Sewing Tutorial: DIY Blackout Curtains

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:

1. Cut curtain fabric in a 44″X 60″ rectangle with your rotary cutter or fabric shears

2. Cut your blackout lining to 42″ X 54″.

3. Prepare your fabrics by pressing fabric to flatten any wrinkles and creases.

 

Sew Side Seams

Lay printed fabric right side up on a large, flat surface. Place the Blackout liner fabric laminated side up on top of the printed fabric (the right side of the print and right [woven] side of the Blackout liner should be facing one another). Place the fabric so that there is an even amount (approx. 3″) of print fabric on the top and bottom under the liner fabric [See Picture].

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If you are sewing curtain panels to be used directly on a rod, you will have 8-9 inches at the top.

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)

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1. 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 1

2. 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. the fabric overlap should be approx. 1 inch.

3.  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.

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5. Bring your work back to your large flat workspace and press these topstitched seams in place and iron out any wrinkles that have been created.

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! 2

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.

1. 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.

2. 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]

3. (B) Snip off the triangle piece of overlap, too. [See Fig. 4B]

4. Fold down seam allowance approximately 1.5″ and press down. [Fig. 4C]

5. 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]

6. 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).

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7. 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.)

  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.
  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!

Comments

  1. Pinned and tweeted! I love this, but I have no ability to do it myself. You should sell them ;-)

  2. Blackout curtains make your rooms beautiful and good looking.

Trackbacks

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