One very gorgeous fabric makes one very gorgeous curtain! One of the best ways to re-fresh a room is with new curtains. They can instantly transform any space and are the perfect building blocks for other transformations, such as pillows, cushions or linens. This dreamy ruffled panel is a look that could work well in any room. The drape and lightweight movement of the Shannon Fabrics Metallic Embrace® Double Gauze is perfect for a full-length panel – with just a hint of sparkle and shine. The construction is fast and easy, and we give you all the formulas you need to adapt the design for your windows.
With metallic accents, too much can overwhelm the fabric – too little and you can’t see the glittering effect. All the Embrace® Metallics have just the right touches of sparkle. We chose a modern design in a tone-on-tone palette for our sample: Geo Lines in Cloud/Silver, available now at Fat Quarter Shop.
There is a lovely variety of Embrace® Metallics to best suit your decorating scheme, from whimsical pastels to bold boho motifs to simple geometrics. Below are four options, all available now at Fat Quarter Shop, that would be interesting alternatives (left to right): Make A Wish in Saltwater and Silver, Sweetheart in Blush and Silver, Believe in Tulip and Silver, and To The Point in Royal and Silver.
Shannon Double Gauze is so deliciously soft and lightweight so you don’t have to worry about rigid hanging methods for these panels. A standard 1” rod is perfect. We love how the single-layer side ruffles flutter when a gentle breeze blows through the window.
Use the panel(s) over existing shades or blinds or on their own. Of course, double gauze isn’t your first choice if you want ultimate sun-blocking ability, but as an overlay they’re perfect, and the double layers help eliminate the super-sheerness of standard gauze. Plus it gives the fabric a bit of extra weight, which imparts that wonderful, almost velvety drape.
Regular gauze is known for its sheer open weave. In fact, the process that creates gauze is even called “gauze weave” (or “leno weave”). This weaving process twists two warp yarns around the weft yarn in a figure eight pattern, resulting in a strong yet sheer fabric. Double gauze is just that, two layers of gauze. Teeny tiny stitch tacks, so teeny and tiny as to be invisible from the right side of the fabric, hold the layers together.
Our thanks to our friends at Shannon for providing all the Embrace® Metallic Double Gauze for this project. Remember, you can find all the fabric to get our exact look at Fat Quarter Shop. And, stay tuned, we have a Great Giveaway coming up with generous cuts of four different Embrace® Metallics. Yep! Four winners, each get four yards!!
For even more softness, check out all the beautiful substrates from Shannon Fabrics that you can find (or ask for!) at your favorite in-store or online retailer. Besides Embrace®, you’ll find super soft Cuddle, fabulous traditional faux furs, terry cloth, and silky satins.
We give you all the formulas needed for each of our cuts, but if you are brand new to measuring and cutting curtains, you may also want to take a look at our article: How To Measure For Curtains, Drapes & Other Window Coverings
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Ruffler attachment; optional for side ruffles; below we show you how to use a standard foot along with a length of dental floss to ruffle
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: The fabric yardage is based on ONE curtain panel. Depending on the size and number of your windows and the height of your curtain rod, you may need to adjust your measurements accordingly. Below, we explain how we determined the sizes of our cuts.
- 5⅝ yards of 48″+ wide Shannon Embrace® Double Gauze Metallic; we used Geo Lines in Cloud/Silver, available now at Fat Quarter Shop
NOTE: Take a look at the full selection of Shannon Embrace® options in cotton and cotton metallic to best match your décor.
- ⅝ yard of 20″+ wide lightweight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Shape Flex
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Tape measure
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Straight pins
- Dental floss; optional for ruffling method shown below
Getting Started and Template Download
The first step in creating any curtain panel is to do some math. Yay! Below, we explain how we determined our cut and finished measurements based on our window as well as the width of the Shannon Metallic Embrace® Double Gauze (48”). But, you’re likely to have a different size window and/or your hardware (or rod) will be set at a different height. So, you can follow our example and adjust everything to best match your room.
If you just don’t want to mess with math, standard off-the-shelf panel heights are 84” and 96”.
In addition, if you want to “puddle” the bottom of your panel as shown in some of the beauty shots above, add 3” – 4” to your length calculations.
FINISHED LENGTH measurements
The total height should be measured from the top of the rod to the floor. Ours is 83″.
Our top tabs are 5″ in height, measuring from the top of the pole to the top of the curtain.
