A fabric heading cut into a scalloped pattern is popular for ungathered cafe curtains covering the lower half of a window.
Be sure to cut the fabric straight, particularly when using a striped pattern. Estimate the width desired for the scallops and the strips between them.
The strips should be no less than 5 cm wide, and the scallops about 12 cm wide.
Divide the finished curtain width by the combined measurement of scallop and strip, remembering to make one more strip than the scallops to give a strip at each end.
You will need curtain and lining fabrics to the width of the window and the depth desired plus allowances for hems, card for the template, cafe curtain rings, and the basic sewing kit.
1. Making Template Use a compass to draw a circle to the width of the scallop on a piece of card. Draw a pencil line across the card at the required depth of the scallop, and cut out the template.
2. Marking Up Pin curtain and lining the right sides together. Lay fabrics with the lining facing up. Mark seam line 1.5 cm from raw heading edge. Mark the width of one strip from the side of the curtain.Place template against this mark, straight edge against heading seam line, and draw around it. Work along the top of the curtain, spacing scallops one strip width apart. Pin and tack along the scalloped line.
3. Sewing Scallops Sew along the pinned and tacked line of scallops and continue around the other sides of the curtain. Leave a gap in one of the seams, large enough for the whole curtain to be turned right sides out through it.
4. Cutting Out Use a pair of sharp dressmaker's scissors to cut away the fabric inside the scallops, leaving a 1.5 cm seam allowance. Snip into the allowance on all curves, and clip the fabric at the corners.
5. Turning Out Turn the whole curtain right sides out through the opening left in one of the seams. Gently push out all the corners to a neat point - a blunt knitting needle is ideal for this task. Slipstitch the opening closed and press the curtain.
6. Sewing Rings Sew cafe curtain rings in place at the centre of each of the strips between the scallops. If you are using cafe clips, follow the manufacturer's instructions. Slide the pole or rod through the rings, fix the end stops, and hang the curtain.
The Finished Curtain
Flat or gathered curtains can be given a heading of simple fabric loops. Cut the curtain fabric to the size required, joining pieces with flat fell seams, if necessary.
Hem the sides and bottom. The loops should be stitched to the wrong side of the top of the curtain, and the ends covered with a facing strip. Decide on the number and size of loops required.
Cut each fabric strip for the loops to double the distance from the top of the curtain and pole and double the width required, plus 1.5 cm all around for seam allowances.
Allow enough fabric for a facing strip of 6 cm wide, and as long as the curtain width, plus 3 cm for turnings. You will also need the basic sewing kit.
1. Sewing Loops Fold each strip in half lengthways, right sides together. Pin, tack and sew each strip 1.5 cm from the edge to form a tube. Press the seam open.
2. Turning Out Turn each strip right side out. For narrow strips, stitch a piece of thread to one end, pass it through the tube, and pull. Press flat, with the seam in the middle of one side.
3. Attaching Facing Fold the loops in half, seams to the inside. Lay them along the right side of the curtain, their ends aligned with the raw top edge. Pin and tack in place. Pin the facing to the curtain, wrong side up and with the raw edges aligned, sandwiching the loops. Leave 1.5 cm extra facing at each end.
4. Sewing Tack and sew a seam 1.5 cm from the top, securing the fabric, the loops, and the facing. Fold under 1.5 cm on the other edges of the facing strip. Press and tack.
5. Finishing Facing Press the facing strip and curtain wrong sides together, with the loop end hidden. Slipstitch the folded edges of the facing to the curtain. Press the curtain.
The Finished Curtain
Hanging and Dressing Curtains
To achieve the best results, finished curtains must be hung correctly, and then dressed. Hang heavy curtains for at least 24 hours before hemming, to allow the fabric to stretch fully
Dressing curtains involves tying the folds in place: bind the folds securely, but not so tightly that the fabric will crease. After the ties have been removed, the curtains will hang in neat folds.
Integral Curtain Hooks
To ensure that the hooks will be evenly spaced, count the pockets to be hooked and mark them before hanging the curtain.
Hooks and Eyelet Runners
Curtain hooks are threaded through pockets in the header tape and hooked through eyelets at the bottom of each runner.
1. Arranging Folds Fold the curtain into a concertina. Grasp each fold at the heading. Pull down in one smooth motion.
2. Binding Bind folds with fabric strips tied at the top, centre, and bottom. Leave for 48 hours, then remove ties.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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