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DIY Window Covering for Awkward Window

It took me longer to complete the last teeny step of these curtains than it did for my mom to sew the whole darn thing.  But the guest room curtains are done!  Ta-da:

Down.
DIY Curtain for Awkward Window
Or tied up.

Before:

DIY Curtain for Awkward Window
Curtain-less.  I actually liked the look, but guests complained about privacy.
Darn.

This window is a bit awkward because its off-centred so, like the even more awkward windows beside it, floor length curtains were out of the question.  Plus, the weird crank at the bottom made anything covering it stick out.  And I didn’t want to seal the window off completely because I use it to spy on strangers who ring the doorbell.  Sometimes I even converse with solicitors from the window, like a princess stuck in a tower. 

DIY Curtain for Awkward Window
Awkward crank.
My security system.

So we needed something that would mimic the curtains my mom sewed for the awkward windows beside this window – something ruched top & bottom – but also something that could be tied up so I can see out the window.  We came up with a simple design that offers privacy, fits the window perfectly, but can be bunched up & tied with ribbons if needed.

Materials:

  1. Compression curtain rod (I bought mine at Fabricland)

  2. Sheer fabric (we used material 3 times the width of the window)

  3. Double width sheer fabric reduces the number of seams

  4. Wooden dowel (width of window)

  5. Gross-grain ribbon (we used four lengths, twice the height of window)

  6. Thread, sewing machine, iron, a fabulous mom to do this for you, etc (the basics!)

How-to:

  1. Sew the sides of the fabric to create a nice, finished edge (unless finished already!). 

  2. Then sew a pocket at the top for the compression rod.

  3. Sew a smaller pocket at the bottom for your dowel.

  4. Sew ribbons to the curtain so half hangs in the front and half hangs down the back (its best to affix the ribbon at the back).

  5. Insert compression rod and fit to window (following manufacturer’s instructions).

  6. Insert the dowel into the bottom pocket.

  7. Sew a few stitches above the dowel to create a tight fit.

  8. Trim the ribbon to length if necessary.

DIY Curtain for Awkward Window
Sew the edges of the curtain.
Create a top & bottom pocket for compression rod & wood dowel.

Too flouffy without the bottom dowel.
Thread dowel into bottom pocket.
I sewed the pocket tightly around the dowel to create a friction fit,
 rather than sew the end shut, which creates a bunch.
Sheer Curtain on Compression Rod
Trim ribbon so it doesn’t hang below the bottom of the curtain.

DIY Curtain for Awkward Window

After:

DIY Curtain for Awkward Window
After
DIY Curtain for Awkward Window
After.
DIY Curtain for Awkward Window
After.
DIY Curtain for Awkward Window
After.

Side by side with the existing curtains my mom sewed for the even more awkward window in the guest room:

DIY Curtain for Awkward Window

DIY Curtain for Awkward Window

P.S.  How embarrassing is the fruit fly noticeable in a couple of the pics?

I swear, I clean!
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24 Comments

  1. THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE
    October 7, 2011 / 5:45 pm

    They're adorable and so clever!Have a great weekend šŸ™‚ xoxo

  2. StarletStarlet
    October 7, 2011 / 5:47 pm

    Tanya! You made such a lovely curtain and THIS is the curtain that I've been wanting to sew for my kitchen and bath. Perfect, perfect. I especially wanted to be able to pull it up with pretty ties like that. SO VERY lovely. Btw, seriously, I didn't see the fly until you pointed it out. LOL. We see everything as the pic owner, doncha think?

  3. Tanya @ Dans le Townhouse
    October 7, 2011 / 5:59 pm

    Hi Starlet, I have to thank my mom for this project. I did the teeny tiny jobs to complete it but she did all the sewing.I also thought this would be cute with really colourful ribbons or a dark fabric (like grey) with the crisp white ribbons. So many options and super simple.Let me know if you need any additional info! And send me pics if you sew your curtains!

  4. Rhan Vintage
    October 7, 2011 / 8:19 pm

    Wait, there was a window there? All I can see is that CHAIR! Holy crap, what a beauty. Ok, now I'll go back and read about the window, curtain…..

