Wait, this post is not about relationships; it's about curtains! But the point is valid -- I typically do know precisely what I want. The problem is that it usually doesn't exist. This was true for my living room, dining room and kitchen curtains, which had to match but be radically different sizes. What do I do when I can't find what I want? Make it myself, of course!
I chose a beautiful reddish/burgundy fabric with an elegant satin finish. As I wrote in earlier posts, large items can be difficult to sew and satin is really slippery and annoying. The only way to sew rod pockets that were anywhere close to straight would be to pin the heck out of the fabric. Not just a pin here and there, but pinpinpinpinpinpinpinpinpin. Uh... NO. I hate pinning. I came up with
A note on curtain widths: Use fabric that is at least twice the width of your window. For example, if your window is 36" wide, use at least 72" of fabric. Two panels of 45" or 60" fabric, a total of 90" or 120", would work. For a dressier, more elegant look, use more fabric. On my 72" window, I used four panels of 60" fabric for a total of 240", or 3+ times the width of the window.
Got your elegant yet slippery fabric? Let's do this.
Step one: Decide how long your panels need to be. I suggest putting up your curtain rods and measuring down from them. I do not recommend breaking one of the finials, unless you want to practice your supergluing skills. (I rate my skills a 7 out of 10.)
Step two: Hem the sides of your panels.
Step three: Cut a strip of fabric which will form the back side of your rod pocket. The length of the fabric strip should be the width of your curtain panel. The width of the strip may vary depending on the size of your curtain rods. I had 1" curtain rods and I wanted plenty of room for the curtains to slide, so I cut my strip 5" wide.
Step four: Serge or sew the top of the strip to the front of your panel. (I placed mine wrong side of strip to right side of panel so that the slippery "front" of the black satin strip would be on the inside of the rod pocket, making it easier to slide on the rod.) Fold the strip over to the back side of the panel. Topstitch along the top. In the photo, the panel is folded over so you see the back (dull side) and the front (shiny side). The stitches are difficult to see because I used matching thread -- burgundy in the needle and black in the bobbin.
Step five: Sew the bottom seam of your rod pocket. The proper way would be to fold the strip 1/4", fold again and stitch like a hem. The less frustrating way is to serge the strip so it won't fray, then stitch the seam on the sewing machine.
Step six: Hem the bottom of your panels. I suggest hanging them to verify the length first.
Step seven: Hang curtains and admire!