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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Slide the finished panels onto the retractable curtain rods, then place the rods into the shade’s hardware.
- The Complete Photo Guide to Window Treatments: DIY Draperies, Curtains, Valances, Swags, and Shades; Linda Neubauer
- Design Sponge: Sewing 101: Curtains
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.