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Michael Miller Fabrics' Citron-Gray Nursery: Panel Curtains with Grommets

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Oh boy! Oh baby! Oh baby boy! Today we debut a new nursery on Sew4Home. Our original Stylish Baby Nursery series remains one of the most popular on the site, but we knew it was time for another look at baby's room. This new series is sponsored by our good friends at Michael Miller Fabrics and is created using their new Color Story concept. We chose the Citron-Gray Color Story for our modern baby boy nursery. It is a wonderfully happy yet soothing palette, and the sleek geometric shapes of the motifs create a trendy, upscale look that mom and dad will appreciate as much as baby. Because, let's face it, who's really lookin' at all those pretty pieces at 2:00 in the morning! We will showcase eight projects over the next several weeks, starting with today's full-length panel curtains, which feature our favorite plastic grommets for easy hanging.

Unlike most fabric collections that are filled with coordinated prints in multiple colorwayscolor is what this story is all about. Michael Miller's Color Story concept combines hues that consistently work so well together, they create their own ambience, their own feeling... their own story. These fabric color pairings are also currently prominent in other areas of fashion, interior style and pop culture: Citron-Gray, Aqua-Red, Cocoa-Berry, It's a Boy thing, It's a Girl Thing, Lagoon, Orchid-Gray, Retro, Rouge et Noir, Sorbet and Urban Grit.

Like good friends who hang together over time, Michael Miller's eleven Color Story pals will evolve from one release to another. Their stories will update and build momentum as color trends evolve, but their compatibility will remain. You'll be able to add new fabrics within the same Color Story, knowing they'll fit in and work well together.

Welcome to the Citron-Gray Color Story and our custom baby boy nursery. It's a story with a very happy ending.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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NOTE: The yardages and supplies listed below as well as all the instructions are written for TWO curtain panels. Depending on the size and number of your windows and the height of your curtain rod, you may need to adjust your measurements accordingly.

Getting Started


Our panels finish at 84" x 50", which is a pretty standard floor-length curtain size. Because we are using grommets that run through the center of our 6" high top border panel, the actual hang length is about 81". One panel would be enough for a small window, two for wider windows.

If you need to adjust your cuts, adjust the main panels rather than the top grommet panel or the accent insets. Adding to or subtracting from just the center panels will be your easiest adjustment.

If you are brand new to measuring and cutting curtains, take a look at these helpful tutorials we've done previously:

Nature Brights Kitchen: Tab-Top Panel Curtains with Button Accents

Fresh Linens: Apple Green Panel Curtains with Jelly Roll Accents & Tie-Backs

Kid's Birthday Party: "Something's Fishy" Game Curtain

How To Measure For Curtains

  1. From the fabric you are using for the main panels (Feeling Groovy in our example), cut the following:
    TWO 86" high x 39" wide rectangles. These will be your Center Front Curtain Panels.
    FOUR 86" high x 7" wide rectangles. These will be your Side Curtain Panels.
  2. From the fabric you are using for the upper grommet panel and the side inset panels (Citron Tiny Gingham in our example), cut the following:
    TWO 51" high x 13" wide rectangles. These will be your Upper Grommet Panels.
    FOUR 86" high x 5" wide rectangles. These will be your Side Inset Curtain Panels.
  3. From the fabric you are using for the curtain lining, cut TWO 83" high x 43" wide rectangles.
  4. From the fabric you are using for the curtain tiebacks, cut TWO 5" high x 18" wide rectangles.
  5. Cut TWO strips of the header tape, each 51" in length. These will be the backing for the upper grommets, and will also help to give body to the curtains.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Create the individual curtain panels and lining panels

  1. With right sides together, pin one long edge of one Side Inset Panel to each long edge of the Center Front Curtain Panel. In other words, you pin a inset panel to both outside edges of the middle panel.
  2. Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance. Press both seams open.
  3. Repeat for second curtain panel.
  4. With right sides together, pin one long edge of one Side Curtain Panel to the remaining long raw edge of each Side Inset Panel. In other words, the order of your panels should be: Side Panel, Inset, Main Panel, Inset, Side Panel.
  5. Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance. Press both seams open.
  6. Repeat for the second curtain panel.
  7. Create a double-fold hem along the bottom of each of the curtain panels. To do this, fold up and press the bottom edge 3½", then fold up anadditional 4" and press again. Stitch close to the fold to finish the hem.
  8. Find the two Curtain Lining Panels. Create the same double-fold hem as above: 3½", then fold up an additional 4".  Remember, the lining piece will finish shorter than the panel piece.

