master bedroom curtains

Marian ParsonsDecorating, Master Bedroom, Room Makeovers, Sewing, Tutorials71 Comments

I had lots of projects lined up for my mom’s visit.  We are both doers and thrive on productivity, so it suits us to have an ambitious to-do list.  As her 10 day visit was winding down, we had checked almost everything off my list.  My mom looked at the sad curtains in my master bedroom, a hold-over from the previous owners.

“Let’s just take care of these curtains.”

She knows that sewing is something I do, because I like the end result.  But, I don’t really like sewing.  I could completely do without it in my life.  I do, however, like expanding my options beyond curtains and pillows that are ready-made.  I believe that sewing is one of the best DIY skills you can have in your arsenal.  For that reason, I just suck it up, put on some good music, do it, and enjoy it when the project is done.

So, my mom, in all of her wisdom, suggested we knock out this project, since I will drag my feet on doing it.  (In fact, I have been dragging my feet on doing it!)  Having a helper will make it easier and quicker and then that roll of beautiful toile fabric can finally be put to use.

I honestly didn’t feel like crawling around on the floor, pinning large curtain panels.  I didn’t want to fight with bobbins and sewing machine snags.  But, I knew she was right (as mom’s often are), so I unrolled the fabric and suggested we at least get the fabric cut and pinned and then we can see if we want to keep going.

Well, we worked hard and pushed and got both double-width panels done.  And, it was glorious to have gorgeous custom-made curtains with black-out lining in my room and to no longer have that project looming on the horizon.

I’ve made a lot of curtains over the years and I’ve done a lot of research on different ways to make curtains.  I finally found the best way (for me), when I wrote THIS TUTORIAL a few years ago for HGTV.com.  So, that is the same method I used for these curtains.

(I’m still looking for furniture pieces for this room, so it’s a little random right now, but just ignore that and look at the curtains.)

For the fabric, I used Aviary Toile by French General purchased HERE and THIS BLACKOUT LINING.

I did make a few changes since I wrote that tutorial and I will share some additional/updated tips to make curtains that look great, but aren’t overly complicated.

One of the best changes I made is that I hung the curtains before I sewed the top and pinned the top seam as they were hung.  This way, I could make adjustments for a floor that isn’t completely level and the curtains will hang much better.  (It is a strange thing…  I can measure the length from the curtain ring clips to the floor and the fabric 15 times each and, when I sew them and hang them up, they still end up being too long or too short.  I’ve had this happen so many times that I think there is some crazy phenomenon that throws measurements askew only when sewing curtain headers.)

I also didn’t add weights to these curtains, because the black-out fabric was heavy enough to weigh the lighter, linen-blend fabric down.

Additional Tips: 

  • Iron every seam before you sew it.  This was my mom’s job and it helped a lot with making sure hems and folds were nice and straight.
  • Work in “assembly line” fashion instead of finishing one panel at a time.  This really helped us get into a rhythm and I think we worked faster because of it.
  • When putting together double-width curtains, make sure you have a large floor space cleared, so you can spread the panels out straight.
  • Check and double-check that you’re lining up your pattern, not just with the double-widths that are sewn together, but with the other panel as well.  Some patterns are forgiving, but some will look very off if the patterns aren’t aligned.

We were so pleased with these and how quickly we were able to complete them, that we finished the curtains in the living room and kitchen eating area, too!  Those hours crawling around on the floor cutting and pinning were well spent.

I’ll share how those turned out in another post.

This room still has a ways to go, but it’s coming together nicely!

master bedroom curtains

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71 Comments on “master bedroom curtains”

  1. Gorgeous curtains! It’s amazing the difference double-width curtains make on an oversized window. So often I see regular width (single panel) curtains on big windows, and it really looks cheap and skimpy. May I ask where you got that beautiful curtain rod?

      1. Actually, we swapped it out when we painted and clipped up the old curtains, so we had some privacy! The curtain rod is from Ballard Designs. It was the only one I could find that looked like a real brass (not spray painted), but wasn’t a small fortune!

  2. WOW!! It looks so dramatically different I had to double check and see if you changed the actual window too. 😉 Beautiful!! AND your mom is a treasure-lucky you!
    Could you please show us a picture with the curtains completely closed?
    Thanks for sharing!!

    1. I can show that on my Instagram Stories, if you watch there. They are black out curtains, so they make the room almost pitch black! I have to turn on artificial light to get a picture of that.

  3. So pretty. Not just the curtains, but the room itself. That would be a wonderful spot for a dressing table with all that good light coming in.

  4. I’ve been putting off making the curtains for my bedroom for SO long! Mostly because I just don’t have floor space large enough to lay them out. But seeing what a difference yours made is inspiring. Maybe I need to just move some furniture around to get the room I need and just do it. Stunning curtains, Marian!

