Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Window (Mis)Treatment How-To

I took this picture the next morning after I posted about the new window (mis)treatment I made. I wanted to show that it has a nice contrasting fabric on the back. So when gathered up or rolled up (as I did for this photo) and tied, it looks great. It also looks great from the outside, which is important to me as well. It is always worth it to take the time to make a window treatment lined if you plan on keeping it there for a while.

As I looked through my pictures I took as I was making this treatment I began to realize I should have taken more pictures. I hope that with the info I share and the few pictures I took, you will get a good idea of how to make one of these (mis)treatments for your own window.

Let me just say if you are a sewer that requires things to be exact, or the thought of sewing something without pinning it first is frightening, stop now. Please do not read any further on this post.

Now, for those of you who don't want a long, tedious tutorial, then this is for you. Just remember I like to do things quickly without all that silly pinning and measuring exact and I make things up as I go along, but I also like to pay attention to some detail to make my curtains looks nice. Nice enough for someone to ask where I got them. I really hope this helps you get the same results.

Let's get started...

1) You will need two or three (or more!) coordinating fabrics of your choice. I chose three. A pretty floral, a coordinating stripe and a cute plaid.

2) Decide how you will use your fabrics for the window treatment. Which fabric will be the the main print, which will be the back and ties and which will be the cording trim. I chose the floral as the main front fabric, the stripe for the back (which will be seen when rolled up and also from outside the window), the same stripe for the ties and the cute plaid for the piping.

3) Measure your window. Add three inches to each side. That will be the measurements for how large your fabric pieces will be cut out to. My window measures 36" L x 35" W so I cut my two main fabrics 42" L x 41" W.

4) Cut a piece of piping the width of your fabrics cut. Piping?!, you say? Have you ever added piping to something? Give it a try! It is quite simple and really finishes a window (mis)treatment or pillow, etc. You can find piping at any fabric store. It comes in different sizes, depending on the size of piping you want. The piping I purchased only cost $.29 per yard. Very inexpensive. I decided I just wanted piping at the bottom edge of the window treatment so I cut a piece of piping 41" wide.

5) Next, cut a piece of fabric you have chosen for your piping that is the same length as the piping fabric and 2" wide. Mine was 41" L x 2" W. Nothing exact, just cut it so it can be folded over the piping and sewn with enough seam allowance left to be sewn into the window (mis)treatment seam. Fold the fabric over the piping, right side out. A good tip is to also sew a top stitch at each end after you have sewn in the piping. Just to make sure the piping does not slip out or move around later when you are sewing it into the window (mis)treatment seam.

6) Your piping should look something like this. See, very simple.

7) Next begin sewing your panels together, starting at the top, on one of the long sides, right sides together.

8) When you get near the bottom, stop and add in your piping that will go along the bottom. If you have never sewn piping into anything, just remember the seam of the piping goes right along with the seam that you will be adding it to.

9) Next, begin sewing to the bottom. Square your corner and begin sewing along the seam making sure the piping seam is right along the edge as well. Since I am lazy and always in a hurry when making things like this, I did not pin this, but if you feel more comfortable pinning... pin away, then sew the seam.

10) Square your corner again and sew up the other side, leaving the top open.

11) Before turning right side out, clip your corners. Always clip corners. It makes nicer corners on window (mis)treatments, pillows, duvet covers, or whatever you are making.

This is what the seam looks like at first. If you like this look you can keep it like this. Read below for what to do next if you like a tighter piping seam.

12) One of the things I didn't do when adding my piping to the bottom seam was to change my sewing machine foot to a one-legged foot so it would allow for the piping thickness and a close stitch along the seam. If you like changing the feet on your sewing machine, then you can do that. What I do instead is just do another seam over the top once the piping is in place. I sew as close as I can to the piping without sewing into the actual piping string. As in the picture above.

13) Turn window (mis)treatment right side out and take a look. This is how the seam will look if sew closer to the piping as I instructed above. Doesn't it look so nice?

14) After turning right side out and admiring the fabrics all sewn together, make sure your corners are square, use a boning tool or scissors (but be careful not to push through the fabric!) to push out the corner seams square. They won't be perfectly square with the piping in the seam, but just do your best. They look nice with the piping.

15) Press, press, press. This is such an important step. Press all of your seams all the way around. Come on, it only takes a few minutes. Can you tell I love to iron?

16) Just as important as pressing the seams, is top stitching ALL the seams. This makes a huge difference in making window (mis)treatments. Not only does it give them a professional, finished look, they last longer and are more sturdy, especially if you will be opening them and closing them on the window often or washing them. Go ahead, finish the seams all the way around. It only takes a few minutes and it is SO worth it.

17) Next, you will need to make the ties for this window (mis)treatment. You will need to cut four strips of fabric that are the same length as your window fabric cut and 7" W. So, my tie pieces were 42" L x 7" W.

18) With right sides together, sew the length of the ties. Sides only. Turn right side out and center the seam so it is in the center back. See picture above. Note that I specify where the seam is in the picture because the fabric is striped and it is difficult to see. Press the four ties flat so the center seam stays in the back center. At the bottom of the tie, tuck the open end in so it can be top stitched and finished. Press in place as well.

19) Top stitch the four pressed ties on all four sides. Terrible picture, but you can see how the front of the ties look after pressed and top stitched.

20) One of the last steps is to sew your ties to the window (mis)treatment. Measure in approx. 12" on each side and pin two ties to the front and pin the last two ties to the back of the (mis)treatment in the same place, pinning all in place (yes, pin, it helps hold them in place). Sew across the top of thew (mis)treatment, sewing all the ties to the top. Remove pins.

21) Last, fold the window (mis)treatment over at the top about 1 inch and sew a simple seam across. Then fold over about 3 inches and sew across once more to make the rod pocket. That's it!

I used a spring-y curtain rod to hang my kitchen window (mis)treatment. Since I wanted mine to hang inside the window, I tucked the ends of the (mis)treatment around the ends of the rod and then put the spring rod in the window. It comes down to personal preference and your window when deciding what type of rod you want to use and whether you want to hang it on the outside of the window opening, or inside the window opening. You can then decide if you want to roll up your (mis)treatment or fold it up accordion style and then tie. Have fun with it!

Be Inspired! -Karol :0)


southerninspiration said...

Looks great!! Good instructions...come on by my blog today to enter a giveaway!!


Lisa ~ A Cottage to Me said...

I love the curtain you made! I have 3 big windows in a row in my kitchen and they have wide wood look blinds in them. At one time I just clipped some material over the top slat meant to hide the ugly metal piece and then pinned wire whisks on the corners. I am thinking of doing that again. They have been down for about a year and I need alittle warming up of the space. No pattern needed, lol!

Anonymous said...

Very good tutorial thanks for posting!

Erin said...

Your window treatment is beautiful! I just saw the before and after of your hutch. It turned out so beautiful! I love the color you chose!

marty39 said...

Great tutorial and I love the floral and stripe. Such pretty colors and patterns. It looks just awesome. Hugs, Marty

SoBella Creations said...

Great instructions!

Staci said...

Thanks for the instructions. Some day I'll get to have fun making my own. Staci

www.DCountrycotage@aol.com said...

the curtain are very beautiful, very nice colors
I love them


Peggy said...

OH MY GOSH, how beautiful is that?! How much do you charge to come to Kansas and make window treatments?! :o) I've tried my knack at pipping, but it's never worked out right! :o( Thank you for taking the time for the instructions! Great job Karol!

SILVIA said...

omg you are so good!, i wish i had a sewing machine...do you mind if i "follow"you,great ideas....thanks.silvia..

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