This simple curtain requires no pattern. For more privacy, use fabric that is not sheer.

How to Make Curtains Without a Pattern

by Ronna Pennington

It's easy to change the look of a room just by changing its accessories. A few new pillows and coordinating curtains can transform a room's appearance; but have you priced curtains lately? If you wait for a sale, you may not get exactly what you want. But consider this, you don't have to be a master seamstress to make custom window coverings. With the right amount of fabric and a few extra supplies, you'll have new curtains on those windows in no time.

Calculate Fabric Yardage

Determine how much fabric you need. To do this, decide how far down you want the curtain to hang. Measure from the top of the curtain rod down to the desired spot. This is your finished length.

Measure the width of the rod. Most start at 1/2 inch in diameter.

Add 3 inches to your finished length. Double the width of the rod and add 1/2 inch. For a finished length of 84 inches and a 1-inch rod, you add 84+3+2+1/2. Your total fabric length needs to be 89 1/2 inches.

Measure the width of the window and double that figure. For a window that is 43 inches wide, the needed width is 86 inches.

Calculate the fabric yardage needed. Most fabrics are sold in widths of 45 inches. Double check the end of the bolt to be sure. Since the width of the window measures a little less than the width of the fabric, you simply double the length. For example, 89 1/2 inches x 2 = 179 inches of fabric. Fabric, however, is not sold by inches. Divide the total inches by 36 to determine how many yards. In this example, 4.972 yards are needed. Round that up to 5 yards.

Prepare for Sewing

Trim any frayed edges on all sides of the fabric.

Fold the fabric in half lengthwise, leaving you with two sides equaling 2.5 yards each. Cut through the fold to make two separate panels of fabric.

Lay the panels side by side and make sure any prints or patterns in the fabric are not upside down.

Fold both the top and bottom of both panels under 1/4 inch. If the fabric is cotton, ironing these folds will help make your seams neater. Do not iron polyester fabrics because they will melt.

Fold both the top and bottom of both panels under another 1/4 inch. Place several pins through the folds to hold them in place.

Sew the folded seams in place with a straight stitch. Remove pins before sewing over them. If the side seams are raw, fold and stitch them in the same manner.

Fold the top of each fabric panel back 1 inch. Add pins to hold the seam in place. Fold the bottom of each panel back 3 inches. Add pins to hold the seam in place

Finishing the Curtain

Sew the top fold of each panel down, keeping stitches near the edge of its top hem. This forms the casing in which your rod will slip.

Slide the curtain rod through the top casing of each panel and return the rod to its hardware. Double check to see if the pinned hem is correct. If not, adjust to make it higher or lower where needed.

Remove the curtain from the rod and sew the bottom hem of each panel. Be sure to sew close to the hemmed edge. Slide each panel onto the rod and your curtain is finished.

Items you will need

  • Curtain rod
  • Tape measure
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Iron (optional)
  • Ironing board (optional)
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Coordinating thread


  • Make this a completely no-sew project by using fusible tape (if using cotton fabrics).
  • Add decorative trims as desired.
  • Make two tie-backs from any remaining curtain fabric.


  • Sewing over pins can break your machine's needle or cause personal injury. Remove the pins before the presser foot reaches them.
  • Never iron man-made fibers such as polyester or Spandex. They melt.

About the Author

Ronna Pennington, an experienced newspaper writer and editor, began writing full-time in 1989. Her professional crafting experience includes machine embroidery and applique. When she's not repainting her den or making new holiday decorations, Ronna researches and writes community histories. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and an Master of liberal arts in history.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images