  5. Tanya @ Dans le Townhouse
    October 7, 2011 / 11:24 pm

    Thanks! I bought it through kijiji and then had it re-covered professionally (I know my limits. Lol). It took forever to find the right fabric but I'm so pleased with the results. We don't own a lot of furniture, so I am happy to customize the few pieces we have so they stand out.Here's the original post about the chair with more photos:http://dans-le-townhouse.blogspot.com/2011/01/theres-new-chair-in-there.html

    • Hatesss
      December 13, 2013 / 6:42 am

      Wonderful chair and now the curtain!!i luved it. I'l try n make one for myself. Yeah ofcrs curtain šŸ˜› hey, by d way i've question. i understood everything, u've explained it very well. thank u for dat but juz wanna knw how u pull up d curtain??

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 13, 2013 / 3:32 pm

      Good question! I just have someone help me hold it to the height I want it and then tie the ribbons (than hang down the front and back) together in a bow under the rod on the bottom. Then I fuss with it a bit to get it to look "right". I know there are more sophisticated ways to make a curtain like this, but I rarely open and close it – it's normally closed – so this worked for me. I hope this make sense! You can see it in use, open, in these photos: http://dans-le-townhouse.blogspot.ca/2013/12/sold.html

  6. modern jane
    October 7, 2011 / 11:26 pm

    Very cool! You did a great job!

  7. Lesley
    October 8, 2011 / 12:32 am

    Good job, chick! And the tutorial is step by step fantastic!

  8. Lesley
    October 8, 2011 / 12:33 am

    Ooooh, I just noticed you currently have 111 followers! 111 is my lucky number and my favorite number and it means angels are with you!

  9. Dana@Mid2Mod
    October 8, 2011 / 3:16 am

    I love the fabric…and the fruit fly will keep me smiling for the rest of the night. I congratulate you on your restraint. I once shot a whole new set of photos and redid the entire post because you could see a tiny dust bunny underneath my credenza. Sometimes I seriously need to ease up on the perfectionism. šŸ™‚

  10. Tanya @ Dans le Townhouse
    October 8, 2011 / 4:07 am

    That's awesome, Lesley!Dana, I did scrub like mad before I shot the "after" photos. But only that little area! And I only noticed the fruit fly AFTER I had completed the last of the steps on the curtains, so there was no going back. Lol.

  11. Sudha
    October 8, 2011 / 4:49 am

    tiy ====you never seize to amaze me dear šŸ™‚

  12. Tara /cinnamon & post
    October 9, 2011 / 12:24 pm

    Such a pretty corner:) Well done!

  13. barbara@hodge:podge
    October 9, 2011 / 2:29 pm

    What a prefect solution! Love your "guest", I wouldn't of noticed until you pointed it out! Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

  14. Tanya @ Dans le Townhouse
    October 9, 2011 / 6:06 pm

    What can I say? Full disclosure, that's my goal!Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Barbara.

  15. cart-wheels
    October 9, 2011 / 11:52 pm

    My-LANTA you two are a crafty, crafty pair. Thoroughly impressed [as always]. You make me wish for a mother who is equally crafty/local. Mine is 28 hours away and a fabulous cook, instead:)

  16. house no. 2
    November 6, 2011 / 5:38 pm

    tanya, i'm not sure i understand how the curtain ties into bows, lol. i'm pretty clueless when it comes to sewing. can you let me know? [email protected]'s the exact kind of curtain i've been wanting to make (using no sew tape, of course!)

  17. Anonymous
    February 11, 2013 / 1:48 am

    saw your curtains on pinterest. Love them! Where did you find the fabric.Maryann

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 11, 2013 / 4:42 am

      Hi Maryann,Thanks for your comment and kind words. The fabric is from Fabricland (fabricland.ca) but I purchased it quite some time ago (2009). Although this Canadian chain always has a great selection. I also used the fabric in the living/dining room, but my Mom and I added another layer: http://dans-le-townhouse.blogspot.ca/2012/02/diy-sheer-sandwich-curtains.html

  18. Margo
    February 20, 2013 / 3:14 am

    oh, that is brilliant!! I made something similar to this for our bathroom window, but without the dowel at the bottom. Love this.

  19. Alena Belleque
    August 22, 2013 / 12:09 am

    This is fantastic!! Thank you for sharing. Now I know what to do in every room in my house!

  20. Anonymous
    February 4, 2014 / 7:13 pm

    Thank you for this tutorial, I have a awkward window in our master bath and I will be using this method to cover it!!

  21. Thomas Watson
    December 29, 2014 / 4:50 am

    I also have a window that's very awkward to fit with conventional curtains and window dressings.

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