1. Select handkerchiefs and doilies with interesting patterns. It is possible that you already have them at hand or know a family member that is willing to share. The charm is in up-cycling textiles that you may already have. Include pieces that have special meaning to you.
2. Measure the length and width of your window. I added 2” to each side and 4” to the length, to ensure that once it is installed, there are no gaps. You will need to consider what kind of curtain rod you wish to use. Making it a bit longer makes it enchanting to watch when the summer breeze comes in. My curtain measures 26”x38”.
3. Prepare the handkerchiefs/doilies/linens. I wanted to preserve as much of the original look of the linens as possible, so I kept the ornate edges to add beauty to the curtain.
4. Unlike a quilt block, the seams for this panel are very forgiving. The hp foot, due to its narrow construction, makes it the perfect sewing foot for this job. Start piecing the curtain panel components. I used all the pieces that I trimmed (see below).
Helfpul hint: Best press starch will help smooth out those stubborn wrinkles you find on most vintage textiles that have been folded for long periods of time.
5. Top stitching after each seam adds strength and beauty (optional). Stitch length 2.4
6. Check the overall size and look of the panel as you go. You can see that I planned the sides and bottom edge to maximize the decorative edges of the linens/handkerchiefs.
7. To create the curtain rod loop, I used a strong lace 2.25” by the width of the curtain. Please see below.
8. Sew the lace or linen strip to the top edge of the curtain and fold to the wrong side 1.25”. Add basting stitches in case you need to adjust the loop. The size of the loop depends on the curtain rod you use.
9. Test the curtain loop to make sure that you are happy with it.
10. Install and sit back to enjoy your work with your favorite cup of tea or coffee!
This vintage curtain provides more privacy than I initially thought. I’m waving from the inside of the cabin (photo from the exterior, above right) and you can’t see me! The amount of natural light that it ushers in, is beyond dreamy.
I loved working on this project so much and creating this tone-on-tone panel with pre-loved textiles. I hope you too, give it a try. Share your progress with me anytime. I would love to see it.
Happy Summer nights await.