We wanted simple, understated curtains for our Airstream. Curtains that would make it nice and dark for sleeping and then could be neatly rolled up and out of the way during the day to let in maximum sunshine.

Here is how I made them!

Simple Panel Curtains

1. Measure all of your windows from side to side and then from top to bottom.

2. Add 1cm seam allowance for each side of each curtain, and add 6cm to the top of each curtain for your curtain rod tunnel.

Example: our back window measured 70 x 114cm. This was the size I wanted my finished curtain to be, so the pieces I cut out were 78cm (70cm + 2cm seam allowance + 6cm for curtain rod tunnel) x 116cm (114 + 2cm for seam allowance.) Measurements.

3. Because I wanted to make sure that we have dark, restful nights, I layered three different fabrics together. Navy blue for the curtain fronts, black for the backs, and an old sheet for the middle. Take your front fabric and your back fabric and spread them out good side to good side.

4. Next, take the old sheet and spread it out, layering it next to your  front/back fabrics.

5. Now measure out and mark your curtain, pinning the three layers together within the curtain parameters so that they stay together during cutting and sewing.

6. Cut out your curtain!

Cutting three layers at once.

The curtain is cut! You can’t see very well in this picture, but I have all three layers pinned together so that they stay together nicely for sewing.

7. After checking that your sewing machine settings are correct for your weight of fabric on some scraps, sew your three layers of curtain fabric together. Sew around three of the four sides using your 1cm seam allowance and leaving the top edge un-sewn.

Sewing.

8. You now have a big bag type thing, open at the top. Open the bag up making sure that your opening is between the front and back fabrics (rather than the between the old sheet and the front or back) and slide the bag onto the ironing board and press open the seams. This will give you a nice crisp edge to your curtain. Pressing the seams.

9. Now, turn your curtain right-side-out and re-iron all the seams making sure that everything lies nice and flat. You should have a beautiful panel of your front and back fabrics with the old sheet sandwiched in the middle. I used a chopstick to get my curtain corners nice and sharp. Re-pin so that everything stays in place for sewing.

10. Sew a top-stitch seam around the same three sides you sewed already, this time on the finished edge of the curtain to hold all three layers together nicely. Again, leave the top open.

11. Now, it is time to make your curtain ties! I used a striped fabric for my ties and I cut them 8cm x 60cm. If you are making more than one curtain, it can save time to do all your ties at once.

Ironing curtain ties.

12. Once you have your ties cut out, iron them in half width-wise so that you have a fold running the length of the tie. Then iron each edge over to meet the center fold and re-iron to end up with a tie that is 2cm wide.

13. Pin and sew along the length of each tie.

14. Now it is time to affix the ties to your curtain! I used two ties per curtain if it was a smaller one, and three for the bigger ones. The back curtain was one of the bigger ones, so you can see I used three ties.

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15. Take your curtain and lay it front side down on the ironing board and then fold over and iron down your 1cm seam allowance towards the back.

16. Next, flip your curtain over so that it is laying right side up with the seam allowance tucked under. You are going to be sewing your ties in place on the front side of the curtain, close to the top edge (once you have sewn your curtain rod tunnel, the ties will end up being sewn to the back of your curtain.) Place your ties with the center of the tie just inside the top edge of the curtain and pin them down.

17. Sew on the ties!

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Sewing on a tie.

18. Once your ties are sewn on, you can sew your curtain rod tunnel. Place your curtain front side down and fold over 3cm along the top. You have already pressed your seam allowance for this seam, so just make sure that is tucked under! Pin down for sewing. Your ties should be sitting along the back of the curtain rod tunnel.

19. Sew down the edge of the tunnel!

Sewing the tunnel in place.

Your amazing, simple, cozy, curtain is now finished and ready to install!

Installation:

For our curtain rods we used strips of wood that measured 1cm x 2cm (hence the 6cm for the tunnel) and we cut them to just the width of the curtain so that they were not visible.

1. Cut your wood to the width of your curtain and pre-drill a hole approx. 2cm from each end.

2. Insert your curtain rod into the tunnel at the top of the curtain.

3. Screw the curtain into the wall just above the window, pulling back the fabric from the edge of the rod so that you can screw in underneath the fabric and finish with a hidden screw.

4. Roll your curtains up and tie them tidily away to let the sunshine pour in, or unroll your curtains for a good nights sleep!

Curtain up!

Curtain down!

(This is a special curtain I made for above Sophia’s bunk, with a heart and a star added to the curtain ties.)

Happy Sewing!