How to Make a Retractable Curtain

Retractable curtain shades roll up and down, providing a neat and simple window covering with little to no overhang.
If an understated but functional window covering is the goal, a retractable shade is the way to go. As long as the appropriate hardware has been purchased, curtains can be made to match any décor. A heavy, home décor fabric is best because it will hold the bottom curtain rod without tearing a seam.

Step 01

Measure the length and width of the window frame. Measure out a piece of fabric that is 2 inches wider and 8 inches longer than the frame. Cut out the fabric and iron it flat.

Step 11

Fold the fabric over on both sides of the panel by one-half inch toward the underside of the fabric. Iron the hem flat. Fold the hem over again by one-half inch and iron it flat. Pin the hem in place. Sew the side hems with a one-eighth-inch seam using straight stitch on normal tension.

Step 21

Fold the bottom of the fabric up by one-half inch toward the underside of the fabric and iron it flat. Fold the hem up another 3 inches and iron it flat. Pin in place and sew using a straight stitch on normal tension with a 2-1/2-inch seam.

Step 31

Fold the top of the fabric over by one-half inch toward the underside of the fabric and iron it flat. Turn the hem over again by 3 inches and iron it flat. Pin in place and sew using a straight stitch and normal tension with a with a 2-1/2-inch seam.

Step 41

Slide the finished panels onto the retractable curtain rods, then place the rods into the shade’s hardware.

Things You Will Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread

About the Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.