  5. I used your tutorial to make curtains a while back and I will continue to use it for all my curtains, Looking forward to seeing the updated instructions! AND the other curtains! Hooray for you and mom!

  6. So pretty! An easy way to make your curtains look more like custom made is to hide the clips on the back side of the panel. I do this by making a pinch of the heading on the back and clipping into that pinch of fabric. I used to have a drapery workroom and although the clip-on curtain rings are convenient, they’re considered by the pros to be a no-no. Nonetheless, I use them sometimes for my own things.

  7. Very pretty and they look perfect with your paint color choice! I haven’t conquered sewing curtains yet, but do wonder how many yards your project required. So happy for you that you get mom/daughter time to create!

      1. Thank you for the info. I definitely think double looks more professional. Never knew that and it explains why mine are skimpy-looking!

  8. What a difference the new curtains make… It really makes the room! Great time to do inside projects in your neck of the woods. I thought this winter was bad enough on the East Coast but I wont complain after seeing the temps in MN this morning. It takes a special person to live in the frozen tundra! ha

  9. Such beautiful curtains! How fun to work on projects with your Mom. Could you clarify the step of adjusting and pinning the top header as you hung your curtains? Did you start off with a pressed header without any pleats before hanging to make adjustments? Did you take the curtains down after pinning and adjusting length to sew every 4″ on for the pleats the sewing machine?

    1. Sewing is always so hard to explain in words! Basically, we folded the top hem over to about the right height and clipped it onto the rings. We then adjusted the fold (where the fabric was clipped) to make them longer or shorter. Once they hung properly, I inserted pins to hold the fabric in place, and we took them down. My mom pressed the fold and we pinned the header tape in place (right in line with the top edge of the fold. We pinned the header tape to the fabric. At this point, there is extra fabric with a raw edge still hanging from where the header tape was just pinned, so we trimmed the edge to be even with the bottom of the header tape. It’s still a raw edge, but it’s at the backside of the top of a curtain, where it really won’t be seen or messed with. I then sewed the header in place along the top and bottom edge. (When you pin and sew header tape, make sure you don’t sew over the pockets for the drapery hooks and make sure the openings are facing the right way!) I hope that makes some sense!

  10. Lovely drapes. Marian, your talent seems boundless and so does your energy. I guess you got it from your mother! You two make a great team; I know you enjoyed having her there for a visit.
    Quick question: what is the span you used between clips? Just curious if there is a set span width that should be used or if you base it on the weight of the drapes and how they look when hung.

    1. We spaced them about 8 inches. You can really space them however much you want. The bigger the space, the more the fabric will gap, though, so it can also depend on the structure and weight of your fabric.

  11. Wow, three rooms’ worth of curtains in one day??!! You two are machines:-) The curtains look lovely, looking forward to seeing the others.
    The MN weather forecast this week reminds me of my former neck of the woods..cold, cold, cold, but sunny! Enjoy the sun from your cozy and beautiful home:-)

  12. As much as you don’t care for crawling around on the floor, pinning and sewing, you and your mom nailed those curtains! I love the soft muted pattern in the room. They compliment your beautiful new bed, They don’t scream at you and try to become the center of attention. Well done.

  13. They are lovely, and look wonderful in your bedroom. My mom and i use to do things like that together, she’s gone now but i cherish those times.

  14. That bedroom is absolutely dreamy! I love absolutely everything about it!
    The curtains are so beautiful and make the room! Along with that gorgeous bed. Oh how I wish it hadn’t been discontinued. Sigh.

  15. Miss Mustard Seed,

    Thank you for sharing the spectacular results of the loving teamwork between you and your mother. The memories of your choices and projects with her surely hallow your new home.
    Diney on Camano

  16. I love your stories about your Mom. I, unfortunately, lost my Mom in 2016, but have so many memories of us working & giggling together. Well, now that you have your windows decorated, what is on the horizon next??

  17. Just lovely! Will you use this fabric someplace on the bed? Pillow shams, etc?
    It is beautiful fabric. You are blessed to have your Mom on your team!
    Waiting to see the other curtains. And don’t forget we need a “how to” on the shades in the studio!
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes! I am going to make a bolster pillow cover and perhaps shams for the bed with the fabric. I’ll probably also use it somewhere else in the room, but I’m still working on the furniture for the space and then I’ll figure out where else I should add the fabric.

  18. My mom was such a help to me with things with my home, it was always great when she stayed with me. I miss her so much, but it makes me smile when I read about your relationship with your mom.

