Monday, November 9, 2009

New Pleat-less Curtains for the Airstream

I love it when a job turns out to be easier than expected.  It's been awhile since I've made curtains or drapes so I was facing this task with some trepidation.  But I took time to think through the steps and the job was actually fun.  It's all straight sewing so the difficult part is the measuring and cutting.  And of course in the Airstream there are no 2 windows the same size, so I had to be very careful about making sure I was putting the right pieces together.

Here's what the curtains looked like before:

They weren't in terrible shape but had some water stains and just didn't suit me.  I think the pleats are a little formal for a camping trailer but, it is an Airstream.  If you notice, there are pleats along the top and bottom with the curtains being "hung" with plastic clips attached to a small piece of elastic which is tacked to the curtain.
The plastic clip is then threaded into an aluminum rail.  And, there are 2 different types of clips to fit 2 different types of rail.  Sheesh!

Anyway, here are the basic steps:

Needed items:  curtain fabric, lining fabric (I used Roc-Lon Special Suede), buckram, clips

My favorite cutting tools

Measurements-I measured the finished size of the curtain.  For the outer fabric I added 1 inch to the sides for a seam allowance and hem.  I also added 1/2 inch to the top and bottom.  For the lining  I used the finished size measurement plus 1/4 inch seam allowance for the sides and added 3 inches to the top and bottom.  This was due to a special circumstance with my fabric.  Because the fabric is so sheer, the white buckram used at the top and bottom showed through so I made both hems of the lining fabric long enough to cover the buckram.  Otherwise I would have added only 1/2 inch top and bottom.

My measurements-I'm very visual so I like to make a drawing with the measurements.

Pin outer fabric and lining right sides together.

Remember, due to the side hems there will be "excess" fabric.

 Seam the sides, turn right side out and press.

There's that magically appearing hem
Press under top and bottom hems on outer fabric and lining.

Insert buckram between the layers,

Sew  hems and then create the heading by seaming 3 inches below the hem.

And there you have it, a curtain.

Next post I'll put on the clips (hopefully getting the right clips on the right curtains : /) and show some finished photos.


  1. Hi, great blog....wierd question though - do you still have your old curtains and would you consider selling them? I read u were not too fond of them - but we actually like them - and we are curtainless - our email is - thanks

  2. It's interesting that the curtains look so good in the photos-they were in terrible condition and quite dirty. When I determined that I was going to make new curtains my husband tried to wash some of the old. They disintegrated.

    Sorry and good luck in your search.

  3. I need you to go faster and get those pictures of how you installed the clips,;D My have disintegrated as well and I don't like pleats either. I am visual as well and am thrilled you are posting "as you go" pics. Thank you!

  4. Ditto what was said by Lady with a knife...We just bought an airstream and I would really like to get the final info on how you hung the pleat-less curtains mine also disintegrated when washed and camping season is right around the corner! Thanks in advance Deb in Idaho

  5. Looks great but what if the original curtains are gone so unavailable for measurements??? I'm concerned that they will be too loose or too taut.

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  8. Sure wish you'd post follow-up pictures of these curtains in your Airstream. Did it work out ok? I'm a novice sewer and I'm contemplating following your lead on this project.

  9. Also, where did you get that nice fabric?