Simple sewing project for french door curtain panels

Easy French Door Curtains to Make

Today’s tutorial is easy French Door Curtains to make yourself!

This seemingly ordinary project (Did you really just yawn?) may be the perfect beginner sewing DIY for you to cut your teeth on.

It’s easy and relatively fast to make. It involves two skills, ironing, and straight stitching.

I know that you can do this! Depending on the fabric you choose, you can have some fun and get creative too. 

DIY Curtains

French door curtains can give your home decor a touch of color, hide a messy area in your home or provide privacy behind closed doors with blackout shade qualities.

The hardest part about this project is actually picking your fabric!

Choose a simple and subtle fabric style, as I did above, or amp it up with a bold pattern or color.

Materials Needed

Here are all the supplies you need to create this project.

Cutting Board
Sewing Machine
Window Hardware Set
Cordless Drill and Drill Bit
sized to fit your hardware
Phillips-head Screwdriver
A Measuring Tape

Design Considerations

There are a number of options to choose from, depending on the french door(s) you have.

Flat Curtain Panels

Just as the name implies, this is a flat piece of fabric, suspended between two curtain rods. It is smooth and without pleats or gathers. Large patterns, vertical stripes or graphics that you want to be clearly visible, such as words work best with this type of curtain..

Gathered Curtain Panels

This is a piece of fabric with fullness hung between two rods and gathered at the header and footer. Solid colored fabrics and smaller patterns work well with this style of curtain.

Single Layer Curtain Panels

This type of panel has just one layer of fabric. You’ll need to decide if you prefer sheer or opaque fabric. If you want to sew a single layer panel (which is definitely the easiest), look for a fabric that is attractive on the reverse side as well as the front if it will be visible on both sides of the door. Choose your fabric accordingly.

Lined Curtain Panels

You may also consider lining your curtain panels if you can see the fabric on both sides of the door. If your fabric only looks good on one side, or if you need blackout qualities this may be a great choice. Do you want two different fabric designs to complement the facing rooms or is it a closet and it doesn’t matter?

If you want the curtain panel lined, be sure to choose two fabrics that are fairly lightweight. The combination of two medium weight fabrics can get bulky, pucker and may not gather well.

I know…so many decisions! Next, let’s measure the french doors and find out how much fabric you need to buy.

NOTE For more information on lining curtain panels, scroll down below the sewing directions for help.

Determine the Amount of Fabric You Need

To find out how much fabric you need to purchase, choose the style of curtain panels you would like to make. Measuring directions are below.

Flat Curtain Panel

First, measure the width and height of the window.

If you are making a flat panel curtain you need to allow additional fabric for the seam allowance and the rod pocket for the hardware.

Add 3 inches total to the width for the fabric (1.5 inches on both sides) and 3 inches total to the height (1.5 inches on top and bottom).

If you are super cautious, add more. I can relate. See drawing for additional help.

Gathered Curtain Panel

For a fuller and softer gathered style curtain panel, first, measure the width and height of your window.

Like the flat panel above, you need to include additional fabric for seam allowances and the rod pockets on the top and bottom of your panel. Add 3 inches total to the height (1.5 inches each for the top and bottom).

The gathers will require more fabric in the width of the panel, but will give you beautiful fullness.

I would recommend you double the width of your window measurement, but this is your personal decision of how full you want it to be.

See drawing above for more measurement assistance.

Preparing to Sew

After you have purchased your fabric, be sure to wash and dry (or hang dry) your fabric to allow for any shrinkage.

Next, press your fabric, this makes it so much crisper and easier to sew. You are ready to begin!

French Door Curtain Directions

1 On both the left and right sides of the fabric, on the wrong side of the fabric, fold fabric twice towards the center, tucking raw edges under. Press with iron.

When finished with both sides, double check the panel is wide enough to still cover your window. If necessary adjust the folds and press again. (If you are doing gathers, no need to check you will have plenty of width in your fabric)

Topstitch both the left and right vertical sides of the curtain panel.

NOTE If you want to line your curtain panels, scroll down below these directions for help.

2 You are now ready to create your rod pockets.

On both the top and bottom of your panel, turn raw edges over towards the back of the panel, first with one short fold into the center. Press.

Then, fold one more time, this time a little deeper fold that is big enough to form a pocket for your curtain rods to slide into. Press again.

Stitch the top and bottom rod pockets right along the edge of the pocket, as pictured above.

Press again if necessary, you are ready to hang your door curtain up.

3 Gather all of your tools, including the window hardware, screws, handheld drill, level, and your curtain.

Grab a spouse or friend to help you while your at it!😃 This makes things infinitely easier.

4 Slide the drapery rods into the pockets to be sure all looks okay.

5 Gather the drapes on the rod to check fit. Then remove the curtain if desired, to install the hardware.

6 Follow the directions on the hardware package to install the curtain hardware on your door.

It’s usually best to drill the hole first, so you do not split the wood. Then, screw in the brackets for the top and bottom drapery rods.

Hang the panel, sliding the rods into the brackets. Congratulations you did it!

How to Line a Curtain

Above is an example of a lined curtain panel. To line your own panels, see the directions below.

To sew a lined version, all the steps would be the same as a single fabric panel (above), except instead of pressing in the side seams, with right sides together, you will sew the two fabrics together on both sides.

After sewing the left and right sides, turn right sides of fabric out and press flat. The top and bottom raw edges are open at this point.

Next, fold the top and bottom raw edges in to the “tube”. Flatten and press. This creates a straight top and bottom on your panel.

Check that the panel width and length still fits your door.

Now, create your rod pockets for the top and bottom of your panel. Stitch a horizontal line on the top or bottom edge of the pocket, as pictured above. Press.

Test to be certain that the rod fits in and goes across both ends on the top and the bottom of your panel.

To finish, topstitch both vertical sides, stopping at the rod pocket openings on both ends. (The rod pocket ends do not get sewed or finished).

I hope you enjoy making this project. Please upload and share a picture of your finished curtain(s). I would love to see what you guys are making!


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