  19. Lovely curtains!! I love toile fabrics anyway. And that bed… what can I say except it’s absolutely gorgeous!!! You lucky gal..😄

  20. Oh my your bedroom is just beautiful with your new bed and those gorgeous curtains. It looks so soothing and restful. Thanks for sharing! I have always just had wood blinds in my windows and your pics and tutorial make me want to tackle curtains! I can’t wait too see the follow up post of the other curtains you completed! Also I am wondering if at some point you will start doing shows like you did at Lucketts? I live in Lakeville, MN and go to the Gold Rush days every year and enjoy the monthly occasional sales in small towns around MN in the summertime. It is wonderful to get out after being cooped up in winter.
    Pam B.

  21. Gorgeous curtains! You and your Mom make a great team! Where did you find clips strong enough to hold the curtain panels? I’ve always had problems with the curtains slipping out of the clups.

  22. MArian, these are so gorgeous. And your tip adjusting the top header is priceless. I no longer attempt to sew anything after my boondoggles wirh drapes that should have been so super simple. I never thought about uneven floors! Stay warm and safe!

  23. They are beautiful! Your room is looking more and more like “you” and it is fun to watch the transformation of your new house. Thanks for sharing so many tips and how-to’s. Love your style!

  24. Miriam, these are lovely and your room is complete, beautiful and serene. My Mom and I loved sewing for our homes, but sadly not always together. Perhaps I was proudest when sharing my home sewing with her…because I was (hopefully) following in her footsteps. Oh how I miss her…treasure these moments with your Mom. They mean everything…

  25. Where did you find the lamps for your bedside tables? I have been looking for new lamps and love that look.

  26. Gorgeous!
    You have such a lovely way of writing so that even if I don’t have the time to read your post, I read the first lines & I just have to read the rest.

  27. Beautiful fabric and they turned out gorgeous Great tips for measuring I know everyone has floors that are not level …. I know that was a blessing to have your mom here May she have safe travels going home

  28. Marian,
    You make a person who isn’t crazy about blue, crazy about blue. Your bedroom and those curtains are over the moon!! You picked such beautiful colors that compliment each other. My heart skipped a beat when I saw your curtains / room. Such a beautiful space you’ve created! Congrats on yet another job very well done. I’ll go back and read again, as I’d like to see if I can learn from a post on how you make your curtains. I’m overwhelmed with such a lovely room you’ve created. You (and your Mom) should be proud of a great job.

  29. Very Inspiring ! Certainly.males a huge difference in the room. I always put off sewing curtains as I think it’s such a big project, but it goes fast once you get into it and really completes a space ! Now onto my drapes,lol

  30. Great job! I love the look of homemade curtains. Very unique and special to the space. I’ve pretty much given up on sewing curtains because I, too, have always had length issues. That measuring gremlin lives in my space too! I’ll remember to check out your tutorial the next time the sewing curtain bug strikes. Thanks!

  31. Marion, one more time, what’s the master bedroom paint color? Besides being beautiful it looks like the perfect color to induce sleep.

  32. Beautiful job, Marian! I so admire your talent, and you are so lucky to have inherited your mother’s sewing ability. Years ago, my mother sewed the curtains and matching duvet and pillow shams for the master bedroom in our first house. They were so beautiful. She also made some of my sisters and my clothing in high school, including my prom dress, and our friends were so envious. Unfortunately, I did not inherit her sewing talent. These memories are priceless for me, as I am sure they are and will be for you. Your mother sounds like a wonderful person, always there for you, just as my mother was for me. She has been gone now for 14 years, much too young, and I miss her every single day.
    Just a thought, but I am wondering if you are considering using a woven bamboo blind beneath the curtains? I think it would really enhance the windows, and add texture to the room and tie in nicely with your new pine, I believe, end table. What do you think?

  33. You are a very talented young lady! The room is lovely and inviting and your Mom is a gem. I enjoy reading about how you two interact when she visits 😊

  34. I know the joy of having a dreaded project done and out of the way. And making drapes is so one of those projects. I can only imagine how much you must be enjoying them not that they are finished. They look great.

  35. The new draperies are lovely. I wish I could afford a decorator to come to my home. Your skills with color and scale are tremendous. I love reading your blog and attaining new ideas. Bravo! Keep up the beauty!

  36. Have you ever sewn store-bought panels together to form a double panel? I can’t find fabric that I like, but have considered using TWO purchased panels to create one single. Any sewing tips are appreciated… Thank you!

  37. Beautiful. ..looks like a magazine cover..your new curtains make your bedroom even more inviting and luxurious. Glad your mom was there to help..not all moms like to sew…what a blessing!
    Love reading comments. .have to look at paint color again..does not look gray..thought it was green!

  38. Your curtain looks awesome! I use to make all my curtains, but fabric has gotten so expensive. I would be terrified to sew any fabric that cost $40 plus a yard! I am not that great at sewing and wouldn’t want to ruin it! I think that’s why I don’t sew as much anymore. It’s just not cost effective for me. However, your curtains are beautiful, and y’all are clearly above my skill level. Enjoy your new home!

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