From Flats To Lofts

our lives within these walls

Custom Curtians from Ikea

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Custom curtains can be expensive, but it is difficult to find any that are over 108 or 118”. We had this problem when were first moved into our loft and took down the vertical blinds that were covering the windows in our living room. The wall of windows is about 12 feet tall and we needed curtains that were at least 124” long. We like the look of two layers and have sheer curtains as the second layer in both bedrooms. To accomplish this look in the living room we went with sheers from Pottery Barn. However, being Pottery Barn, they are pretty pricey. Thankfully we had gift cards left over from our wedding, and we called this an anniversary present since we got them in December (yes, we lived with no curtains at all for about 6 months).

Now, after two years here, we finally have curtains. I spend the last several months looking at fabric options (the only stuff I liked was $25-$50 per yard), pricing custom curtains ($395), and browsing Ikea every time we went to Ohio to visit my grandparents.

Ikea won out in the price department, even though none of their options were long enough. After much debate and worrying, we decided to go with Ritva curtains in white and dark grey. Buy putting the two together we could customize the look, and stick to the budget of under $100.

In May the curtains were on sale – so we got three (two white and one grey) sets for $60 and saved $15. Off to a good start!

The white ones were 98″ long and I knew I wanted the finished panels to be about 125″ total, so I made up a little drawing of what I needed:


I added 7” to each grey panel to allow for the top and bottom hem , so the grey sections were actually 34” each.

After ironing everything I cut the top hem off of each grey panel, since I wasn’t going to be using it, and measured and marked a line 34” from the top.

cut & measureTo make the top hem I folded over a one inch section and ironed it smooth. Then I put in a piece of hem tape to reinforce it and help it stay in place while I finished the bottom hem and later sewed the two pieces together.

photo 4

I wanted the bottom hem to be larger to match the other curtains we have hanging in the loft, so I measured up three inches and pinned and ironed the hem.

photo 3

Then I removed the pins and folded it up another three inches, pinned, ironed, and stitched it closed. This gave the bottom hem more weight and hid the raw edge from where I cut the fabric into sections. The final step was to pin the two sections together and sew them together. This was the step I was most worried about, but, other than dealing with so much fabric!, it was really pretty simple.

I now have four finished curtains waiting to be hung up. Unfortunately that will have to wait until Andy has a night off and can help hold the ladder.


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