Custom Invisible Tab Curtains

As mentioned in my driftwood curtain rod post, I had been searching and searching for curtains for that project. Seriously, months worth of looking in stores and online.  Thanks to the ever wonderful Taylor, we finally found the perfect fabric and I had it shipped from Atlanta.  (Side note: If you live in Atlanta, you should check out Forsyth Fabrics).

Alas, I was making my own curtains again, only this time I wasn’t learning how to sew, and decided against sewing altogether — I was pressing the easy button and using iron on adhesives for the hems.

DIY Invisible Tab Curtains

What you’ll need:

  • Fabric
  • Fabric scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Iron on adhesive
  • Iron
  • Thick ribbon or fabric strips

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As I learned last time when making my own curtains, measuring is key, especially before cutting nice fabric you have bought.  First of all, make sure to get the window / wall specs and then figure out how much fabric you’ll need.  I ended up needing 3 yards for this project.  There is a small gap in the middle if you try to close the curtains, but the plan is to never close them (they’re decorative, not functional) and it saved me $70 in fabric!

Once my fabric was in and I cut the scraps off the top, I measured about 5 times, then cut the extra fabric off the bottom (make sure to add hems into your estimate).  After measuring some more, I cut fabric down the middle to make a panel out of each half.

Next, I folded 1/2″ of fabric on the sides of the panels, and ironed it down with the adhesive, in small segments.  I bought 3 different types of iron on adhesive (Heat n Bond, Pelion and Stitch Witchery), but ended up liking Heat n Bond the most.

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After the side seams were done, I folded down 1″ of fabric on the top and bottom of the panels and ironed those hems down too.  Since the fabric was thicker, I used a heavy duty adhesive and held the iron down a little longer to make sure it was really attached.  I checked the seams to make sure they felt good, and then cut off extra strings around the corners.

Ironing the 4 seams on 2 panels ended up taking about 3 hours, but I was in a groove on the 2nd panel and felt more comfortable.

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The panels were hemmed!  The tricky part of the project was figuring out how I would attach the curtains to the driftwood since it wasn’t just a normal curtain rod I could use drapery ring clips with.  I decided to use the invisible tab method (create and attach loops to the back of the panels), so the driftwood could fit through them to hang.

Originally I wanted to make them like tab-top curtains, but I would have needed to sew the loops out of extra fabric (and take more time), so this allowed me to use a different fabric for the loops since they don’t show and get it done quicker.

I already had some thick, canvas-y ribbon from another project that I decided to use for the loops.  I figured out how big the loops needed to be (harder than I imagined since the driftwood had a different circumference at different points) and cut 5 pieces, 9″ long for each panel.

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I used the Heat n Bond adhesive again to attach the canvas-y pieces to the fabric to make the loops: ~4 inches apart from each other, and right below the top seam.  Instead of attaching them 9″ long on the fabric, I did them 6″ long, so there was a loop for the driftwood to go through.

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The last thing left to do was to get the curtains on the driftwood, and put the driftwood on the brackets!

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I can’t even describe how much of a difference it makes having these curtains up.  You’ll have to come by to see for yourself!

Special thanks to Pegs, Taylor, Mrs. Debartola, Jen, and Lisa for all the random advice or help with these curtains —  Talk about team effort!

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4 thoughts on “Custom Invisible Tab Curtains

  1. Tyraenna says:

    Hey, these came out great 🙂 My first costuming project used heat and bond and iron based hemming … let me know when you are ready for your first sewing lesson!

    Like

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