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!

87 Comments

  1. Rebecca Neustel

    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?

    Reply
    • Vicki

      Looks like it came with the house as it is in the first picture with the old curtains.

      Reply
      • Miss Mustard Seed

        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!

        Reply
  2. Chrissy

    Chin drop, gasp. Beautiful.

    Reply
  3. Sofia

    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!!

    Reply
    • Miss Mustard Seed

      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.

      Reply
  4. Linda

    Such beautiful curtain! You picked the perfect fabric and I love your curtain rod.

    Reply
  5. downraspberrylane

    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.

    Reply
  6. Mary in VA

    Beautiful! You and your mom are a great working team, so glad you got so many curtains completed while she was there.

    Reply
  7. Tanya

    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!

    Reply
  8. Barbara S Snyder

    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!

    Reply
  9. Peggy

    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.

    Reply
    • Miss Mustard Seed

      Yep, I’ve made many panels that way as well. I just wanted to keep these simple, though and hung them from the clips instead of hooks (or rings sewn on.)

      Reply
  10. Terri

    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!

    Reply
    • Miss Mustard Seed

      I bought 12 yards of fabric for these double-wide curtains.

      Reply
      • Terri

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

        Reply
  11. Teresa

    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

    Reply
  12. LRae

    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?

    Reply
    • Miss Mustard Seed

      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!

      Reply
  13. Susan

    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.

    Reply
    • Miss Mustard Seed

      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.

      Reply
  14. B. Folk

    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:-)

    Reply
  15. Sharon Kennedy

    Instantly made your room GORGEOUS. Well worth the extra effort … YEAH MOM!!!!

    Reply
  16. Rita C at Panoply

    Those really look good, Marian. I know that rhythm of working well with another. My sister and I do that when we style our booth spaces. Divide and conquer.

    Reply
  17. Janet in Kansas City

    They are beautiful. Are your lamps painted in Trophy from your paint line?

    Reply
    • Miss Mustard Seed

      They actually came that color, but it id very similar to Trophy!

      Reply
  18. JC at the uncommon pearl

    Gorgeous! Thanks for the tutorial and tips! I’ve been dragging my feet on making some curtains for our cabin. I think I’ll start today with some under the sink curtains. Thank you.☺

    Reply
  19. Cindy Jones

    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.

    Reply
  20. Marlene Stephenson

    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.

    Reply
  21. Elizabeth

    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.

    Reply
    • Miss Mustard Seed

      I know! I’m glad it was discontinued, so I could buy it at a deep discount, but I’m sad that it’s not still available for others. It really is a beautiful bed.

      Reply
  22. Diane RUEBEL

    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

    Reply
  23. Karen K from Buffalo

    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??

    Reply
    • Terri

      Karen K, so very sorry for your loss.

      Reply
  24. Nicola

    Do you think your Mum would come and stay with me? 😂

    Reply
  25. Nan, Odessa, DE

    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.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      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.

      Reply
  26. Eileen

    What a blessing to be able to work/play with your mother!

    Reply
  27. Susan Cecere

    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.

    Reply
  28. Denise Cox

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

    Reply
  29. Pamela Barnabo

    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.

    Reply
  30. Carol B.

    So wonderful having your Mom as a work buddy! I remember (and miss) those days! Gorgeous job!

    Reply
  31. monique

    Oh WOW! So very beautiful. Well done and good fabric choice.

    Reply
  32. Lisa Kornhaus

    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.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I bought these from Ballard Designs.

      Reply
  33. Lyzz

    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!

    Reply
  34. Jenn Anderson

    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!

    Reply
  35. Françoise Gauthier

    So beautiful Miriam. You and your mom are the best.

    Reply
  36. sallyb

    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…

    Reply
  37. Ann Minir

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

    Reply
  38. Jane

    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.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you!! 🙂

      Reply
  39. Norma Rolader

    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

    Reply
  40. Mary S

    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.

    Reply
  41. Kim

    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

    Reply
  42. Hab

    Very pretty! I love the wall color too. What is the paint color?

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore

      Reply
  43. Laurie

    Excellent result! Can I borrow your mother??

    Reply
  44. Carol S

    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!

    Reply
  45. Candace Moore

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

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      It’s Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore.

      Reply
  46. Rosalyn

    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?

    Reply
  47. Brandy

    Love the curtains. Where did you get that’s beautiful chandelier?

    Reply
  48. Jean

    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 😊

    Reply
  49. Cindy

    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.

    Reply
  50. Cindy A Redman

    This room is so gorgeous! Beautiful colors, perfect chandelier, and extraordinary bed… then the curtains… oh my

    Cindy

    Reply
  51. Debbie

    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!

    Reply
  52. Vicky

    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!

    Reply
  53. Di

    Marion’. I love them. I am ready to order my set from you!,

    Reply
  54. Melody Kaufer

    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!

    Reply
  55. alisha

    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!

    Reply
  56. Karen from TN

    Love, love, love…it is a beautiful room. Where did you find that beautiful bed? I am in love with it!!

    Reply
  57. Lisa John

    if you like to have something bold too, then bring one thing bright and big, which will work as the room highlight. So, you can go for a colourful cushion or red accent wall, which will be a colour pop in your room with the matching curtain.

    Reply
  58. Linda J

    Where did you find that beautiful fabric? I used your tutorial for slip covers and made my own. They turned out great. Thanks for the info and inspiration.

    Reply
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    Hi there, let’s spend a little on decorating yr home everyday to make it a ideal living space. Thanks so much!

    Reply
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    Xin chào bạn. Đừng quên trang trí cho ngôi nhà của mình thêm sức sống bằng những lọ hoa giả, hoa trang trí đẹp mắt nhé. Ghé thăm nội thất Go Home và tìm kiếm cho nhà bạn bình hoa trang trí ưng ý nhất!
    Thankyou so much~

    Reply
  62. Lisa

    I haven’t watched your tutorial yet but was wondering why you didn’t sew the header and then fold under the hem and pin before sewing?

    Reply
  63. Deborah D Ash

    Love the curtains but that BED!!!!!! What a magnificent piece 💗💗💗💗💗

    Reply
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  68. Hoa Thinh Noi That

    Thanks for what you shared, I found them all the time without results. Thank you very much

    Reply
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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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