Finished panel : 24½″ × 42″ (customizable)
Café curtains have long been a staple in the kitchen, but this version is tricked out with vintage pot holders to add a little kitsch to the kitchen. It’s best to install whatever of the many varieties of curtain hardware you choose prior to measuring and making the curtain.
This is a basic café curtain pattern, so go wild with it and make it your own. Lengthen it to make sheers or create another casing and header at the bottom of a curtain to cover a set of French doors.
Materials and Supplies
- Lightweight linen/cotton blend fabric, 44″ wide (or wider if needed)
- 46″ double-fold bias tape per panel*
- 46″ rickrack per panel*
- Vintage pot holders, 2 per panel
- Café curtain rod to fit your window, 1″ diameter or smaller
* Measure your window’s width and adjust accordingly.
- Measure from the top of the rod to the windowsill; this is the height. Add 5″ to the height to determine the length of fabric needed for a single panel. My kitchen windows are 23″ high, so my fabric will need to be 28″ long.
- For the width, measure from an inner edge of the window frame to the other inner edge—from side to side. Multiply this number by 1.5 to determine the width of the panel. My windows measure 29″, so my panel will be 44″—the width of my fabric. If you have wide windows, consider making 2 panels instead of seaming your fabric.
- To determine the amount of fabric you need, take the measurement from Step 1 and multiply that by the number of curtain panels you need to make.
Example : For my project, 28″ × 4 = 3⅛ yards, so I purchased 3⅓ yards to cover any shortages.
- Refer to grain to cut the number of panels needed; pay attention to the grainline of the linen. A panel cut off grain will never hang right. Trim off the selvages and press any creases out of each panel.
After rounding up a good number of pot holders, soak them in a bath of oxygen-based detergent to remove any stains. Lay the pot holders flat and block them into shape by pinning. Allow them to air dry.
applying pot holders
- Lay out a café curtain panel onto a worktable. Place the first pot holder 5″ away from the left side of the panel and 3″ from the bottom edge. Pin into place. Place the second pot holder 2″ to the right of the first. Next, draw a stitching line for the rickrack 2″ above the bottom edge of the panel with a water-soluble pen.
- For pot holders that have pointed edges, it’s best to bar tack at the outermost edges. Switch to a wide zigzag stitch and drop your feed dogs so the machine doesn’t pull the fabric. Stitch in place, creating a sturdy bar tack. Round pot holders can be sewn using a long basting stitch. You also can hand stitch pot holders in place.
- Place ¼″ rickrack on top of the stitching line and stitch in place using a straight stitch and matching thread.
sewing it up
- Turn the sides of the panel ¼″ toward the wrong side, press, turn an additional ¾″ to the wrong side, and press again. Pin and then edgestitch along the folds.
- Along the top raw edge of the panel, turn under ½″ to the wrong side, press, turn under an additional 3″, and press again. Pin and edgestitch to make the casing.
- Use a ruler and disappearing-ink marker to draw a stitching line 1½″ down from the top edge of the curtain. Stitch on the line to finish the casing and header; follow the manufacturer’s instructions to remove the disappearing-ink line.
- Refer to end fold finish (in Bias Tape) to hem the curtain with a piece of double-fold bias tape at least 2″ longer than the finished width of your panel.
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