Friday, April 3, 2015

How to sew Tab Top Curtains under $10

When there is really a need and your budget is not up to the level , thrift store and some creativity comes to rescue. Today I am sharing How to sew tab top curtains for 70" X 40" window under $10. I was looking for patterned fabrics online to sew curtains for our living room and bedroom windows.I added the fabrics to the cart and the total was like around $80 to $100.And the retail ones were not up to our taste and budget too. We(Me and My husband) were like we don't want to spend that much for curtains as we are in rented house ,meaning we may move anytime and there is no guarantee that we can use the same curtain in the house we may move in future. And my husband suggested rather you can buy craft supplies for that ;) . I was like Ahhh !!! That sounds a good deal :P. So, we decided to thrift for fabric to make our own curtains. You may be lucky enough to get appropriate sized curtain for your window but we are not .We only got a over sized curtain.But I made it to fit the window size. Here is how I did.  

Materials required :

Fabric for curtain - In my case 1 oversized curtain (Approx 70" x 58") ($5.99)
10 buttons for tabs - $2.00
Sewing machine
Matching thread 
Seam ripper
Velcro (Optional)

Step 1: Wash and dry the fabrics .Plan on how you are going to utilize the available fabric to sew the curtain of your desired size. The curtain I got was approx 70" X 58" as mentioned and so I decided to use the bottom part of the curtain to make 2 separate curtains and top part for making tabs.

Why tab top ? Because the rod was fixed to the window frame in such way it is difficult to use rod pocket kind of curtains .So, I ended up making tab top so it is easy to put on and it take it out for laundry and other stuffs.

Why 2 curtains? We have Air conditioner in one part of the window ,so I thought of making the curtains easy to fold it into half and secure it with velcro during summer time and leave it full during the winter.

Step 2: Once you are done planning , cut the fabric. I cut the bottom part into half to make it two curtains and made a template for the tab using a paper. I just folded the paper across the rod to find out the approximate length for the tab. My template ended up with 9" length and 1.5" width. Pin the template to the fabric and cut two pieces for each tab. I decided to make 5 tabs for each curtain. This may vary according to your window size.

Step 3: Sew the tabs with 1/8" of seam allowance with right sides facing each other on all the sides  leaving the top opening. Turn it inside out. I just used my fingers to stuff ,push and turn .You can use any stick like thing for help or just use fingers . Iron the tabs.

Step 4: Stitch the button holes for all the tabs. Change the feet to button hole feet in your machine , insert your button into the button hole feet to set the length of the button hole. Mark the place of the button hole in your tab and feed it into your machine. Rest is the machine's job.Once done, use a seam ripper to carefully make the hole for button.For clear instructions of how to sew a button hole refer to your machine's manual. Because it varies from machine to machine.If your machine doesn't have that feature, you can hand sew the button hole, click here to learn how. 

Step 5: Fold the sides of the curtains, iron and pin it.Sew it to secure. Do this for both the curtains.

Step 6: Cut two pieces of fabric one for each curtain for attaching the tabs with 1.5" length and width similar to that of the curtains .Lay the curtain right side facing up and then position the tabs with equal intervals and then place the lining piece we just cut with wrong side facing up. Pin it all together and make a stitch.Don't forget to change your feet back to the normal one.

Step 7: Iron along the seam and turn the lining piece to wrong side of the curtain. Fold the edges and make a stitch to secure.

Step 8: If your machine supports button stitching , change your feet to button feet. Position the button in place , lower your feed dog and select your button stitch (I use brother SB700T).In my machine it is 40 .The manual says to measure the distance between your holes in button and set the width accordingly but for me it did not work. When I asked the lady with whom I purchased the machine.She said to not change the width and just check whether needle goes through the holes correctly with default width and yes, it did. So before changing the width just make sure it works correctly. Again if your machine does not have this feature, you can sew the button by hand, click here to learn how.

You know what ?? You are done !!! Once the buttons are sewn, you can now hang your curtains and be amazed at your work. If you have a Window Air conditioner like us , you have one more step to do.

Step 9: Sew velcro in between the buttons and the corresponding closure above the hem of the curtain.So, that When you A/c is On, you can just fold the curtain in half .Also sew the velcro in the lining before you fold and sew it along with the curtain.

Don't mind the insulation, we are still in winter ;)

Some extra points:
1) You can change the shape of the tab at the edge according to your desire.
2) You can make a top stitch all around the tab if you wish so but I felt it is good without.
3) Remember not to skip the ironing part where ever mentioned, it makes the task easier and neater.
4) The curtains were a bit small to the window size but it solved the purpose and so I did not bother much ;)
5) When I fold the curtains into half and velcro it, it seems like it is sagging a little but again unless I say, it is not noticeable and also it does not comes off.So, note that as it is lighter it holds but this idea greatly depends on the weight of the fabric.

So, what do you think ?Have I done a good job for under $10 ?? If you are on a budget , definitely check thrift store for fabrics. Search for flat sheets, bed covers for larger size of fabrics to make it into curtains.Measure your window size before you go to thrift and also remember to get an extra curtain or flat sheet or what ever if two or more is available in the same design you want. Trust me ,it will be useful to make some design changes later on. Share this your friends and comment below on your thoughts. As always I will be happy to hear from you,


  1. I love tab tops - they let in more light and they give a classic simple look. I didn't realize how simple they were to make. Thanks for this tutorial!

  2. Clever idea to use an oversized curtain, Sahana. Great job for under $10.

  3. I actually made a photo backdrop in a similar way - but yours looks a lot nicer than mine did LOL

  4. Very cute! Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty - the door opens tonight @ midnight EST! We hope to see you then. :)

    Life With Lorelai

  5. So cute. Pinned and tweeted. We appreciate you being a part of our party. Please stop by on Monday at 7 pm. Happy Saturday! Lou Lou Girls

  6. Thanks for this step by step tutorial! Very helpful! Thanks for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board.

  7. Those are adorable!! I love being able to make my own to match the room that they are going in!! :) #HomeMattersParty

  8. Curtains can be so expensive & I just love this thrifty version! Great idea! #HomeMattersParty

  9. I also did not realize how simple they are to make! Last week I learned about the no sew method from Michelle and now this week the sew method! Lol I love the internet!

  10. This look really good and the fabric you chose if very pretty. I can't sew but I certainly appreciate those who can. #HomeMattersParty

  11. You made some really pretty curtains. I love the fabric you chose. #HomeMattersParty

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