Need help sizing curtains

tam184May 14, 2014

I'm planning on buying pre-made curtain panels for my living room and dining room (I think). We have standard 8-foot ceilings with crown molding. The top of the window frame is about 82-83 inches from the floor. I like the look of curtains that just skim the floor and are hung high and wide. But the problem is that most pre-made curtains come in 84" or 96" and are either too short or too long.

At first, I thought I would get the 84" panels and hang them with rings/clips so that the rod is about 4" +/- above the window frame. But I'm wondering if I should get the 96" panels and hem the bottom.

I originally was planning on making my own curtains, but it's just time consuming with kids, work, and getting a new house in order (especially now with all the yard work). And I still haven't found a fabric I like that is reasonably priced. I may end up still making the curtains in the dining room since they aren't standard windows (about 80" wide) and I find that the 54" width for pre-made curtains is not full enough and I'm not sure what you do if you buy 2 panels for each side of the window (do you leave them separate or sew them together?).

Also, these panels would be mostly decorative. I was thinking about using sheers or lace behind them and using these to filter the sunlight coming in. Is it dated to have sheers/lace behind panels?

Any advice would be appreciated!

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I've been trying to figure this one out, as well! Replacing curtains in the dining area and game room. The ceiling in the dining area is only 93", so I"m going with 95" panels and will have to hem them. Both rooms have windows that are 70" and 95" and I want them to split in the center and stack on the outside. That means four panels on the 70" window and six on the 95".

That's a lot of panels, but I don't really see another way to do it without going custom-made. I will not be sewing panels together, and don't think it's necessary unless you are going for a true blackout.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 5:06PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Do you need light control? Privacy?

I would get the longer panels, hang them below the crown and shorten them if necessary..

You can do dummy panels on the sides so you would only need one panel on each side. A more modern look would be wooden shades or roman shades vs. the sheers.

I'm linking another thread below that gives lots of pics and ideas for window may find it helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: window treatment ideas

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 5:48PM
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I would also do the longer panels and hem. I had to do that in my daughter's room. My feeling is if you are going to invest in them at all, might as well get the height you want, even if it will cost you a bit more.

Regarding width, I would sew them together, so that you have less fussing when you want to close them. Of course, you can go with the dummy panels as Annie suggested. I would also do the wooden or roman vs. sheers.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 6:05PM
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I'm generally a no window treatments person, but I do have them on my two sliders. With 9 ft. ceilings I like to hang them fairly high. Recently I bought a pair of Ikea Ritva cotton panels 98" long for the ridiculous price of $25 for the pair. I adore them. I washed them before even starting to get any shrinkage out of the way. Although I hung them at 92", they were still too long, so I just folded them over and ran up a hem. That's about the extent of my sewing abilities. Ritva curtains have cool tabs on the back for your rod. I'm done forever with pockets. Or you can use rings with clips, also an easy solution. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a couple of sets and pair them up on both sides for a longer window or if you want a more fabric-y look.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 6:12PM
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What color did you get, Linelle? And do you have a picture. None of the colors online looked right to me, but I wasn't sure if they have more available in the store.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 6:49PM
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Errant, I got white. It's a creamy white, but unless you want a total polar white, they read white.

This shows how the little tabs in back make soft pleats:

Up close:

There is a square pattern running through it that really only shows if you look at them very closely. The light was bright outside and you can see that it lets light through but pretty much provides privacy.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 7:40PM
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I have looked through all those great pictures of WT, Annie! I keep going back to scroll through them. Thanks!

We don't need the privacy, but it would be great to have something for light control since we have hardwood floors and a lot of wood furniture that would benefit from some sort of treatment to protect them from the light.

The panels I have for the both rooms are 84", which are too short, so I may have to exchange them for the 96" ones. The problem is that they are silk/faux silk with interlining and lining. So they're fairly thick and will require a good amount of rework if I need to hem them or sew panels together. But I guess I need to do something even if I get them from the store.

My furniture and style is more traditional - a lot of Hepplewhite, Federal, and Sheraton style furniture. So I'm not really looking for a modern look.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 8:03PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

What are the tops like? Sometimes it's easier to shorten them from the top if it isn't too fussy.

Or you can shorten them intentionally above the hem and add a ribbon or braid to hide the seam...if it works with your room.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 8:21PM
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Ah, good idea, Annie! The tops are optional rod pocket or back tabs and should be easier to hem than the bottom hems, especially since I plan to use rings to hang them. Thanks!

Would the dummy panels look funny if they are each 54" wide but the window is 80" wide? Would they look too skimpy even though I don't plan on closing them?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 10:21PM
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linelle, where did you purchase your curtains?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 10:41PM
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linelle's curtains are from Ikea - Ritva curtains.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 11:10PM
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jujubean71, Ikea, Ritva curtains, ridiculously inexpensive and just as nice as Pottery Barn panels for 1/3 the price.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 12:02AM
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Get the longest length you can and hem to the needed length. In my experience most ready made curtains are not the same length. What I mean is if there are two panels per pack you will most likely find one panel is longer than the other, sometimes by inches!

Another vote for Ikea. I have the Lenda panels and they are so nice and only $20 per pair. I think they are 98" length and each panel is about 58" wide. Very easy to hem an inch or two. I actually used the iron on hemming tape. Very easy! And the quality is very nice.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 5:23AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

No, it doesn't look funny to have dummy panels that are narrower than the window...if they are 54" wide and you are stacking them back over say 15" they will still be plenty full looking. You want them to be over at most half the width or less.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 7:02AM
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Thanks for posting those, Linelle. They do look nice, but I'd need to add a liner for warmth. The panels I just received are a faux silk, with liner and interliner⦠probably the same ones you just bought, tam! They are really nice, but I was dreading hemming all 10 panels. I think I'll try doing it from the top, as Annie suggested :)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:12AM
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I returned my 84" panels and exchanged them for the 95" ones. Thanks for all the advice and suggestions.

Errant - which panels did you get? I think I'll be getting my DR panels from JCP. They're a good deal and a perfect color. It's also the faux silk with interlining and lining. I'm thinking about stitching French pleats at the top while I'm hemming them.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 7:35PM
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Also from JCP, on sale. The dining room curtains are Royal Velvet Encore, in Gray Umbra. I have the same two large windows in the game room, and those are the Huckleberry color. 10 panels in each room, but only the dining room will need to be hemmed. I was also considering doing pleats, but still undecided.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 12:56AM
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