DIY Window Treatments, Step by Step

I made the window treatments in our Breakfast Room with just simple sewing techniques. The styles of window treatments I’m about to show you, are some of the easiest to DIY… it is just basically stitching a few rectangles. DIY window treatments in Breakfast Room

(I have the links to all the fabrics and materials needed for this project listed towards the bottom of this post)

Here are some tips of my techniques and details about my style selection for these window treatments:

First, for the design, I wanted something very simple that would coordinate nicely with the Early American style we have accented in the decor of the Breakfast Room. Secondly, I wanted something that if necessary, would be able to be easily closed, offering full privacy. And my last consideration regarding the style design, was because the bay window faces the street and the west window faces directly into the neighbor’s, cafe type curtains on the lower half of the windows would offer a nice daytime privacy, without feeling like the curtains were closed or blocking the natural light too much.

Part 1: Cafe Curtains

So to keep it light and airy, simple unbleached muslin was used for the cafe curtains, with a simple trim detail I made from Waverly’s black ticking stripe. back of cafe curtain trim detail

This picture of the back of the cafe curtain shows how after I pressed the double folded hem of the cafe, I simply straight-stitched the hem in place.

Then with the strip of ticking stripe that was double folded and zig-zagged in a black thread already, I attached it to the muslin panel bottom by zig-zagging it with white thread onto the panel. The ticking strip on the bottom of the finished cafe curtain is purposely extended about 1/2″ beyond the finished hem of the muslin. cafe curtain trim detail

There is a double zig-zag stitch on the front but it really isn’t noticable. Typically, I wouldn’t attach a bottom trim in this fashion, however, I had the strips of ticking already made, (leftover from a prior project) and I liked the way it has a little extra depth with the zig-zag in the center of it… It’s a very simple straight non-ruffle sort of ruffle. rod pocket on cafe

Just a very simple rod pocket on the top, that the tension rod slips through, is all that’s necessary to hold the cafe curtains in place. how to sew a simple rod pocket diagram

Part 2: Side Panels

So the cafe curtains on the North and West windows offered the daytime privacy we desired. Then, for the occasion that we want to close the windows treatments for full privacy, and for added color and softness, I made simple panels that are hung with clips on wood rings and mounted on wooden rodding. When we close these side panels, the wood rings slide effortlessly across the wooden rods. panel with cafe

I hemmed these side panels to make the total length of them end just below the window sill, keeping the treatment casual and clean looking. I used white wooden drapery holdbacks that I mounted right on the face of the trim. I really debated about the color of hardware, (rods, rings and holdbacks) to use, but finally decided on white, instead of black, because I had worked so hard to get this room lightened up, I wanted to keep the black to a minimum, and the rodding wasn’t anything super special to look at, so it was fine with me that it just blended with the white window trim. texture of drapery fabric

The Waverly fabric I chose for the side panels has wonderful texture, reminds me of the texture of barkcloth.

Part 3: Patio Door Drapery Panels

If you recall, we now have a patio door on the south end of the Breakfast Room. patio door window treatment on south wall of breakfast room

So for that window treatment, I wanted to incorporate the same Waverly print and black ticking, but for obvious reasons, I did not think cafe curtains would be a good choice. Instead I made long panels that incorporated both the ticking stripe and Waverly floral, using the ticking for the top 1/3 and the floral for the bottom 2/3 of each panel.

For the drapery holdbacks here at the patio door, I carefully placed them mounted on the trim at the exact point, 1/3 of the way down on the drapery panel, where the stitch line is between the two fabrics.

Here I have the panel folded back for you to see the white lining on the back. With the full south sun coming in, these panels absolutely needed to be lined. patio door drapery panel lining detail

But I did it a little differently. I had plenty of the black ticking material, so here’s a sketch of how I constructed the patio door drapery panels: how to line a simple drapery panel

As you can see in this simple sketch, I sandwiched the front floral and back white lining fabrics in between the top ticking stripe.

To keep all the raw edges hidden and to keep the panels looking neat from the front and back, the step by step way I actually accomplished this is: stitching the drapery pieces together

After I measured out the pieces and cut them, I started with one seam at a time and sewed the bottom floral to the ticking, then the lining to the ticking on the other side, creating a long single strip for each panel.

Next step was, with right sides together, I folded the long strip in half croswise, perfectly lining up the front and back seams where the ticking was sewn to the fabric and to the lining. Then I stitched the two long sides together, creating a large pillowcase, with one end open, in this case the bottom of the panel.

For the last step, I turned the whole thing right side out, pressed it, and hemmed the bottom edge, folding it twice so that the raw edge would be tucked in and hidden inside the hem, like this: simple double folded hem on bottom of drapery panel

Now this is not the normal way to hem a long drapery panel, and if you’re not super careful to make sure the front fabric and back lining are totally smooth and even with each other, you can end up with puckering. Worse case scenario, after you hang it up on the rod, you would need to pull out a few stitches of the hem and straighten front and back panels, pin and re-stitch the bottom… so it’s not that big of deal. The reason I like to do it this way, is it keeps it all together and clean looking, especially for a frequently used door, and I find it controls the lining, keeping it tucked in and hidden behind the drapery panel a bit better.

Also, normally I would make the finished length of full length panels to slightly puddle on the floor, which is a more formal finished length, patio door drapery panel

but this room  is casual and this door is used a lot, as well as our dog loves to sleep in the sun right by these drapery panels. I just didn’t want the mess of dog hair and dust up on the panels, and so, following the casual style of the room, I hemmed the patio door drapery panels a couple inches short.

Hope this tutorial helps inspire you to do some sewing! If you have any questions that I forgot to cover here, please feel free to email me or comment below. I do read every single comment, and really appreciate you taking the time to communicate with me!

Also, if you like this fabric, or something you’ve see on this post, you can shop right here for these window treatments, because I put together links for all the fabrics, materials and rodding necessary for you to make these window treatments:

Main Fabric: Waverly ‘Siren Song’ graphite

Ticking Stripe: Waverly ‘Timeless Ticking’ black

Muslin, unbleached

Drapery Lining at

Tension Rods for cafe curtains at Wayfair

White Wood Pole Set: rod, finials and mounting brackets.

White wood clip rings.

White wood holdbacks.


Want to read a little more?

Click here to see the Breakfast Room before and after.

Click here to read more sewing tutorials I’ve written about.

234x60 Hancock Fabrics Logo Red


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  1. Karen says

    What a good job you did. Your curtains look great! I am still in need of window treatments on my windows but I do not have a sewing machine. Who knows when I’ll finally get some up?

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