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Gradually we have been working towards my goal of a hotel style relaxing bedroom – using the denim rag quilt I made a few years back as the starting point, plus the DIY headboard. Much as I love upcycling I am not an interior designer. So when my husband suggested we make denim the theme for the room, including SIY denim curtains to match the bedspread I thought why not?? Naturally, denim curtains are heavy but that didn’t rule the idea out.
If you are going to make your own measure your window to establish the curtain size. It is usual for curtains to be one and a half times the width of the window plus additional length for the curtain track/pole and to hang over the windowsill.
My finished curtains are 140 cm long by 225cm wide.
Each denim piece (excluding seam allowance) is 32cm by 20cm wide to produce a piece of fabric 150 cm long by 240cm. With 5 pieces down and 12 across I will need 60 pieces per curtain. This enables the denim to be turned in and lined.
Do not be put off by the maths!! Step by step you can work out the number of denim rectangles you need per curtain side. I need 60 rectangles per curtain. I estimate this to be 15 pairs of jeans per curtain, that’s 30 pairs of jeans in total!!
DIY Denim Curtains
Let’s start by making your denim patchwork fabric
Roughly cut out your denim patches from your old jeans. I have chosen to cut across the leg and up the leg so the grain runs in different directions.
Some patched include seams, note curved seams will not lie flat so only include straight seams.
Press using spray starch. It is likely your denim pieces will have different levels of stretch, the starch will help you cut out your precise pieces. YOu can find a home made starch recipe here.
I have used a rotary cutter and a cardboard template for this.
Zigzag around the edge of each piece of denim. Sort your denim pieces into two piles, one for each curtain. Ensure you had a good mix of different tones and colours of denim in each pile.
Layout your denim pieces for one curtain, arranging them so they are pleasing to the eye. To be kind to your sewing machine, avoid placing two french seams next to each other.
Sew you denim pieces together in strips, then join your strips together. I have used a seam allowance of a centimetre.
I have cut the patches in half around the edges, these pieces will be folded behind when the curtains are hung, therefore the front will be whole patches.
Repeat for the second curtain.
How to Make a Lined Curtain
Cut the lining 151 cm wide by 141 long. If more than 1 width is required, join widths together with a flat seam making sure to add any half widths at the outside edges.
Turn up a double hem at the bottom edge of the lining and stitch.
Turn up a double hem on the denim, I have used my half-patch for this. Either hand stitch the hem or machine stitch.
Lay the denim curtain right side up and lay the lining on top, wrong side up, so that the hem of the lining just overlaps the top of the denim hem fold.
Pin the side edges together matching the raw edges. Stitch down each side edge, 1 cm in from the raw edges. Stitch down the length of the lining but do not stitch through the hem allowance on the fabric.
Turn right side out. If you are adding tabs turn in the top of the curtains and top stitch to secure in place. If you are adding curtain tape turn over the top, place curtain tape along the top on the lining side and stitch in place therefore enclosing the raw edge.
To make denim tabs you will need lots of denim waistbands. Stitch the raw edge of the waistbands closed.
Cut tabs 15” long, place into curtain centrally along each denim patch, 2” down from the top. Stitch as per diagram to securely hold the tab in place. I found some waistbands thicker than others, these were placed on plain denim patches, thinned ones were placed on denim patches which had seams in them.
Add buttons for decoration.
Lastly turn in the corners of the denim, hand stitch in place.
Finally, hang your curtains.
If I was to make these curtains again I would make the tabs a little shorter. Plus I would consider the wear of the jeans in a little more detail – some of the patches are fairly thin, personally, this doesn’t matter as we also have a blackout blind at the window.
With bedroom feature wall painted, I am now thinking about pictures for the walls. If you love denim as much as I check out my tutorials page for many projects for you to try. Alternatively All Free Sewing have many denim tutorials here.