Panel body height
The finished length of the panel body (without the tabs) is simply the finished height minus the height of the tabs. 83″ – 5″ = 78″.
CUT LENGTH measurements
Now you need to add inches to account for hem allowances at the top and bottom. The bottom hem is 1½” and the top hem is 3½”. So, the full equation is the total height – the tab height + the bottom hem + the top hem. In our sample: 83” – 5” + 1½” + 3½ = 83”.
CUT WIDTH measurements
Well, this part is fairly easy. We simply used the full width of fabric, which for the pretty Shannon Metallic Embrace® Double Gauze is 48”. The flat fell seams at either side use just a bit over 1”, giving our panel a finished width of approximately 47”. The side ruffles add approximately 4″ to either side.
RUFFLE STRIPS LENGTH
Our side ruffles are designed to take advantage of the beautiful drape of the Embrace® fabric. We made them wide (4” finished) with a narrow rolled hem along all the outer edges and a 1.5x gentle ruffle. Our length was based on this 1.5x ruffle (78” length of panel x 1.5” = 117”). If you prefer a tighter ruffle, cut a longer strip and increase your ruffle accordingly to fit the panel height. We would recommend not going up much more than 2x.
Our final cuts
Finally, we’re ready to cut! Referring to the cut length and width measurements we figured out above, we cut as follows.
- From the main Embrace® Metallic Double Gauze, cut the following:
ONE main panel at WOF (48”) x 83”
TWO ruffle strips at 5” x 117”
EIGHT tabs at 5” x 17”
- From the lightweight interfacing, cut the following:
EIGHT 2” x 16” strips for the tabs
THREE 3” x WOF (20”) strips for the upper hem
NOTE: These will be butted together to fit along the 48” WOF of the main panel.
- If you are using our Embrace® fabric suggestion and cut sizes, you can download our curtain Tab Placement Guide, which is sized for our finished width.
IMPORTANT: This template is ONE 8½” x 11″ sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Pre-make the eight tabs
- Find the eight tab strips and the eight interfacing strips.
- Fold each tab in half, wrong sides together, and press to set a center crease line.
- Unfold wrong side up so the crease line is visible.
- Align the interfacing strip along the center crease line. There should be ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on the other three sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Refold right sides together and pin along the 17” side.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, sew along the 17” side. Both ends remain raw.
- Turn right side out through an open end.
- Press flat.
NOTE: The open ends you used for turning will later be sewn between the panel and the hem, hiding the raw edges.
- Set aside.
Prepare the side ruffle strips
- Find the two long ruffle strips.
- Make a narrow hem along both raw ends and one long raw edge. The opposite long raw edge remains raw and will be sewn to the main panel.
- You can simply turn back the raw edge ¼” and press, then fold an additional ¼” and press again, then stitch close to the inner fold, creating a standard narrow hem.
- Or, you could use a rolled hem foot, which was our choice.
NOTE: Our Janome studio machines all come standard with a Rolled Hem foot and it’s one of our favorite ways to create a beautiful narrow hem, especially in lightweight fabrics, like the Embrace® Double Gauze we used. If you are brand new the technique, check out our full step-by-step tutorial on rolled hems.
Ruffle and attach the side ruffle strips
- If you have a Ruffler Attachment to fit your machine make and model, now it a good time to use it. For more information, check out our tutorial on the Janome Ruffler.
- We opted to used the “corded zig zag” method for our ruffle strips. This can be a good option when you have a very long piece to ruffle; it’s easier to get an even ruffle than with the traditional rows of basting stitching. In addition, the Embrace® Double Gauze is very soft and can fray, so we didn’t want to over-manipulate the raw edges. We need the extra depth later on to make the flat felled seam finish.
- Set up your sewing machine for a zig zag stitch.
- Adjust the length and width to make a narrow tunnel over your “cord.” On our machine, we set the length to 4.0mm and the width to 6.2mm.
- Place your chosen cord (heavy thread or yarn works well; we like to use dental floss) approximately ⅜” from the raw edge. You don’t pin the cord in place; you simply hold it in place.
- Begin to sew approximately ⅜” in from the raw edge. Your stitch is zig zagging (also called couching) over the cord. Do not catch the cord in the stitch, otherwise you’ll have to start over, because the cord won’t be able to slide through the tunnel.
