How to Make Country Curtains
"Country" curtains set a specific themed decor in a home. It can be bright American checked gingham and farm animals, French lace, blues and bright yellows, toile prints and roosters, English gardens with taupe or olive accented with petite roses. Before you decide which country theme suits your taste, explore the variety of country designs and colors from around the world. Country curtains often refer to kitchen accents, so we'll focus on that kind of window treatment.
Measure your window from top to bottom and side to side (frame to frame). Purchase fabric that is twice the width of the window and 1 1/4 times the length of the window (top to bottom) for two panels. This takes into consideration seam allowances on four sides of each panel (see Step 2 below). If matching tie-backs are desired, add an additional 10 inches to the length of the total fabric purchase.
Cut the length of the fabric in half so that there are two panels of equal length. If extra fabric was included for tie-backs, cut off 10 inches from the bottom of each panel and set aside (see Step 4 below). Pin a 1/2 inch seam allowance along the length of each panel and straight stitch on the sewing machine with coordinated color thread. Iron the seam flat.
Fold the top of each panel down (right side out) and measure for a top ruffle 2 1/2 inches wide. Pin to mark and straight stitch across. Pin again for the opening for the curtain rod to slip through--at least 2 inches, but make sure there is sufficient space for the curtain rod to be used. Straight stitch across. Iron flat. Do the same for the second panel.
Secure the curtain rod hardware on the window. Slip the curtain rod through the openings in both panels (below the top ruffle) and hang up, evenly distributing the gathers so the opening between both panels is in the center of the window. Fold and pin the bottom of each panel with the remaining fabric for a seam, folding in 1/2 inch for a clean finish. Allow for the panel to hang 1/2 inch below the glass window so the curtains completely cover any view out. Remove the panels and stitch the seams on the bottom of each panel. Slip the curtain rod through the opening of both panels and rehang in the window, evenly distributing the top gathers.
For the optional tie-backs, take the 10-inch strips of fabric and fold them lengthwise, right side in. Straight stitch along the edge of the length and one width. Turn right side out. Fold 1/2 inch of the open side and iron flat. Straight stitch closed. With a needle and thread, attach a round hook on one corner of each tie-back. If desired, add decorative trim along the length of each. Attach hardware on each side of the curtain panels to hold the tie-back hooks about half way down the length of the window and arrange the curtains for a pretty look (see the diagram in Step 1).
- Lightweight fabric is recommended. Visit decorator shops and research suggestions in magazines and books for ideas on country curtains.
For over 25 years, Natasha Lawrence has written for publications from "Alaska Business Monthly" to "Savannah Magazine" and provided destination content as Florida city editor for Wcities. Her expertise in arts and crafts includes calligraphy, painting, mosaics, jewelry making, paper crafts and home decor, often offering workshops in museums and art centers.
- Photo & diagram by Natasha Lawrence