Tips on Sewing Sheer Curtains
Sheer curtain panels may work on practically any window and may quickly change the texture of an whole room. But commercial sheers can get pricey, and your choices are limited to the layouts produced by manufacturers. Sewing your own can save yourself money, allow you to change the sheers more often and, most important, allow you to create any style you want. The difficult part, however, is learning how to utilize sheer fabric — such as organza, silk chiffon or even rayon — the majority of which can be slick, unruly and easily damaged.
Fortunately, sheer curtains don’t require a whole lot of complex cuts and design bits. It may still be tricky to have a nice clean cut with slippery sheer fabrics, however. For material such as organza, chiffon, georgette or any other unwieldy sheer cloth, set the cloth in between two pieces of tissue paper, weight the entire thing down instead of pinning it and create your cuts using a sharp pair of scissors or a rolling sword. You can also tack the fabric to your cardboard cutting layer with fine pins and cut it with a roller. Either method retains the fabric from slipping around while you cut on the ends of your curtains.
Pins can easily hurt sheer fabric. Use fine silk pins and set them nearer together than you’d with other fabrics. Make sure the pins are sharp, and carry them out carefully so that they don’t snag the fabric.
Three things can save yourself a whole lot of headaches when sewing sheer curtains, especially for chiffon, organza and georgette: Use a smaller needle, smaller stitches and fine thread. The needle ought to be sharp and new. A 70/10 needle is a great size to begin with, but if you’re able to still listen to the needle pushing through the cloth, switch into an even smaller one. Select a fine cotton or lingerie thread and then place your machine for approximately 15 stitches per inch. Some other things to do to reduce puckering and sliding will be to hold the cloth taut both in front of and behind the needle, and utilize a single-hole throat plate along with a straight-stitch foot.
For fabrics which are especially unruly and delicate, such as chiffon, it may help to use a stabilizer which could be ripped or washed away when the curtains are completed. A piece of tissue paper placed at the start of a seam is especially valuable for preventing snagging and puckering. Organza interfacing can also help keep hems right and give them a little extra weight.