There’s two patterns that I will never, ever tire of: stripes and polka dots. I’ve done everything under the sun polka dot, but very few things have I made that were striped – until now. My old living room drapes were horizontal stripe curtains, too, but the color wasn’t what I wanted, nor was the size of the stripe. I made them from some material that had been in my stash forever, and after living with them a couple of years I knew that I loved the look, but wanted an updated version. Here’s the trick – it’s realllllly hard to find wide stripe fabric on the horizontal. It’s super easy to find it vertical, though (meaning the stripes run off the bolt long ways.) So, I took some fabric that was printed vertical and turned it into horizontal striped curtains. It’s only a few more steps than doing them my traditional way, and I’m gonna show you how.
However much fabric you need for two panels, add in enough for one more panel. I like to make my drapes 54 inches wide, because that’s the width of the my favorite drapery lining (from my sponsor Online Fabric Store). My windows need drapes that are 7 ft long, so I need 5 yards (it gives me 1/2 extra yard for hemming, etc.).
I know that seems like I’m talking in circles – but let’s think like this: you need 54 inches of width per panel, but you’re using it length ways – so you need 3 x 54 (for two panels) – because it takes one full width plus half of another width to make the stripes run horizontal. Add in half a yard for cutting/hemming and you’re ready to go. If you need longer panels, then make sure to order enough that you’ll have double the amount for the extra length (6.5 yards of stripe fabric can make two panels that are 108 inches long).
Math makes my head hurt. And decorating math is the only kind that works in my brain. (Ask me what pi is and I’ll give you a killer recipe.)
To make it easy, lay your lining out, cut the length you need it (I cut mine 7.5 ft. long). So line up the edge of the stripe fabric running horizontal against the lining, then use the edge as a guide to cut it. Do that three times, then you will have enough for 84 inch drapes. (You’ll need to make 4 cuts for longer panels.)
For the 84 inch panels, cut one of the stripe pieces in half, watching where the stripe is because you’re going to pin them together so you can sew it up to make the stripes match up. This is a little tricky, but just pay attention and think about what part you need to cut so that the pattern will go smoothly.
Then pin them together right on the lines, so it all goes together seamlessly. Take your time, you want to get this right on the money.
Then run a stitch carefully on the line from side to side, so when you turn the fabric out it will look like one big piece of horizontal striped fabric.
After you’ve got the fabric ready, use my tutorial for easy lined curtains and sew them all together.
Want more ways to make curtains? You can find more ideas in my curtain gallery!