Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blackout Panel Tutorial

I can't really make a trumpet sound with text (how would you do that? Bur bur bur?) Anyway, here is the much anticipated and long awaited blackout panel tutorial! I finally got Iphoto fixed on my computer so I could fix my pictures and such. I'm hoping I took enough to make the tutorial easy to follow. I made them weeks ago, so I can't remember now how many I took. 

Let's get started!

First, you need to measure your window and decide what size curtain you want. My window is 35"x60".  I wanted my curtain to measure 42"x72". 

**During the tutorial, 'material' refers to the fabric you're making the curtain out of, 'blackout' refers to the blackout material. I will not be speaking of both at the same time.**

For the material, we're going to add 4" to the width and 6" to the length.  
So my material needed to measure 46"x78".

Lay out your material on the floor and measure your length. I put a mark on the left and right sides so I could later match the marks when I folded it in half to cut.

Here you see I folded the fabric in half and matched the marks I made to each other to ensure I was cutting at the same height all the way across. 

Here is a picture from above. You can see the cutting mat below, the material folded in half, and my cutting ruler is clear but you can see the glare....I promise it's there.

And cut! 

Next, cut your material to the correct width. I skipped taking pictures here because it is the same: measure & cut.

Next, we're going to cut the blackout. This is going to measure 2" wider and 4" longer than you want your curtain. I wanted my curtain to measure 42"x72", so my blackout measured 44"x76".  

I hope you don't mind if I skip the measure and cut parts again. It's really repetitive. Here is my blackout after I finished measuring & cutting.

Put your blackout aside and get your material again. Lay it out flat on the floor. You're going to go around the entire piece of fabric, except for one of the short sides. That 'unfolded' side will be the top of your curtain.  Fold the other 3 sides in 1" and pin it.  

 Here is after I pinned. It's neatly folded and pinned all the way around, except for the top. 

Now lay your blackout on top of the material. It should line up right inside the seams you folded in. Place it all the way to the bottom right up to the fold. Do not overlap it. You will have more material at the top than blackout.  It's hard to see in this picture, but there is no overlapping anywhere around the edges. The blackout simply meets up with the material.
(Also, for whatever reason, blogger won't let me upload the lightened and rotated version of this picture. GRRR!)

Now you're going to go all the way around the 3 folded edges again (yes, again!) and fold it in another inch and pin. You will be overlapping the blackout this time. It is tedious work to remove each pin, fold, and repin. It's worth it in the end though. It will make your curtain look neat and straight.

Here is mine after overlapping and pinning. Don't mind that pen mark at the bottom of my curtain. Ava decided it was a blank canvas for her art work. Luckily it was disappearing ink. 

Now we're going to take it to the sewing machine!
Start at one of your corners. I sew the bottom first. Line up the side of your presser foot with the edge of your material.
Be sure to backstitch so as to make sure it doesn't come undone. 

Follow along with the presser foot at the edge of the material.

This is what it will look like on the front when you're done stitching: 

Here is what the back will look like:

Stitch the two remaining folded sides following the same directions. 

When you're finished with that, you should have 3 finished sides and one 'raw' side (the top). 
Either serge or zigzag stitch across the top edge to keep it from fraying later on. 

Here is what the top of your curtain should look like:

Fold down the top 1", pin & sew--just like you did the other sides before.

See the 1" seam?

Fold down the top and overlap 3" down.  Pin & sew, just as before.

Are you still with me? Great! You're done! 

Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of just the curtain hanging up, but I have some action shots of the 'Big Reveal of the Big Sister Suite'.  You can see this blackout curtain hanging in the background, plus other curtains I made for Big A's closet. Those are not blackout, but I used the same concept.

See the blackout curtain?

Curtains for the closet:

I hope everything was clear enough to understand! If you have questions or need clarification on any of the steps, leave a comment and I'll help you out!


The Madsens said...

My trumpet would sound like, "Doot, dooo, dooooot!" Ha! Ha! I love these. Please keep me posted on when the blackouts go on sale again. I would love to make these for my kitchen windows.

Amanda said...

KellyAnn! Make sure you sign up for emails and mailouts from Joann! They send you coupons that will help you get it for cheaper as well!

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