Assemble curtain and lining

  1. Lay each Curtain Panel flat on your work surface, right side up. Place a Lining Panel right side down (the hem will be showing) on top of the Curtain Panel. In other words... right sides are together.
  2. Align the lining and the curtain along ONE side, matching the TOP raw edges, and pin in place.
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch from the top of the panel to the bottom. When the seam is completed, the top raw edges should be lined up, and the lining hem should be 3" shorter than the curtain hem.
  4. Remove from the machine and lay the panels flat again.
  5. Pull the lining so it aligns with the opposite side of the front panel. This will cause the sewn side to roll towards the back a bit. That's what we want it to do.
  6. Pin and stitch this side with a ½" seam allowance, again lining up the top raw edges and sewing from top to bottom.
  7. At the very bottom corner of the panel, fold under the remaining raw edge of the side hem.
  8. Make a short "L" stitching line, in thread to match your fabric, to secure.
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  9. Remove from the machine and lay it out flat again. Now, in order to lay flat, both sides of the front panel will curve around to the back. Again... that's just what we want it to do. You should have an equal amount of the side curtain panel rolling to the back on each side of the curtain (about 4" of the Feeling Groovy on each side in our example).
  10. Match the raw edges of the front panel and the lining along the top edge, making sure the center point of the lining matches the center point of the front panel. To find your center point, you can either measure from each side or fold the entire unit in half and mark.
  11. Once you have the centers lined up, pin the top raw edges together, then sew with a ¼" seam allowance. You DO stitch ALL the way across, including across each folded edge. This will keep the curtain and lining together as one panel during the final steps.

Upper Grommet Panels

  1. Find the two 15" x 13" Upper Grommet Panels. Fold and press each panel in half lengthwise (so they are now 51" x  6½").
  2. Open up the panel to reveal the creased fold line. Fold in and press each 13" edge ½". Then, fold in and press one 51" edge ½".
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  3. Measure 1½" from the long FOLDED edge. Place the top edge of one strip of the header tape at this point along the length of the Upper Grommet Panel.
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  4. Edgestitch the header tape in place along both sides.
  5. Repeat to create the second header panel.
  6. Pin the long RAW edge of one Upper Grommet Panel to one finished curtain panel, placing right sides together and lining up the top raw edges. The folded ends should align with the seamed sides of the curtain panel.
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  7. Sew together with a ½" seam allowance. Press the seam allowance up towards the grommet panel.
  8. Fold the Grommet Panel back along its original creased fold line. If you've done all your measuring correctly (and of course you have!), the ½" folded edge will end up just behind the Grommet Panel/Curtain seam and nicely cover the seam allowance.
  9. Pin this folded edge in place from the FRONT of curtain. Your pins should run just below the seam line, but check the back now and then to match sure you are catching about 1/16"- 1/8" of the folded edge. Pin in place all along the top edge of the curtain. Here's about where your pins should fall on the front.
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  10. To attach, you will be sewing directly along the seam. This is sometimes called a 'stitch-in-the-ditch', and I like to use my Janome Ditch Quilting Foot with its helpful center guide to keep my seams straight. If this is not an option you have access to, the carefully-placed pins you put in help indicate where the stitching line should be.
  11. Keeping track of your stitch line either with a specialty foot or with the line of pins is important since the folded hem edge will be hidden under the presser foot when you are sewing. Choose your favorite, then sew directly next to the seam, removing pins as you go, all the way across the top edge of the Curtain.
  12. Here's what our stitching looked like from the front (left) and back (right).
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  13. Pin closed both ends of the Grommet Panel. Edgestitch the ends in place along both sides.
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  14. Now you need to mark the positions for the eight grommets. For the two end grommets, measure 4" in from each end and 3" down from the top creased fold line, and mark both with a dot. This will center each outside grommet directly over the inset strip.
  15. Space the remaining six grommets 6" apart and 3" down from the top creased fold line, and mark each of these with a dot.
  16. Line up the grommet template over each marked dot, and trace a circle.
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  17. Following the manufacturer's directions, or our own tutorial on these great grommets, cut out all eight circles and snap all eight grommets in place.
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  18. Repeat to complete the second panel.

