How to Sew Window Curtains from Reused Shower Curtain
We are on a tight budget, so spending a lot on window coverings isn't really an option right now. I held on to an old shower curtain that had lost one of its grommets, but the fabric was still in great shape. It is a simple white waffle weave that I thought could be reused somewhere when the time was right. Tight budget for window coverings + recycling an old shower curtain = instant cheap curtains for our little laundry room window! I am by no means an expert at sewing, but I do like VERY simple sewing projects, so if you are new to sewing or don't mind a simple project, this one is for you.
Step 1: Measure and cut your panels
Measure your window first, then spread out your shower curtain or piece of fabric to carefully measure for your panels. I trimmed off the top edge with the grommets and save those scraps for another project. I used .5" seam allowances on all 4 sides as well as 4" allowance for the pocket for the curtain rod and the extra fabric poof on top.
I folded the curtain in half and cut right down the middle with a sharp pair of fabric scissors. Make sure to make straight clean cuts to make folding, pinning, and sewing much easier.
Step 2: Fold and pin seam allowances
Turn your fabric right/pattern side down on your ironing board. Using a hot iron and a small ruler, turn your fabric in to make the .5" seam allowance. Use straight pins to hold the seam in place. You can use a rotary cutter or sharp scissors to cut the excess off of the corners so they'll lay flat. Place your pins about 5-6 inches apart to hold your seam securely.
Step 3: Sew your seams
Once you have all of your seams folded and pinned, its time to sew. Make sure your bobbin is full loaded with thread--I had trouble with the thread breaking every 4 or 5 inches and I think it was because the bobbin was running low. Sew your seams using a straight stitch, make sure you lock down the corners with a few back stitches. You don't want anything coming loose. Remove the pins as you go.
Step 4: Make the rod pocket and allowance for top
Once all of your raw edges are sewn, return your panel to the ironing board to press and pin the top of the panel to allow a pocket for the curtain rod. If you want a poofy top, you will need to allow the extra fabric, other wise, you can sew the pocket just to lay flush with the rod.
I turned my top down 3.5" to allow 1" for the rod and 2.5" for the ruffled top. You will need to measure according to your own window and curtain rod. Once you have your measurements in place, pin the lines for the rod pocket and allowance for the top. Before you sew, test out your rod to make sure it fits in your pinned pocket. Go one step further and test hanging your pinned panel in your window just to triple check that all of your measurements are correct and the panel will not be too short. Its easier to re-pin than remove stitches!
When you are satisfied with your measurements and pin placement, sew along the pins to finish off the top of the panel. Repeat these steps for the second or subsequent panels until you achieve the looking you're going for.
Give your panels a good ironing then hang in your window.