"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" We all have those areas of the house we'd prefer to keep from view. Maybe it's a cluttered corner, a secret sitting area or even your sewing and crafting space! We designed our room divider curtains as slim panels, which can be used on a portable frame, like the one we built, or hung by tension rod in a doorway. Lined with silky acetate, they have a wonderful drape and lightly sway with the lightest gypsy breeze.
Each finished panel is approximately 25" wide x 80" tall. The panels hang best flat, which lets their top triangular scarf accents drape nicely, but an open rod pocket does allow for a bit of gathering. The 80"length is a standard molding height, so they should work well in most doorways and other pass-throughs.
Our thanks to Michael Miller Fabrics for providing all the beautiful Gypsy Bandana fabric from the Gypsy Jewel colorway. You can find it in store and online now, including at Fat Quarter Shop, Fabric.com and Quilt Home. Take a look at our interview with Val Pillow and Anne Maxfield to find out more about the creative spirits who bring these fabulous collections to life.
Sewing Tools You Need
Fabric and Other Supplies
Quantities listed below are for TWO curtain panels.
- Fabric for top triangular scarf accents: 1 yard of 44-45" wide fabric; we used Gypsy Bandana in Red Gypsy Bandana by Pillow & Maxfield for Michael Miller Fabrics
NOTE: If you use the same Gypsy Bandana fabric as we did, with its pre-printed bandana shape, you need just enough fabric to cut ONE complete bandana. We have called out 1 yard, which will be plenty.
- Fabric for upper section of panels and curtain rod tunnels: 2 yards of 44-45" wide fabric; we used Gypsy Bandana in Orange Tonal Kaleidoscope by Pillow & Maxfield for Michael Miller Fabrics
- Fabric for lower section of panels: 2 yards of 44-45" wide fabric; we used Gypsy Bandana in Red Bandana Border by Pillow & Maxfield for Michael Miller Fabrics .
NOTE: If you use the same Gypsy Bandana fabric as we did, you will end up with the cool bottom border design. A non-border print would certainly work, leaving a solid pattern at the hem.
- Fabric for center accent bands: 1 yard of 44-45" wide fabric; we used Gypsy Bandana in Aqua Gypsy Road by Pillow & Maxfield for Michael Miller Fabrics.
NOTE: Once again, the Gypsy Bandana fabric we used has a wonderful stripe design that allows for perfect fussy cutting. If choosing another fabric, keep this long horizontal shape in mind.
- Fabric for lining both the top triangular scarf accents as well as the curtain panels themselves: 4½ yards of 44-45" wide fabric; we used a light yellow colored polyester acetate lining fabric
- 4½ yards of ½" pom poms on self tape/ binding; we used Apple Green ½" poms from CreateForLess
NOTE: These poms are a great price, but you need to buy a minimum of 18 yards. Other outlets carry ½" pom tape by the yard in a variety of colors.
- All purpose thread
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Tape measure
- Straight pins
- From the fabric you are using for the top triangular scarf accents, cut ONE 21" x 21" square. Then cut this square into two equal triangles, by drawing a straight line from the top left corner to the bottom right corner and cutting along the drawn line.
NOTE: If you use the same Gypsy Bandana fabric as we did, with its pre-printed bandana shape, cut out ONE of the printed bandana shapes with ½" worth of the red border around all four edges. This bandana print is not a perfect square, but since we are using the print as a triangle that will not matter in the end.
- From the fabric you are using for the upper section of the curtain panels and the curtain rod tunnels, cut the following:
TWO 41¼" high x 26" wide rectangles.
NOTE: Be careful to cut each of these panels evenly within the print along the width of the fabric. Also, cut the panels so the designs match when laid side by side so the finished panels will appear almost as one piece when hung side by side.
TWO 5" high x 27" wide rectangles for the curtain rod tunnels.
- From the fabric you are using for the lower section of the curtains, cut TWO 41" high x 26" wide rectangles.
NOTE: If you use the same Gypsy Bandana border fabric as we did, cut the rectangles so the largest section of the border print is centered and running along the bottom of the 26" width. To do this, find the center of the largest section of the border print, then measure over 13" from this center point to the left and 13" to the right to achieve 26" in total width. Do this for both curtain cuts so, as you did with the upper panels, the curtains will match one another when hung side by side.
- From the fabric you are using for the center accent bands, cut TWO 4" wide x 26" long strips, centering the fabric's design along the horizontal.
NOTE: If you use the same Gypsy Bandana border fabric as we did, use the main stripes within the Aqua Gypsy Road; fussy cut to center the banded section of the print within the 4" width. This will leave ½" of orange to either side of the green stripes.
NOTE: These are the ribbon accents that cover the seams on the curtain panels. Because our Gypsy Bandana fabric (Aqua Gypsy Road) had a perfect stripe within one of its designs, we chose to cut strips and fashion our own ribbons. You could also use extra-wide ribbon (3") should you not have a similar motif in the the fabric you choose. If you decide to work with ribbon, you do not have to complete folding and pressing steps below to create the folded edges.
- From the fabric you are using for the lining, cut the following:
TWO 81¼" high x 26" wide rectangles. This is the lining for the curtain panels.
ONE 21" x 21" square. Then cut this square into two equal triangles, by drawing a straight line from the top left corner to the bottom right corner and cutting along the drawn line. This is the lining for the top triangular scarf accents.
