt to smooth this out and trim the printed fabric {SEE NOTE}.
{NOTE 1} PIN THE LEFT EDGE of the liner TO THE LEFT EDGE of the print, just as they are. The extra print fabric is a GOOD thing. You WANT overlap.

Place your prepared fabric under the sewing machine foot with the print side up (heads of the pins will be facing up, for you to pull out with your right hand as you sew). Sew a straight stitch leaving a 1″ seam allowance. Do the same for the right and left sides. Make sure that you trim your threads and go back to your work surface. Check to see that your seam allowances are 1″. Trim if needed. Turn your work right side in. Lay the tube of fabric that you just sewed on your work surface with the print side down and the liner fabric centered between the overlap of the print fabric [See Fig. 2B].

stitch fabrics together
Your printed overlap will be about 1″ on each side. [See Fig. 2C]
one inch overlap
Make sure that your seam allowances of both the fabrics are folded outward within the “channels” created by the overlapped print fabric. This will ensure that your curtains black out light from edge to edge. Check to see that your print fabric overlap is even throughout the length of the curtain panel, and that the seam allowances fit within the “channels” or “casing” created by the overlap, and then press this side seam in place and pin it in place to prepare to topstitch.

4. Bring your pressed and pinned fabric to the sewing machine and topstitch, sewing a straight stitch “in the ditch” between the print overlap and the liner fabric. Make sure that you straighten the fabric to your left as you sew, and sew carefully as to not lose control of the large amount of fabric. It’s a long seam, but you can do it! I like to use a Blind Hem Foot and minimum stitch width setting to guide the stitch into “the ditch” as I sew. [See Figure 3A ]

finish seams

Bring your work back to your large flat work space and press these top stitched seams in place and iron out any wrinkles that have been created. [See Fig. 3B]

iron seams
You want your fabric nice and crisp to make sure that your seams are square and that you don’t end up with funky wrinkles and unintended pleats in any part of your curtain panel! {SEE NOTE 2}

{NOTE 2} Pressing has to be the most time consuming and boring part of sewing. But it is imperative. I promise. I wouldn’t make you do it if it weren’t important!

Sew Top and Bottom seams

Top Seam:
{NOTE: If you want to hang your curtains directly on a rod, please add 5-6 inches to your initial measurement for the print fabric, and sew a rod casing for this step}

The following directions will create a straight, closed, and mitered seam with no rod casing that can be hung on ring clips as pictured.

Confirm that you have done all of the steps including pressing your finished seams for the side seams. check that your selvedge edges (raw edges) are reasonably straight, and approximately 3″ in length.
Measure 1.5″ up the seam allowance on the top on the left and right sides, and mark. Your mark should be approximately halfway up the selvedge edged seam allowance. Now at the very top of the top selvedge edge, measure from the right edge of your piece inward 1.5″ and mark.
(A) Connect the marks and snip off the corner of the selvedge. Do the same for the left side. [See Fig. 4A]

(B) Snip off the triangle piece of overlap, too. [See Fig. 4B]
Fold down seam allowance approximately 1.5″ and press down. [Fig. 4C]
Fold corners in so that the inside edge of the triangle formed matches up with the topstitching of the side seams. Press. Do this on both sides. [Fig. 4D]
Fold down seam allowance approx. 1.5″ once more, and press. [Fig. 4E] Pin in place from the underside (you’ll want to sew with the right side of the curtain panel facing you).

finishing top seam

Sew this hem with a straight stitch- I like to use a double needle, but a single needle will work just fine! Sew from the topstitching on the right side seam to the topstitching on the left side seam.

Bottom Seam:

Repeat steps 2. – 6. for the bottom hem, but sew this hem with a Blind Hem Stitch and Blind Hem Foot. Alternatively, you can use a straight stitch for this hem.
Press all your seams and hems.
Confirm that your curtain panel is the right size and shape before you do the next step.

Finishing Up:

You’ll be hand sewing the mitered edges of the top and bottom seams. Pick a hand sewing needle that is appropriate for the materials you have used in your curtain panel. Hand sew the mitered edges on all four corners of the curtain panel, making sure to secure your thread at the beginning and end of your stitching, and then you’re done!

Go hang up your curtain panels and admire your handiwork. You created something for your family. Doesn’t it feel great!?

Cost and Time Commitment:

Approx. length of time to make one curtain panel, uninterrupted – 1-2 hours.
Cost of materials for one 42″ X 54″ curtain panel – $20 – $30 This is a full-price estimate for using a $6.99 per yard economy blackout fabric and an average $8.00 per yard cotton woven fabric. If you have coupons or discount codes, you can get the fabric for less, as I did. I spent approximately $100 making blackout curtains for both of my children’s rooms – with coupons and sale prices from Joann.com and Fabric.com. (I also received cash back through Ebates by shopping these stores online.)

Amy Willa is a military wife, mother to two young children, shop owner of Silly Bear Handmade on Etsy, and a full-time online student of Public Health. She loves connecting with and empowering others, and writes at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work, about natural parenting, self-awareness, balance, and creating for the family, as well as as an author for Natural Parents Network. While raising her two “Silly Bears” and serving as the Command Ombudsman at her husbands current Coast Guard assignment in Southern Maine, she works from home, blogging and sewing cloth diapers, wet-bags, accessories, and other eco-friendly home goods for sale at her Etsy shop, Silly Bear Handmade. Amy is passionate about women’s and family health, studying Public Health in preparation for sitting for the IBCLC exam in the next few years. She is currently active in La Leche League providing mom-to-mom peer breastfeeding support and information. If you’d like to interact with Amy, please visit her Facebook Page, and connect with her on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

Posted in Crafty Projects, DIY Tutorials.

6 Comments

  1. Great tutorial, it worked. Thanks.
    Keep blogging more informative thing about fabric related things.
    I will be intact with your blogs.

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