Curtain Call

Ellen March
Curtain Call

New curtains are an inexpensive, easy way to update a room's décor. For extra shade and blackout qualities, line the curtains with heavyweight muslin. Hem the fabric and lining separately to ensure that the curtains will hang properly after washing and excessive use.


  • 4 yards of cotton print fabric
  • 4 yards of heavyweight muslin
  • Matching all-purpose thread
  • Tension curtain rod (long enough to fit inside window width)
  • Removable fabric marker

Notes: The materials listed are enough to make two 38"x56" lined curtains, which will fit a 66"x56" window from the tension rod to the sill. The featured tension rod is 7/16" diameter. Adjust the rod pocket width as needed to accommodate a larger or smaller rod. Use a scant 1/4" seam allowance.


Install the tension rod in the window at the desired curtain upper edge.

Decide on the desired curtain length. There are three standard curtain lengths: to the sill; below the sill; and to the floor. If curtains are to hang to the sill, they should finish 1/8" above the sill. If they are to hang below the sill, they should finish 2" below the sill. If they are to hang on the floor, they should finish to within 1/2" of the floor covering. Take these measurements into account when deciding on the desired curtain length. The featured curtains fall to the sill, and the following instructions assume the "to the sill" length.

Measure the inside window width and the length from the rod upper edge to the sill upper edge. Add 16" to the width measurement, and then divide the result by two; record. Add 2 3/8" to the length measurement; record. Remove the tension rod from the window.


From both the print fabric and the muslin, cut two rectangles to the recorded length and width measurements.

With one print rectangle and muslin rectangle right sides facing and edges aligned, stitch one short end; press open the seam. Repeat to stitch the second print rectangle to the remaining muslin rectangle.

Double-fold each long edge 3/4" toward the wrong side; press. Stitch close to the second fold.

Double-fold each short edge 1" toward the wrong side; press. Stitch close to the second fold.

Fold each curtain along the joined seamline with wrong sides together; press. Using a removable fabric marker, draw a line 1 1/2" from the seamline along one curtain width. Stitch along the marked line through all layers to create a rod pocket. Repeat to stitch a rod pocket on the remaining curtain.

Insert the tension rod through each curtain rod pocket. Install the rod in the window. Evenly distribute the curtain fullness along the rod.


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