When we moved into our home last fall, window coverings were a priority. I'm slowly working on replacing the ugly vertical blinds and broken miniblinds left by the previous owners. As I was looking for inspiration, I saw these lovelies on the Pottery Barn Website...but there was no way I could justify spending $65 per panel.
|via Pottery Barn|
Here's the new version:
While these curtains may not have "true" smocking, I think my knock-off version looks pretty convincing...and believe it or not it's really quite simple. It just takes a LOT of time. Plan on at least two romantic movies per panel. This is not a quick and done project, but the effort is well worth it.
I purchased this white sheer voile fabric from fabric.com. Total cost $35, minus 15% off. I got 12 yards, 59"wide, which was enough for my two windows, and two sets of sidelight curtains...with still some left over. Much better than $260 plus shipping. It is 100% polyester, but I found that it was really forgiving and easy to work with. Cotton would have been better, but I have a feeling these will last longer in the super bright southern exposure.
Ready to make some of your own? You'll need:
- Your chosen fabric (something sheer would be best)
- The curtain rod you'll be using (so you can make sure the pocket is the right size, and you can shirr on the fabric to judge where you need your smocking.)
- 2-3 Spools of matching thread (REALLY important!)
- Clear sewing ruler
- Washable fabric marker
- Sewing supplies, including your sewing machine, scissors. rotary cutter, embroidery scissors, pins, and seam ripper (just in case).
Step one. Cut your fabric to length. Measure the length you desire your drapes to be, and add 8 inches. I cut mine with my rotary cutter to try to keep them as straight as possible.
Step two. Hem the top and bottom.
Sew a seam 1/2" from each end. This is your folding guide.
For the top of your curtain, fold up 3" and pin in place.
Sew at 1/8" from the edge.
Measure up again, and sew the pocket for your curtain rod. I made mine 1" wide for my 1/2" curtain rod.
Repeat for the bottom, only this time you will be measuring up 4".
Step three. Mark the placement of your smocking. Using your washable marker, measure and mark each spot.
Step four. Time to sew those smocks. First, pin the smocking marks, one row at a time.
Each "smock" is essentially a sewn knot. At least 1/4" from the edge, sew a small seam about 1/4" long, sewing back and forth 3-4 times.
Repeat many, many, many, many times.
Step five. Trim each knot.
Step six. Wash and hang up your finished drape.
Don't even worry about drying...just shirr on your rod and hang up your curtain. Repeat for as many panels as you need. I used two 59" panels for my 34" window.
Enjoy the smocked goodness you've created:
Not bad, huh?
Featured on Craft Gossip and One Pretty Thing, and I Share Crafts!
Today's Creative Blog