Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

March 21, 2011

DIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows

I LOVE hand sewn goods.  I just hate to be the person whose hands are sewing them.  You know I thoroughly enjoy DIY projects: painting a car, making a desk, tearing up carpet . . . anything but sewing.  Happily, my mom offered to do some sewing for me while she was here, so I made an addition to the guest room:


Temporary "After"

Too obvious?  Does this scream, "please drop your bags and start sewing"?  Before you think I'm a huge jerk, you should know I did take her to some vintage shops and buy her crème brûlée. 


But she was a busy little bee.  While she was here she sewed the super cheery throw pillows for the newly decorated bedroom and fixed the West Elm bedding.  She also whipped up some guest bedroom curtains, in addition to some other fun projects I plan to share.  Because our plan for the curtains was so successful, I wanted to share . . .

Remember the guest bedroom windows?  They are a bit awkward (and were bare):

The awkward placement precluded the kind of wall to wall curtains I have in the master bedroom:


And just doing blinds would have looked a little bare.  So we hatched a plan for some fitted sheers to still let light in, but also provide some privacy. 

How to:
Basically, these curtains consist of two pockets for flat, tension [Hubby says its technically a "compression"] curtain rods.  The rods fit just inside the window frame and hold the curtain at the top and bottom, for a ruched look.  (As a bonus, we used leftover from the master bedroom curtains, so the cost was low: four tension fit rods & that's it!)

Just sewing a pocket for a top rod created a more "country kitchen" look than I was after:

Too floofy

To me, when the curtain is cinched at the bottom also, it looks more polished:

Once my mom sewed the rod pockets, top and bottom, and also hemmed the sides, we fit the curtains into place.  The width of the curtain is up to you and dependent on how much ruching you want.  You could make these completely tight, with no ruching.  Play around with the fabric, but doubling the width of the window is a good start.

We did some fiddling and fussing to make sure the fabric was ruched evenly:

Much better!  Didn't my mom do a splendid job?  (Notice the dressed up night stand hard at work?)    

NO staging took place for this pic . . .

Now, we still have this awkward window to attend to. . .

P.S. pleasantly surprised our guest bedroom can fit a queen bed, armoire, night stand, chair, occasional table and a 51" dining table.


  1. Oh, I'm having such trouble finding the right window treatments! I ended up using some "temporary" paper roman blinds made by moi but I'm so looking forward to bringing in some furniture to get an idea about what would really work! Changed two types of curtains / blinds so far, without counting the temps!

    I think I will temporarily use your "ruched blinds" for our girl's room, she has these rectangular, upper side placed windows, just like yours! Your mom did a great job, indeed! Now if we could arrange that she could visit us too, puuuuuhlease! :*

  2. sigh...moms are so great :) Love the curtain idea! I have some awkward baby windows too, but no scheduled mom visits. Is yours free? ;)

  3. Great work on the curtains. Love that mid century style chair too!

  4. Thanks Amy! I posted a "want" ad on an online classifieds page and got a call from a gal who had thought about selling the chair - it was exactly what I had described. Check this post for more info on how I picked that fabric (I had it reupholstered):

  5. P.S. For those who have voiced an interest in renting my mom, she does come with the added cost of desserts and lattes. In lieu of this fee, you could try a no sew tape to make this window treatment even easier.


  6. Love the windows! I've always thought top and bottom rod pockets look so good.

  7. Definitely the right choice to do rods top and bottom!
    No wonder we all want to borrow your Mom ;)

  8. The curtains look great! Like how they kind of echo the West Elm bedding, which I have on my bed and LOVE {except careful when you pull on it, the tucks can tear - sniff}
    Sewing? Love it, glad your mom is such a willing helper!

  9. I have one of those windows too in my daughter's room. I made curtains but didn't know what to cover the window with ...brilliant. I'm wondering if you are able to slide the sheer curtain over to "open" it and allow direct sunlight in? I can't wait to make this for my daughter's bedroom. Thanks for your post and for your mom for doing the sewing.

  10. Hello Anonymous blog friend. If you didn't bunch the curtain so much, it could definitely slide open. Mine won't because of the excess material we use - we wanted it to really offer some privacy.

  11. I love this! I have the same windows in my bedroom and living room. What material did you use to make them? Also, do you think I could use stitch wizard to make the rod pockets? I don't have a sewing machine....

    1. It was a really soft, synthetic sheer drapery fabric with lots of texture - it was one of those "mystery blends," if I remember correctly. Something soft is easier to work with. It definitely offered privacy, but still let lots of light in. I'm not familiar with a stitch wizard - if it can sew a hem or a straight line, it should work!

    2. Love this idea. Where is the fabric from?

    3. Oooo, I want to say Fabricland? It's so old now...

  12. Love the look. I am going to use this idea for sure. Actually my mom suggested the same idea. Must be a mom thing.


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