How to

New cafe curtain for the kitchen

After nearly 10 years of service, the old curtain had finally given up the ghost and was consigned to the rubbish bin.

Our kitchen window faces north-east and gets alot of lovely sun in the morning. I had visions of planting up a collection of terracotta pots with herbs, strawberries and cut-and-come-again veggies. However, after trying a bare window for a day or two, Alisi’s Daddy and I decided it was more important to cover up the ugly view into the block’s carpark and to give us a bit of privacy.

So a replacement curtain was in order.

It is possible to buy ready-made cafe curtains – but they’re so U-G-L-Y!!

Gathered cafe curtains are simple to make – basically just a rectangle of fabric with a couple of extra rows of stitching for a rod pocket.

I put together a little pattern for our curtain and headed off to Material World to look for fabric.

This plain white sheer cotton was a bargain. $10 for the end of the roll. The fabric was 270cm wide as well – bonus!

Sheer fabric is difficult to cut out. The fabric’s so wibbly-wobbly it makes it hard to cut straight lines. So out came my trusty cutting board. In addition to turning our bed into a cutting table, it’s also printed with measurements and straight lines to guide you.

The rule of thumb for sheer curtains is to make the curtain approximately three times the width of the window.

My fabric came ready made at two times the width of the window, which I thought I might get away with. I hooked the fabric over the curtain wire (pictured) to get a feel for what it would look like – but, as you can see it was too skimpy. So back to the cutting board to cut another drop.

I now had two drops which needed to be sewn together side-by-side to create a single width of fabric.

Because it’s easy to see the seam through sheer fabric, it’s best not to put a seam down the middle of the curtain – it makes it a little too obvious. So I cut one drop in half and attached a piece to either side of the main drop – this way my seams are off to either side and not so noticeable.

Two quick, straight line seams resulted in a curtain drop four times the width of my window.

Your iron is your friend with sewing projects – iron these seams open. Then iron the hems in before sewing them – it makes the fabric much easier to stitch.

I hemmed the sides and bottom of the curtain and ironed flat.

The last step is the rod pocket – really just a big wide hem with two rows of stitching. I allowed 1cm above the rod pocket to provide a little frill and make the curtain “finished”.

I then completely ironed my curtain, zipped the curtain wire through the rod pocket and hung it.

Standard