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Wednesday, October 16, 2013
hardware-free curtain hanging
For three years I have loved my curtains and hated the way they hung. You see the pocket where my finger is pointing? Not even an occasional sewer at that time, we had simply threaded our beautiful, new, flat panel curtains onto the curtain rod through this pocket. It was bunchy, didn't hang well, not remotely flattering to the gorgeous stripes in the flat panel design, and worst of all wouldn't budge. There was no drawing of the drapes. I tied them back to reach light and air but they wouldn't draw open at the top.
Three years. I have been embarrassed about my curtains and irritated with myself for three years! But I had no skills with which to fix the matter, and I'm kinda stingy so even once I was gifted my sewing machine (my beautiful husband man loves me greatly) I still was too much of a scrooge to fork out for the hardware. You know, the curtain rings and hooks and shirring tape.
I finally fixed the problem. And didn't pay a cent.
This article is what I used, plus two spools of 1/2 inch wide grosgrain ribbon I got for 50 c each on sale a few months ago, and my sewing machine. Okay, so I paid maybe a couple of dollars all told. But still, nothing I didn't already have, and still an inexpensive fix regardless. Also worth a quick look before you get dug in is a "right and wrong" explanation for hanging drapes, and a photo cheat sheet, in case you don't actually know about the hardware I so stubbornly refused to buy.
I figured out the length of ribbon needed by pinning it uncut against the curtain and testing it on the rod. Then I cut up all my ribbon.
I wanted to space the ribbon loops evenly on the back of each curtain panel. The easiest way to do this doesn't use a ruler at all. Simply fold in half, then again, then again, until the width looks about right for the spacing of each loop.
Mark each fold with a pin.
The ribbon goes here, where my two fingers are pointing in the above photo. Sew along the existing seam with a sensible color thread so that it doesn't show obviously on the front of the curtain once finished. The rough ends of the ribbon fold under and are sewn over, forming a flat loop.
Sew one side along the seam...
...and then the other. Do this the whole way along the top of the curtain at the marked spacings. Make sure to sew back and forth a few times to ensure seams are secure.
The front panel already has those two seams, so it's hard to see where I've sewn over the top.
And there you have it. Four panels over the large window in my living room and two panels over the French doors in the dining area. Please excuse the mess.
As you can see, the curtains now pull aside easily and beautifully straight on the new hanging loops. Much better.