- Remember to leave long thread tails for knotting at the beginning and end, as well as a tail of cord for gathering at the beginning and end.
- When you’ve reached the end, simply remove the fabric from the machine.
- Gently pull the cord you zig-zagged over to gather the fabric. In our case, we are gathering down to 78”.
NOTE: A word of caution; the cord can pull out very easily from the large zig zag. To be safe, pin or hand tack one end of the cord before you start to pull.
- Once you have your finished gathered length, knot the thread ends to secure in place.
- Reset the machine for a standard straight stitch.
- Find the main panel.
- Place a ruffle strip right sides together along each side of the main panel.
- One hemmed end of the ruffle strip should be 3½” down from the top raw edge of the main panel. Pin in place.
- The opposite hemmed end of the ruffle strip should be 1½” up from the bottom raw edge of the main panel. Pin in place.
- With the ends pinned in place, adjust the gathers as needed, tightening or loosening to fit flat against the main panel. Once adjusted, pin the ruffle strip in place top to bottom.
- Using a ⅝” seam allowance, stitch a gathered strip to either side of the main panel.
- When the seam is complete, pull to remove the cord. Your final stitching now holds the gathers in place.
NOTE: If you are new to machine gathering, we have a full tutorial that explains this corded method used above as well as traditional gathering tips and tricks.
Finish the seam allowance with a flat felled seam
- Since our curtain panel is one breezy layer, we wanted a clean finish for the two side seams and opted for an inside flat felled seam.
- To do this, flip over the sewn panel and press both seam allowances towards the main panel.
- Trim back the bottom layer of the each seam allowance to approximately ¼”.
- Stop trimming just before the end of the ruffle strip (the end of the seam) and cut at a diagonal, allowing the end of the seam to taper into the raw edge at the top of the main panel. The finished seam will go top to bottom so you need a full amount to fabric top and bottom with which to work to complete the finished edge.
- Do the same angled cut just before the bottom end of the ruffle strip.
- Wrap the longer side of the seam allowance around the trimmed-back side of the seam allowance.
- Wrap and press in this manner the full length of the ruffle strip.
- Make sure to continue the tuck-and-fold beyond the ruffle strip on the the bottom and top raw edges that will become the bottom and top hems.
- Pin in place.
- Flip over the panel so it is right side up and topstitch top to bottom within the main panel to secure the flat felled seam. Again, remember to stitch from the very top to the very bottom.
NOTE: If you are brand new to the technique and would like more information on flat felled seam options, take a look at our full step-by-step tutorial.
Create the top and bottom hems
- Along the bottom raw edge of the main panel, make a simple 1½” double fold hem. To do this, first fold back the raw edge ½” and press well.
- Fold an additional 1” and press again. Pin in place.
- Stitch close to the inner fold to secure.
- At the top, fold back 3½” and press well to set a crease line.
- Unfold, wrong side up, so the crease line is visible.
- Find the strip(s) of lightweight interfacing.
- Align the strip(s) along the center crease line. There should be ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on the other three sides. Because our chosen lightweight interfacing (Pellon Shape Flex) is just 20” wide, we used three strips, butting together two full strips and one partial strip to fit across the top of the panel. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the strip(s) in place.
- Fold back the top raw edge of the fabric ½”, which means you are folding along the edge of the interfacing. Press well.
- Then re-fold along the original crease line and pin in place.
- As above, stitch close to the inner fold to secure.
Insert and secure the tabs along the top hem
- If using our width measurements, find the Curtain Tab Placement Guide.
- Flip the curtain panel so it is wrong side up.
- Starting at one finished side edge, use the Placement Guide to mark for the first and second tabs.
- Find your finished eight tabs. Fold each in half so the raw ends are flush.
- Each tab is centered between the lines (over the dot), and the raw ends should be inserted under the hem approximately ½”.
- Pin each tab in place. The loop of each tab will be hanging down towards the bottom of the panel. Once the first two tabs are placed, you can use the center point to move the template and place the remainder of the tabs.
- Slightly lengthen the stitch.
- Topstitch across the full width of the main panel along the inner fold to secure the ends of the tabs in place.
- Fold up each tab into its upright position. Take the time to insure each and every one is vertically straight. Pin in place.
- Topstitch across the full width of the main panel, keeping the same slightly lengthened stitch, this time running the seam ⅛” from the upper fold of the main panel. This secures the tabs in their upright position.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Leah Wand