What to Consider When Sewing Your Own Curtains

Curtain Alterations 317-845-9077

Curtain Alterations 317-845-9077

Sure, you can go to the home store and choose from a wide selection of pre-made and manufactured curtains, most of which you can expect to be overpriced for their value. Or, you can choose to visit the fabric store, select from a seemingly infinite selection of fabrics (all varying in color, shade, texture, and designs), and sew your own custom curtains! Not only can you expect more value for your money, you can expect a product that is customized to your home’s décor and your personal style.

And don’t let sewing intimidate you! If you are a moderate sewist, then you should have no problem sewing up some beautiful nursery, kitchen, or bathroom curtains. For larger windows, like patio doors and living rooms, you might want to get some experience under your belt before undertaking a bigger project that requires a lot of fabric. Continue reading to learn some important considerations to make when sewing your own curtains, and a brief guide to measuring curtain panels.

Questions to Ask Yourself

Before hitting the stores for fabric, there are a few questions to ask yourself about your curtain sewing project in terms of size and scope. And then you’ll have to do some important measuring after that! Start by asking yourself the following questions to get a plan together:

1. How long do you want your curtains to be?
2. Are there any obstructions that need to be taken into consideration, like a radiator?
3. Do you want the curtain to cover the entire window and trim, or just in the recess?
4. How full do you want your curtains?
5. How thick is your curtain rod?

Measuring Curtain Panels

Curtain Measurements

Curtain Measurements

Once you have the answers to these important questions, you are ready to move onto the measurement stage of the project. Measuring curtain panels can be tricky if you do not pay attention to the details and plan ahead before cutting into fabric. Use the simple guidelines below to help you understand the proper method of measuring curtain panels.

Parts of a Curtain Panel:

• ½ inch Turn
• Header Facing
• Finish Length
• Hem
• ½ inch Turn

Refer to the diagram to see how these areas add up to form your entire curtain panel. Once you understand how a panel must be measured, you can move forward with measuring your window and then plugging in the proper numbers to get the coverage you are after.

The formula for measuring curtain panels is simple. Add the total amount of all panel parts together, and then multiply that number by the number of panels you are making. With this number, divide by 36 inches to get the amount of fabric in yards. Here is an example:

Total Curtain Panel Measurement: 180 inches
Number of Panels Needed: 2
180 x 2 = 360
360 ÷ 36 = 10 Yards of Fabric

Indianapolis Alterations

Yong's Alterations Indianapolis Indiana

Yong’s Alterations 317-845-9077

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for professional alterations in Indianapolis, Indiana. Conveniently located in Castleton, our alterations shop offers a wide range of tailoring services for men, women, children, pets, and home décor. If you need help with customizing curtains, give us call! Just dial 317-845-9077 to request an estimate for Indianapolis curtain alterations, today.

The Basics of Basting Stitches

If you are new to sewing, then you are heading down a fun and rewarding learning curve! Learning to sew is a wonderful hobby with endless benefits, and allows you to possess a handy skill that won’t ever go to waste! One of the most basic skills you will learn first is making basting stitches. Basting is a common sewing practice that saves time and makes test fitting much easier. Continue reading to learn the basics surrounding basting stitches, and conquer how to baste today!

What is Basting?

Basting refers to long stitches that are temporarily sewn into fabric in order to hold two pieces of material together. They can be sewn in by machine or by hand, and are easily removed before the actual stitching begins. Many people do not like to take the time to baste, but when you do, the process is much easier the time you save is worth the time you take.


Sewing basting stitches allows you to adjust your materials freely before adding permanent stitching that may need to be removed or adjusted later. So you can create the fit you want without any hassles or re-dos. It also reduces fabric damage and saves time when it comes to achieving the right fit. This is especially helpful for sewing slippery fabrics, like satin, silk, and even spandex. Basting prevents the materials from moving around and sliding out of place as you sew the real stitches in.