Curtain ties

  1. Fold each of the Curtain Tieback pieces in half lengthwise, right sides together, so they are 2½" x 18" length.
  2. Using a ½" seam allowance, sew along one end, pivot, sew across the bottom, but leave a 2"- 3" opening to turn. Pick up the seam on the other side of the opening, stitch to the corner, pivot and sew up the opposite end.
  3. Clip both corners and turn tiebacks right side out through the middle opening.
  4. Turn in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
  5. Press each tieback flat along seams.
  6. Edgestitch along all four sides of the tiebacks. This will close the opening.
  7. Then topstitch through the center of each tieback along the length. Finally, stitch one additional vertical line 2" in from both ends. This creates a 'box' at both ends of each tieback.
  8. Place a 1" grommet at both ends of each tieback within the 'box,' following the same instructions as above.
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Project Concept: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Gregory Dickson

Other machines suitable for this project include the Bernina 350PE and the Singer Fashion Mate 7256.



Comments (20)

Shelly M. said:
Shelly M.'s picture

I made these with the Michael Miller Groovy Guitar Fabric and they turned out so cute, thanks for the awesome tutorial!

Cara77 said:
Cara77's picture

Not sure if my math is off but.... if the curtain panel is 86 inches, and the lining is 73 inches and you sew them with the same hem length... how are they supposed to be only 3 inches different in the length??????

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

Cara77 - goodness, this is from last year. Although, the steps would still work, it would just be shorter than traditional. The cut length of the lining panels should be 83" not 75". It is normally figured as 3" less than the cut length of the panel to which it is being sewn. It has been fixed. Man oh man... don't know how that one slipped by for so long. Thank you for the eagle-eye catch!! 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Krystle - Yes - turn the panel right side out and sew the top 1/4 seam with wrong sides together - right sides out. This seam isn't structurally necessary, it simply makes it easier to handle the curtain panel to attach the top panel.
Krystle said:
Krystle's picture
I seen these curtains and absolutely love them, I've bought my fabric and have actually started making these to go in my dining room (I did use a different fabric though)....I'm at the part where I've sewn the lining on both sides and now I need to sew both the curtain panel and the lining across the top with the 1/4" seam....my question is, should I turn the curtain right side before I sew the top together? If not, how do I then sew on the grommet panel? Thanks.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Shana127 - this is a bit hard to show in a drawing or a photo. Keep your panel 7" and sew in place as explained to form the front and then sew as explained to the lining. You need the extra width to allow the front fabric to "bend" around towards the back so your lining doesn't show on the front when hung. You end up with about 2-3" showing to the front and about 3-4" wrapping around to the back.
Shana127 said:
Shana127's picture
I have a question about the FOUR 86" high x 7" wide rectangles for Side Curtain Panels.
Isn't supposed to be 3" wide rather than 7".or r u supposed to fold 7" into half and stich both raw edges to the inset panel.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Kaylee's Mama - I don't see any reason that the steps would be any different with the black out lining fabric. Have fun! Thanks again for the yardage catch. smilies/wink.gif
Kaylee's Mama said:
Kaylee's Mama's picture
Thanks! Now that I have to go buy more fabric, I'm thinking about getting blackout lining. Will I need to do anything differently, or just follow the pattern?
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Kaylee's Mama - Good catch. We've corrected above. You need 4-1/2 yards. So sorry - when we do series, we are working with full bolts of fabric and sometimes we lose track of the specific cuts when we go them in groups. Again, thanks for catching on behalf of others.
Kaylee's Mama said:
Kaylee's Mama's picture
How are you supposed to get TWO 75" by 43" rectangles out of 3 yards of fabric for the lining?
HerndonViolet said:
HerndonViolet's picture
After pricing and searching for drapes for our master bedroom, I came across these for a nursery. They would look awesome in any room. They look pretty easy to make, your instructions are clear. I like the way you have combined the fabric, Liz. Very pleasing. This is next on my to-do list. Thank you for the free tutorial.
Charlotte L. said:
Charlotte L.'s picture
Gosh, I would never think to mix the a traditional gingham with the modern groovy print, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!!
ElaineAnthony said:
ElaineAnthony's picture
This is fantastic. Just what I need for 2nd baby due in dec. This will last for years. I made the mistake of making my daughters room in such baby fabrics that at 4 she wants big girl things and has for awhile. I feel like I just made all her stuff smilies/sad.gif
Janet H said:
Janet H's picture
Love the fabric choice and the directions are excellent. Will definitly save for future use.
HeatherMarker said:
HeatherMarker's picture
Really pretty. Love the softness of the gray with the citron yellow and the awesome design. Anxious to see the rest of the citron and gray nursery!
Julie B. said:
Julie B.'s picture
Awesome!!! I'm starting my sewing projects this week for a baby boy nursery (new son due in December), so this is PERFECT timing!!! Can't wait to see more projects smilies/smiley.gif