A while ago, when the lovely people at the Fabrics-Store invited me to make some tutorials for them using their gorgeous linens, I started scrolling through the (many!) color and weight options in their store with menswear projects in mind. My best intentions of pairing Thread Theory patterns with Fabrics-store linens were abruptly sidelined though when I saw this beautiful jacquard linen.
It’s absolutely stunning! In fact, when I received the linen in the mail, the texture and gorgeous natural color exceeded my expectations. It achieved the perfect understated rumpled look once washed and came out quite soft. I knew, upon seeing the scalloped print along each selvage that this fabric would make the perfect scalloped hem curtains. Customers who have provided rave reviews of this fabric have had the same idea as me (and it sounds like they have had equally wonderful results!) so I can’t claim all the credit for these gorgeous curtains!
I really love how these curtains turned out – there is nothing more relaxing and refreshing to wake up to than early morning sunlight filtered through natural colored linen. The weight of the fabric is perfect (6.6 oz/yd) – it is heavy enough to hang nicely but still undulates in the summer breeze just as I had hoped!
3 yards of IL067
Time Required: 4 hours (for two curtain panels)
Other notions and supplies: Thread, scissors, pins, drapery tape, drapery hooks (approx. two packages or as many needed to span the length of your window), lining material for the scallop facing.
To make these softly gathered curtains I used 3 yards of fabric which I cut in half to create two panels that were 1 1/2 yards wide. I cut off one scalloped selvage to create the top of the curtains (you could keep this on if you want longer curtains but I wanted my scalloped hem to fall just above the bed which sits against the wall).
I began finishing the edges by serging the sides. You could also just zig zag stitch them to prevent fraying.
I then moved on to creating the hem. I decided to add a small facing using left over sheeting scraps I had from past projects. They were perfect for this because they were long enough to extend the entire width of the curtains and had nice finished selvages on one edge. I used the selvage as the top edge of the facing so that I didn’t have to finish this edge, but you could easily serge your facing or fold over the raw edge and stitch.
I placed the sheeting and scalloped edge with right sides together and pinned it in place thoroughly.
Next, I ‘traced’ the scallops with stitching by sewing from the linen side. The jaquard fabric is perfect for this because the design is clearly visible from both sides of the fabric!
I sewed up either side of the facing and linen 1/2″ from the serged linen edge.
The next part is a little time consuming. I trimmed the fabric to match the scallops (leaving a 1/2″ seam allowance) and clipped at regular intervals along the curve. I took special care to clip right into the points of the scallops to help when everything was flipped right side out.
After all this trimming, I flipped the scallops so right sides were out and carefully pressed them to create smooth curves. I tried to push the facing slightly to the wrong side of the curtains so the white sheeting wouldn’t peek out at the hem.
Now, to keep the facing from drooping, I basted the selvage edge to the linen by hand.
The next step is to finish the sides. I simply pressed the serged edge under 1/2″ to match the finished facing edge and top stitched.
To finish the top edge of the curtains, I created a 4″ wide pocket. I folded the raw edge under 1/2″.
Then I folded the fabric again and pinned to create a 4″ ‘double folded hem’.
A rod could be inserted through this pocket but, in my case, I applied drapery tape so I could use an i-beam drapery system with metal hooks. I added the tape by pinning it to the 4″ folded fabric before stitching. I then stitched the tape and ‘hem’ in place at the same time (along the top and bottom edges of the tape).
When using drapery tape, there are a few areas where things could go wrong! So, follow my advice so that you avoid all the mistakes I made on the first drapery panel (and subsequently had to stitch pick!).
First off, make sure the drapery tape is facing the right direction. My tape had pockets for the hooks that could only be accessed from one side. Of course, I had a 50/50 chance of applying it the correct direction the first time and failed to do so :P.
Secondly, cut yourself extra length so that you have room to pull out the gathering strings and fold the tape ends under before stitching. This tape frays like crazy so it won’t work very well to leave the edges raw.
Third, position the tape so that there is a pocket for a hook close to each edge of the curtain so that your curtains don’t droop along either side. I laid out the tape and hooks before sewing to make sure that everything would line up.
With those tips, you shouldn’t have any problem! Now stitch away.
There are several other equally stunning jacquards with interestingly shaped prints along either selvage…it is awfully tempting to buy enough of each design to create curtains for the rest of the bare windows in our house!
Thank you, Fabrics-store, for the opportunity to sew with such gorgeous fabric! If you’d like to see more of my tutorials, come on over to visit us at the Thread Theory website.