Basting is also the recommended practice for sewing in a zipper. Anyone who has worked with zipper alterations in the past will tell you that basting cuts the process time in half. And for those with thick fingers, holding tiny zippers in place while sewing them in can be quite the challenge. Fortunately, a simple baste will solve their problem!

Another common use for basting stitches is sewing multiple layers. When you want to add extra bulk to a garment, basting will help keep the materials steady and in-place while you stitch them together. And then they easily unravel when you are through!

Yong’s Alterations

Yong's Alterations Indianapolis Indiana

Yong’s Alterations 317-845-9077

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 when you are looking for a reputable and skilled Indianapolis alterations shop you can trust. We offer a wide range of tailoring services for men, women, children, home décor, and more! But we specialize in wedding dress alterations and bridal wear alterations! Whether you need to be fitted for a tuxedo, or have a set of curtains that need hemmed, we are the professionals to call for experienced alteration services in Indianapolis, Indiana!

Advice for Preshrinking Fabric

If you are just starting out in the sewing world, you may not realize the importance behind preshrinking your fabrics. Well trust the experts that say you should always preshrink fabric before starting a sewing project! If you skip the preshrinking process, you risk damaging your completed garment after it is washed and dried for the first time. You may think you can get away with skipping this step, until one day all your hard work and labor goes to waste when your freshly-finished scarf is shrunk down to a potholder after it is laundered. And shrinkage is not the only effect to predetermine, color change and fade are as well. Avoid these devastating consequences by simply preshrinking your fabrics!

Review Fiber Content in Fabrics

When you are purchasing a new roll of fabric for an upcoming sewing project or design, it is important to know your fiber content. These rolls are called bolts, and at the end of them are specifications regarding the fabric. They provide information on the best methods to laundering the fabric, as well as, the fiber content and dimensions.
If you own a cell phone, it is helpful to take a photo of the specifications on each bolt of fabric you purchase. Then you can go home and download the information to your computer, and always have instructions on file regarding each fabric’s care instructions and fiber content. If you don’t have a phone or camera, a trusty pen and notepad are all you need! Simply write down the specs of the fabric and tuck the piece of paper into the fold of the bolt to save it there for future reference.

Preshrink Process

Follow the laundering instructions on the bolt end and wash the fabric before constructing your garment. This will tell you how the fabric is going to respond to being laundered, so look for color changes, fading, and shrinkage. If it shows too much of all three, you probably don’t want to use that fabric for your project. This is why preshrinking fabric is a great tester.

If the fabric is good and you decide to move forward with your garment, be sure to pass along care instructions if it is intended to be a gift to someone else. This way, they do not damage your gift in the first wash. For fabrics that are dry-clean only, you must take it to the dry cleaners to have it preshrunk and tested. It is not recommended to preshrink dry-clean only fabrics in the washer and dryer.

Yong’s Alterations

Yong's Alterations Indianapolis Indiana

Yong’s Alterations 317-845-9077

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for professional tailoring services in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our highly trained and experienced tailors provide a long list of alteration services for men, women, children, home décor, and more. We specialize in wedding dress alterations and formal wear alterations. Call 317-845-9077 for professional alterations in Indianapolis, IN today.

Types of Pin Cushions and Holders

If you have ever taken a home-economics class, or simply dabbled in a sewing kit, you are familiar with the tool known as the pin cushion. Most people think of the traditional tomato-strawberry combo that generally come standard in basic sewing kits, but there are other options available that use a more technological approach to pin collecting and preserving. Continue reading to learn more about some popular types of sewing pin cushions, including their composition and their purpose.

Magnetic Sewing Pin Cushions

For those who prefer a more innovation method for saving and preserving sewing pins, magnetic cushions might be a good fit. There are both pros and cons to using a magnetic pin cushion, so preference simply depends on personal sewing style. For example, magnetic pin cushions work very accurately to collect and hold onto metal sewing pins. This makes it easy to clean up spills, as well as, manage isolated needles on desktop surfaces and tables. But overtime, the needles will begin to pick up magnetic abilities as well, and start sticking to other objects inside a sewing kit, other than the cushion itself. They can also damage other electronic devices and equipment if left in close proximity to them.

