Tutorial: Tool-Free Grommet Panel Curtains

8:30:00 AM

Good morning all!

I finally got Ewan's curtains finished and hung, and they look really great I think!
I love the fabric; it's a Premier Prints print called "Retro Rides". I wanted to make something boyish but not too young; I wanted the curtains to be something he could grow into.

I thought I'd write them up as a tutorial since I realized it had been a long time since I'd posted one, and what the heck, right??

Here we go! Have fun with it!

One pair (2 curtains) of gorgeously grommetted curtains!



1. Measure for your curtains. 
I've created a worksheet for you below - just plug the numbers in, and do the math, and you'll know how long each piece will need to be for each finished curtain pair. You can see by my math, I required 5.2 yards of fabric; I rounded up to 5.5 yards just to make sure.

2. Cut your fabrics. 
This is not exactly an easy task with just one person, but do your best to align your selvages so that you're making as straight a cut as possible. I enlisted the help of my husband, but if I didn't have him it wouldn't have been the end of the world. Dealing with 5.5 yards of bulky heavy fabric was a little cumbersome,  but doable!

3. Press sides.
Trim away your selvages, then press under 1/2" along each edge, verifying your press with a ruler along the way. Press the sides over again 1/2" so that the raw edge is enclosed, and again, use your ruler to check your 1/2" turn. Pin. 
**Note**: you'll notice in the pictures below I skipped this step; the fabric I chose had the print running right to the edge of the fabric, over the selvages. I decided to save myself some headaches and left the selvages on the fabric, and didn't bother hemming the edges.
turn your sides under 0.5", press. Turn again 0.5" to enclose the raw edge. Press. Pin in place. Sew.

4. Sew sides.
Using the edge of your presser foot as a guide, and setting your needle position all the way to the left, sew a narrow seam along the pressed edge of your seam. 

** TIP:** Check your tension in your underside/bobbin stitches - if you're using a heavier weight fabric, you made need to adjust your tension accordingly.

5. Hem bottom. 
Using the same process as above, turn under bottom raw edge to wrong side by 1.0" and press, using your seam gauge or ruler as a reference.
turn bottom of curtain under 1", using ruler or gauge to verify. Press.
Turn again 1.0" and press, enclosing raw edge. Pin in place. Sew, repeating process above: use the left edge of your presser foot as a guide, and justify your needle to the far left position, sew the hem in place.
Turn under 1" once more, Press. Pin in place. Sew as above.

6. Create top panel. 
On the top of your curtain, turn and press raw edge to back by 0.5", verifying with ruler or gauge. Then, turn and press a 6" panel to the backside, as shown below.
turn 6" panel to back. Press.
 Press and pin in place, along both top and bottom of panel.

7. Sew top panel in place.
First sew along the bottom part of the top panel, using the left edge of the presser foot as a guide against the pressed fold and a left aligned needle for a narrow seam.
sew a narrow seam along the bottom pressed edge of the top panel
Then, sew along the top of the panel using the right side of the presser foot aligned with the top folded edge and a right aligned needle to create a narrow seam.
sew a narrow seam along the top edge of the top panel.
Finally, secure the sides of the panel with a narrow seam.
secure the open sides of top panel with a narrow seam.

8. Install grommets. 
Now it's time to have fun with your grommets!
Note: DON'T LOSE THE TEMPLATE included in the package! tee hee.
For this tutorial I'm using the Dritz Home brand of tool-free grommets and am following their manufacturer's directions. If you choose to use another brand, please refer to the packaging for directions.
On the right side of the curtains, mark 1.5" from the top and side of the top panel on one edge and mark the intersection accordingly with a non-permanent fabric marker (I used Frixon pens):

Using your intersecting lines as a guide, place the template included in the grommet packaging so that the top and side edge of the circle to be drawn aligns with your drawn 1.5" lines. Draw your circle template.

Repeat for other edge, marking 1.5" from side and top, then draw circle.

Divide the remaining center portion of your curtain evenly into 6 spots for the remaining 6 grommet placements (based on a package of 8 grommets) and mark each spot with the top of the circle template 1.5" from the top of the finished top of the curtain.

Scatter pin around each drawn circle through all layers to ensure when you cut your layers don't shift, and then using your favorite cutting tool (I use my 28mm rotary cutter, I like a smaller rotary for circles) cut your circles directly on the lines:

Insert your grommets according to the manufacturers instructions.
You'll notice that the grommets are each made up of two pieces - one with a rim, the other with little spikey bits which snap into the rim:

Basically, with the Dritz Home rings, the rimmed side goes on the right side of the curtain through your cut hole:

and the spikey side sits on the wrong side, on the rimmed grommet, and by applying some pressure with your hand, snaps! in:


Lather, rinse repeat for all of your marked circles. Press your curtains, trim your threads, remove your pen marks and hang those gorgeous thangs!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! And if you end up using it, please leave a comment below with the link to your blog post or brag picture, I'd love to see it!

Cheers and happy sewing!

Please Note: Wherever possible I linked items used in my tutorial to Amazon for your reference. Please note that when you click these links, you are redirected to Amazon and if by chance you make a qualifying purchase I earn a few cents as an Affiliate. By law and FTC regulations any Blogger in the US using affiliate links must disclose this information in their posts. Affiliates and Sponsors help me to bring you free tutorials and fabulous giveaways - yippee!!

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