House For Six

How To: Pottery Barn Knock-off Drapes!

Deme Crinion2 Comments
If you missed the post earlier this week, you can see my DIY curtain project here.   I have been drooling over these way-out-of-my-price-range Pottery Barn Drapes for ages and decided to take a crack at making my own for a fraction of the price. 

It was so worth the effort and in the big scheme of things, a fairly easy project.

The key to pulling off an effective knock-off in this case was really in the fabric choice.  I was lucky enough to find a pattern that was close in color, pattern and overall vibe...and at a much cheaper price thanks to a great sale! 

(Fabric is Meadowview Spice by Robert Allen)

I wanted to mimic the inspiration photo by using clip rings to hang the curtains, which meant that I could go a totally lazy simple route with the sewing.  I didn't need to worry about a pocket for the curtain rod or small pieces turned loops for the rod.  Just a simple rectangular panel.

I made it less simple by deciding to line them.  In the end I'm glad I did, but that part caused me a few hiccups. 

Let me start by saying that I am a total novice when it comes to sewing...I'm the one who really should be researching tutorials like this before I start, not writing them.  But since I have this here blog, I'll share with you what I did and hopefully you can learn from a few of my mistakes!

Here we go...

*It's always a good idea to prewash your fabric if you ever intend to wash the finished product. 

The curtain fabric:
I started with 6 yards of this fabric (I planned to use the extra for a couple pillows).  It came 54.5" wide so I left the width alone and just measured the length I would need for each panel.  I got this number by putting the clip rings I would be using on the curtain rod and measured from where the top of the panel would be in the clip, down to the floor.  I then added 2 inches for seam allowance on top and I knew I wanted a nice fat hem on the bottom, so I gave myself an extra 5 inches for the bottom hem.

So length of finished curtain + 7 inches for hems = length of fabric needed for each panel

Then I ironed.
(I did all of my sewing for this at night so the lighting in these pictures is not so great)

The lining:
I looked at how the lining of my current drapes were attached and noticed the bottom hem was about 2 inches shorter than the bottom edge of the drape.  So I measured the same length as the main fabric and subtracted 2 inches for the lining fabric panel. 

The width for this will be different than the curtain fabric. At first I was trying to measure how much the curtain fabric wrapped around the sides of the lining on my current drapes and did some crazy folding and pinning but then my friend suggested a method that allows you to sew the two raw edges together without all the folding and pinning. 

I simply cut the lining panel 4 inches narrower than the curtain panel.  I lined it up over the curtain fabric and cut a 4 inch strip off one of the long sides.

I ironed the lining panel as well and then folded over the bottom edge 1 inch and ironed it flat.  If I can iron an edge before sewing instead of using pins, I always do.  Lazy, I know.  Then I sewed that edge with the sewing machine.

After hemming the bottom edge of the lining panel, lay the curtain panel with pattern side up and place the lining panel on top so that the side with the raw edges of your hem is facing up.  The top edges are flush.

Raw edge of the lining is facing up

Then slide the lining panel all the way to one side so that the top edges are lined up and as well as the sides.

Pin the corner first...

Then begin working your way down pinning the lining to the curtain fabric every 6 inches or so.  Take her to your machine and sew together (leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance) from top to bottom....actually that's Lesson #1: don't sew quite all the way down to the end of the lining.  Sew from the top of the panel down to just above the raw edge of the bottom hem.  You'll see why later.

When you are finished you should be able to see 4 inches of the curtain fabric extending beyond the lining on the opposite side.

Next, pick up the loose side of your lining fabric (opposite of the side you just sewed) and line up that side even with the opposite end of the curtain fabric.  The curtain fabric is wider than the lining so it will be a bit bunched up underneath the lining (not flat) but it doesn't matter. 

Just line up the top and side edges so they are straight and flushed.  Pin this side just as you did the first and sew together leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance from the top of the panel down to the same point: just above the top of the raw edge of the bottom hem of the lining fabric.

Here's where you start to see it take shape....once both sides are attached, flip it inside out like you are flipping a pillow case inside out (except both ends are open here).  The pattern side of your curtain panel will be out and your lining panel will have a nice clean seam at the bottom because the raw edge of the hem  is now on the inside.  Once you've flipped it inside out, move the fabric around until equal amounts of the curtain fabric are visible on the sides of the lining panel when the lining is facing up.  I ended up with about 1 1/2 inches on either side.

Once you have the lining centered with an equal amount of curtain fabric showing on each side, iron the whole thing, firmly pressing out the sides.  I took my panel over to the sewing machine after this and sewed about a 1/2 inch from where the lining and curtain fabric met, securing the pieces in place.  Similar to Lesson #1, sew from the top down to about 2 inches above the bottom edge of the lining panel. Then I did the same for the other side.

This left me with a 1 inch seam from the edge of the curtain panel on the front

I folded the top edge (of both the curtain and lining) over 1 inch, and sewed that as well.  Sorry I didn't grab a pic of this!

Here's where Lesson #2 comes attention to where the clips and top of the curtain will hang when you first measure and BEFORE cutting anything.  When I first held up the fabric I didn't notice that the larger clip rings would cause the top of the fabric to hang below the wood framing the window.  Not a good look.  We ended up raising the bar about 3 inches.  Fortunately, I had this vision of a nice wide 3-4 inch hem on the bottom of the curtains, so I had the extra fabric.  Unfortunately, I lost my wide bottom hem.  Oh well, much better than having to start from scratch!
Once the rod was in the right place for the top of the panel, I hung both panels with the bottom edge unfinished and then began folding the excess fabric under and pinning it to where I wanted the bottom edge to be. 

And here's why Lesson #1 is important.  I took the stitches too far down on the lining. 

So, instead of my raw curtain fabric edge tucking right under it, like this....

I had to fold it over and stitch it down on top of the lining hem, for a not so finished look (since I couldn't get that corner under the lining).  It's something I may go back and fix later.  It just requires ripping out a few seams, which I was too lazy tired to do at that point. 

So there you have it!  I will take better notes and pictures for next time, but I have to say it was a totally satisfying project, even with my "oops" moments.

Here's a look at the finished product the next day

I'm so happy with the fabric and the way it has changed the whole feel of the room.  It's much brighter and with the piece insipiring the color story for the space actually in the room, all of the other elements make sense.  It's beginning to feel like a unified and cohesive space.  And the satisfaction of actually making something yourself feels pretty good too.....just don't flip them over to look at my ugly seams ;)