Making unlined cased curtains is an inexpensive way to dress up a window and to custom coordinate your window treatment with other room design details. Cased curtains usually are made of light- to medium-weight fabric and are not intended to be opened frequently. To make unlined curtains, sew the fabric to make each curtain panel, hem the sides and bottoms of the panels, then make casings at the tops. Construction is simple and does not require advanced sewing techniques or special equipment.
Sketch the window on paper. Measure the opening of the window, then label your sketch with the dimensions. Decide how many inches above the window the curtain rod will be positioned and where the bottom of the curtains will fall. Lightly mark these places on the wall to indicate the distance from the rod to the bottom of the curtain. Measure the distance between the marks. This will be the length of the curtain, not including hems. Decide on the width of the curtain (the distance between the ends of the curtain rod). Draw the curtain on your window sketch and include dimensions.
Calculate how much fabric you will need, based on each window having two curtain panels. To calculate fabric length, add 7 inches to the overall length of the curtain. To calculate the width of each panel, first divide the width of the window by two. Each curtain panel will be two to three times that width, plus seam allowances. For standard cased curtains, multiply by two. For extra full curtains, multiply by three. Allow two inches for the side hems of the curtain panels and one inch for each seam used to join fabric panels to widen the curtain. Write fabric dimensions on your sketch.
Sew fabric panels together with a straight stitch to make one curtain panel. Pink the seam allowances to prevent fraying. Press the seams open.
Fold over 1/2 inch of the fabric on the side of the curtain panel, wrong sides together. Press the fold. Fold again (1/2 inch), hiding the raw edge of the fabric and again, press the fold. With the fabric wrong-side up, sew the side hems close to the inside folded edge. Press flat. In this manner, complete the side hems on both curtain panels.
Fold over 1/2 inch of the fabric on the bottom of the curtain panel, wrong sides together. Press the fold. Fold again (2 1/2 inches), hiding the raw edge of the fabric and again, press the fold. Sew along the inner folded edge to form the bottom hem of the curtain panel. Though not necessary, you may hand stitch or use a machine hem stitch for a more professional-looking finish. Press the hem flat. In this manner, complete the lower hem on the other curtain panel.
Fold over 1/2 inch of the fabric on the top of the curtain panel, wrong sides together. Press the fold. Fold again (3 1/2 inches), hiding the raw edge of the fabric and again, press the fold. Sew along the inner folded edge to form the bottom of the curtain casing. Press flat. Using a chalk pencil and a ruler, draw a line on the upper portion of the curtain, parallel to and 1 inch above the seam.
Sew along the reference chalk line to complete the curtain casing. In this manner, complete the casing on the other curtain panel.
Wash and dry the fabric prior to making the curtains. When buying fabric for curtains, save time by asking the fabric cutter to cut the fabric into measured panels. It takes just a minute or two to make the additional cuts, but it will save you a lot of time when making your curtains. To help the curtains hang straight, you can place curtain weights or nickels in the bottom hem.
Make sure the bobbin thread matches the fabric.