Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sew Your Own Grommet Curtains

If you would like to try sewing curtains, but lack the confidence to tackle a complex project, grommet curtains are a great place to start!  They require less fabric than pleated styles and are simple to make. Plus grommets are a hot trend; used in purses, tote bags, garments and home décor. Grommets are everywhere!

Here are a few tips before you get started:
  1. Select a rod that is a smaller diameter than the grommets, so the curtain will slide easily.
  2. Install the rod above the window first, so you can measure the finished width and length for your curtains.  Remember the top of the rod is where the top of the inside of the grommet will be – the curtain fabric will be above the rod.  If you are unsure of the correct length, install the rod and make the curtains but leave the bottom hem unfinished.  Hang the curtain on the rod to mark the length, then remove and finish the hem.
  3. Always plan for an even number of grommets so the curtain will begin and end facing the wall.
  4. Space the grommets around 6 to 7 inches apart on center.  If you space them too far apart the curtain will hit the wall when it folds back behind the rod.
  5. If you want to open and close your grommet curtains, allow for at least one and a half times fullness across the width of your rod.
  6. Allow 16 inches of extra fabric for top and bottom hems.

Purchase everything you need to make grommet curtains at Mary Jo’s Cloth Store:
Home décor fabric
Lining fabric
Plastic snap-together grommets
Fabric glue (choose a glue that dries clear)
Basic sewing tools and supplies

Making the curtain panel:

  1. Cut fabric allowing for top and bottom hems. With the fabric face down on your work surface, fold and iron a 4 inch doubled hem (allow 8 inches total) at the top and bottom of the curtain material, measuring for the correct length. Fold and iron a 1 ½-inch doubled hem down each side (allow 3 inches total). To add lining to your curtain, cut lining fabric allowing 6 inches for the hem and fold a 3 inch doubled hem in the bottom and iron. Machine stitch the hem. With the curtain face down, place the hemmed lining face up and inset 1 inch from the bottom edge. Trim the lining to fit the curtain panel, tuck the edges under the side and top hems and pin. (The bottom of the curtain and lining will be free hanging).  Sew all the hems by hand or machine stitching, or you can wait until after the grommets are set in the top to sew the hems.

Adding grommets to the curtain:

  1. To plan the grommet spacing, measure and mark 1 ½-inches from each end on the backside of the top curtain hem.  This will be the center of each end grommet.  

  1. Measure in-between the marks, and divide by an odd number (so that you will have an even amount of grommets).  For this curtain, the measurement between the marks is 40 ½ inches, divided by seven for eight grommets spaced at 5.785 inches apart. 

  1. Mark for each grommet in the center of the top hem. 

  1. Pry apart each grommet using a small, flat head screwdriver and use one side of the grommet to draw a circle at each mark.

  1. Cut out each circle slightly larger than the line that was drawn – this will keep the fabric from being too tight around the neck of the grommet.

  1. To set the grommets, add a little glue around the inside of the grommet front piece (the front of the grommet is the piece with the longer neck) and place it into the cut circle so the neck of the grommet is coming through to the back side.  Add a little glue to the back piece and snap the front to the back.

  1. Once all the grommets are set, the curtain is ready to hang at the window.

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