- Just the Basics: Sewing your own curtains can be as simple as measuring your windows, adding on for gathers (about 2-1/2 times the window width, seams 5/8 inch), and hems (1-1/4 inch on the side and 3 inches on the bottom). Go the cafe curtain route with clips and you won't even need a pocket for the curtain rod. I've dressed many windows this way with just a length of beautiful fabric. Read more about curtain basics here.
- Getting Educated: Before you get going on stitching, study what your style options are and what will look best on your windows. Heather Luke's Complete Curtain-Making Course and other books provide info on everything from from tab tops to valances. You'll find lots of free curtain-making videos online as well.
- Getting Complicated: Just like clothing, there are also couture techniques that can be applied to create fine window treatments. Even just adding a lining and interlining to your drapes can add weight, swing and insulation for a more expensive look. Laurel Sprigg of San Francisco, who does fine sewing for interiors, brings hand sewing, dressmaking and tailoring techniques to window treatments and other soft furnishings. Decorator fabrics will give you the highest quality options for your project, and Sprigg shares how to get the inside track on textiles normally available only to the trade.
- Patterns, Patterns, Patterns: There's no shortage of great window treatment patterns available. You'll find plenty of free patterns available online, such as this great selection from CraftStew. Storebought patterns can provide more in-depth instruction. McCall's Patterns has all sorts of window dressing patterns, including my personal favorite, a simple Roman shade. Butterick also offers many easy patterns, including a full-on drapery pattern from Waverly.