- Cut the pom pom tape into TWO 26" lengths, and TWO 42" lengths.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Find the two center accent bands. Fold and press under ½" along both 26" raw edges on both bands. Set aside.
- Fold under ½" and press along the top edge of each upper curtain panel.
- With right sides together, pin the bottom edge of one upper curtain panel to the top edge (the edge opposite the border print) of one lower curtain panel.
- Sew together, using a ½" seam allowance. Press the seam open.
- Repeat to sew the remaining two upper and lower panels together.
- Pin one of the center accent bands to one completed panel so the band is centered over the upper panel/ lower panel seam.
- Edgestitch the band in place along the TOP edge only.
- Find one of the 26" lengths of pom tape.
- Slide the pom tape under the bottom folded edge of the accent band. Position so the pom poms are just sticking out below the folded edge of the band. Pin to secure.
- Edgestitch in place along the bottom edge of the band.
- Repeat to add the accent band and pom strip to the remaining curtain panel.
- Fold under ½" and press along the top edge of each upper curtain LINING panel.
- With right sides together, pin one completed curtain panel to one curtain lining panel along both sides and the bottom edge.
- Sew together along all three sides, using a ½" seam allowance.
- Clip the seam allowance from the bottom corners, and turn the curtain inside out through the top hemmed edges. Press the sides, bottom edges and corners flat and sharp.
Creating the top triangular scarf accents
- Find one of the 42" lengths of pom tape and one of the top fabric triangles.
- Pin the pom tape along both of the shorter sides of the fabric triangle, lining up the outer edge of the pom tape with the raw edge of the fabric, so the poms are facing to the inside of the fabric.
NOTE: It helps to start your pining at the point of the triangle, centering a single pom at this point. Then pin up both sides from the point. This way, you are insured of getting a pom drop at your triangle's center point.
- Topstitch the pom tape in place.
- Pin the triangle scarf lining to the fabric triangle along both of the shorter sides, sandwiching the pom poms in between the layers.
- Sew together along both sides, using a ¼" seam allowance.
NOTE: You may want to use a a zipper foot to sew these seams to allow you to get close to the poms. But be careful to keep the pows out of the way of your stitching; you don't want to catch any in the seam.
- Trim the corner point of the seam, and turn the triangle curtain top right side out.
- Press the edges flat.
- Repeat to create the second scarf for the second panel.
Rod tunnels: create and attach to scarf
- Find your two curtain rod tunnel pieces.
- At the 5" ends of one piece, fold and press under ½", then fold and press under an additional ½", to create a double turn, ½" hem at both ends of the strip.
- Fold the hemmed piece in half lengthwise, WRONG sides together, aligning the long raw edges. Pin in place.
- Sew together, using a ¼" seam allowance.
- Measure down ½" from the top raw edge on both ends of the tunnel, and mark of these spots with a pin.
- Flip one finished triangle scarf accent so it lays flat on your work surface lining side up.
- Lay the rod tunnel on the triangle scarf so the placement pins at both ends of the tunnel are lined up with the finished angled edges of the triangle.
- Check your measurements and alignment to insure the rod tunnel is straight and parallel with the top of the scarf. This is the step that will create the hanging line for the finished curtain so you want to be super careful to make sure everything is nice and straight.
- Starting at one end of the tunnel, at the pin placement point, edgestitch up the short distance from the pin to the tunnel's ¼" seam line. Pivot. Stitch the tunnel to the triangle following along the tunnel's ¼" seam line. When you reach the opposite end of the tunnel, stop and pivot again, and edgestitch down the short distance to the placement pin.
- The rod tunnel is now sewn to the lining side of the triangle. Trim away the excess triangle fabric so it is flush with the top and side edges of the tunnel. Flip the triangle scarf/ tunnel combo over so the right side of the triangle fabric is facing up. A bit of the tunnel shows at each edge, but that is okay; when it is laying against the curtain panel, which is the same fabric, you won't notice that at all.
- Repeat to create the second triangle scarf/tunnel combo.
Final assembly of scarf to panel
- With the LINING side of one curtain panel facing up, slide the raw edge of one triangle scarf/tunnel combo ½" down into the top folded-edge opening of the curtain panel, and pin in place.
NOTE: Remember earlier when we folded under top edges of both the lining and the upper curtain panel? We did that so now the top opening of your curtain panel has a nice finished edge.
- Edgestitch along the top of the curtain panel through all the layers: curtain front, both layers of the triangle scarf and curtain lining. This edgestitching closes the top of the curtain panel and secures the triangle scarf/ tunnel combo in place.
- Flip the curtain panel over so it is right side up. Flip the triangle scarf/tunnel combo over the top of the curtain. It will now also be facing right side up.
- Press the top edge so the lining rolls back about 1/16"- 1/8". You do not want any lining showing to the front of the curtain at this top edge.
- Slide one end of your curtain rod into one end of the rod tunnel. Measure about ¼" from the bottom of the curtain rod and place a pin at this point, pinning through all the layers (the tunnel and the curtain).
- Remove the curtain rod and repeat this step at the opposite end of the rod tunnel.
- Edgestitch the tunnel to the curtain at both ends, from the pin mark to the bottom edge of the tunnel.
- Repeat to attach the second triangle scarf/tunnel combo to the second panel.
Project Concept: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Gregory Dickson
Other machines suitable for this project include the Elna 5300 and the Baby Lock Symphony.