Tomato Pin Cushions

The traditional red and green tomato pin cushions have been around for decades. These are the most common pin cushions used today, by both novice sewers and professional tailors. Inside these tomato pin cushions is where the advantage takes place. Good quality tomato cushions are filled with sawdust and wool roving; all others are cheaper knock-off brands. The wool roving has something in it called lanolin. This prevents metal needles from forming rust and corroding.

But a tomato pin cushion is not complete without its usual companion, the strawberry. Although mostly sold together as one product, some pin cushions do not come with a strawberry, but they can be purchased separately. The strawberry is special because it contains abrasives, like sand, emery, and grit, which sharpens, cleans, and preserves the integrity of sewing pins and needles.

Yong’s Alterations

Yong's Alterations Indianapolis Indiana

Yong’s Alterations Indianapolis Indiana 317-845-9077

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for professional tailoring services in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are highly trained, licensed, and reputable seamstresses that offer a wide range of alteration services for men, women, children, and home décor. We specialize in wedding dress alterations and bridal alterations. Call 317-845-9077 to schedule a fitting with a highly-reputable and professional tailor for clothing alterations in Indianapolis, IN.

Tips and Tricks for Safer Sewing

When you are just starting out as a novice seamstress, there are a few rules and precautions to take note of before diving into the world of hand or machine sewing. Just as we learn the safe way to handle and use scissors as a child, you will learn these same values in terms of sewing, as well as, a few other interesting tips that can save you time, money, or a huge hassle. Continue reading to learn some helpful tips and tricks for safe sewing.

Tools for Protection

There are several sewing apparatuses that can hurt our fingers and skin, like needles, pins, seam rippers, rotary cutters, and more. Using certain sewing tools can significantly reduce the number of Band-Aids you peel through after a sewing project. Tools like thimbles are classic, yet effective in protecting fingertips from needle points and razor cuts. In fact, thimbles were among the very first sewing tools invented. Modern sewing gear that is effective at protecting fingers and skin are sewing safety gloves. They are relatively inexpensive and the perfect tool for kids and beginner seamstresses.

Safety Rules for Sewing

Aside from protective tools and apparatuses, there are certain guidelines to follow in order to remain safe while sewing. For example, it is important to never aim a seam ripper at yourself or another person. Always aim the point away from the body and do not place your hands in its way. Also, avoid poking your skin with pins. Although mild in pain, pinpoint cuts can bleed all over your garment without you realizing it, or worse, become infected.

Rotary Cutting Equipment

Rotary cutting equipment is sharp, and can easily slice through, or slice off, a finger or piece of skin. It is important to always SLOW DOWN and take your time when using rotary rulers and cutters. Be sure to line the ruler up and then stop, keeping your fingers and hands out of its path. Also, many styles of rotary blades automatically retract, but many also do not. This means to never expect your rotary blades to automatically retract. Always be sire the blade is covered and locked before placing it down or putting it away.

Furniture Protection

Although fingers and hands are important to protect, so is your furniture! Just like your skin and extremities, furniture can also be damaged by sewing tools and techniques. For example, when cutting fabric, it is always important to lay down a protective barrier on top of the surface you intend to use for a platform. Dining room tables, countertops, and more can be significantly damaged by cutters, seam rippers, and more. This leads to unsightly marks and nicks, as well as costly repairs and replacements. Try using a thick, folding cardboard poster as a liner for tables and countertops. It is thick enough to protect and easy to store.

Yong’s Alterations

Yong's Alterations Indianapolis Indiana

Yong’s Alterations Indianapolis Indiana 317-845-9077

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for professional alterations and tailoring services in Indianapolis. Located in Castleton, our alterations store is easily accessible from all areas of town, and open long hours through the week. We provide all sewing and alteration services for men, women, children, and even home décor like curtains and tablecloths! Call 317-845-9077 and speak with a friendly seamstress about our Indianapolis alteration services, prices, and specials, today.