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Welcome, 2014: Getting Organized With a Pocket Curtain

January 5, 2014

Time for a little new year organization project! 

When we bought our house, I was so excited about my closet. It was much more spacious than what we had available in our apartment, and it has its own window. I thought it was so magical and huge that I would never be able to fill it. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Needless to say, I was having some sort of fever dream. My clothes never fit into that closet. And my organizational skills when it comes to closets are a little lacking, so things got out of hand in a hurry. Cut to four years later, and my very sweet husband is spending a couple of week's worth of free time helping me get a handle on the situation. In December, we took everything out and put in new shelving and things improved dramatically. 

But still, not everything fit. AND I had never covered the window. So, I decided to combine my need for a window treatment and my need for additional storage all in the same project. Time for a pocket curtain!

This curtain is super simple -- all you need is a couple of yards of fleece and a couple of yards of a cotton print. (You can, of course, make it with more sophisticated fabric choices, but I wanted to keep things fun and be able to throw my curtain in the wash.)

I started by measuring the window, and decided to make my curtain 32x58 inches. So I first cut my fleece to that size, adding about 8 inches to the top to create my curtain rod casing later.

Next, I decided on my pocket depth and opted for about 8 inches. I cut 5 strips of the cotton print that were 9x 42 inches, using the full width of my fabric for the length. 

To prep my pocket fabric, I first ironed in a narrow double fold at the top edged and stitched it for each of the five strips.

a1-Pocket-Curtain.jpg
Next, I had to figure out how many separate pockets I wanted to create along each strip. I landed at 5, so I divided 32 by 5 and got 6.4. 

At the bottom edge of my fleece, I marked every 6.4 inches with a sharpie. (You can see my cutting is not the least bit straight. I'll fix it later.)

1-Pocket-Curtain.jpg

Then I measured up 12 inches from the bottom and drew a line across the fleece fabric, and marked the same places 6.4 inches apart. I made a total of 5 placement markings for my pockets, including the very bottom edge.

This photo shows one set of my markings after the pocket segment below it has been attached:

4-Pocket-Curtain.jpg

Next, I marked the pocket fabric. Because I am using a busy print (I am in love with the movie "Frozen"!), I marked right on it with my sharpie. But if you have a more subtle fabric, you might want to opt for a fabric marker so it's not permanent.

I divided the length of the pocket pieces by 5, and marked the tops and the bottoms at equidistant points.

Next, I lined up the marks on my pocket fabric to the marks on my fleece and sewed vertical lines from the top to the bottom at each mark.

2-Pocket-Curtain.jpg

Then I folded the extra fabric of each pocket into pleats, and stitched all along the bottom edge of the pocket fabric.

3-Pocket-Curtain.jpg
Here's how the whole thing looks with pockets in place before I covered the raw edges:

3a-Pocket-Curtain.jpgOnce I shooed the cat off of my curtain and got back to the sewing room, I set about adding strips along the bottom edges of the pockets. Here's a little tip for those times when you're dealing with large pieces of fabric: Roll the section that has to sit to the right of the needle into a tube. It makes things so much easier than letting it bunch up over there. 

4a-Pocket-Curtain.jpgI cut 1.5-inch strips along the grain of my cotton print to use as both a cover-up for the raw edges of the pockets, and also to add some extra stability to the curtain. Because the fleece I chose is very stretchy, these strips keep things from getting super wonky.

First I ironed one edge of my strips, turning down about 3/16 of an inch. Then I matched the raw edge of the strip to the raw edge at the bottom of a pocket section and stitched about 1/4 inch from the raw edges. I use a medium-long stitch length anytime I was stitching across the stretchy width of the fleece because it helps keep the fleece from stretching out of shape.

Then I folded my strip down so it would cover the raw edges, and stitched close to the fold. 

Lastly, I stitch close to the ironed fold to encase all my raw edges and make things neat and tidy.

5-Pocket-Curtain.jpg

Here's a section of pocket with the strip applied at the bottom:

6-Pocket-Curtain.jpgI used this method to finish off the top four of my five pocket sections. I bound the bottom edge of the curtain, including the pocket edges. I also bound the sides. I used strips cut on the straight-of-grain for my binding, but I applied it just as you would bias tape.

Then I tested the length and made a rod casing by simply folding over my fabric at the top and stitching it. (I made two lines of stitching for durability -- I have rambunctious animals in my house!)

Here is the curtain hung in place, both empty and filled:

7-Pocket-Curtain.jpg

Mine is home to leggings and sports bras, but you could easily organize T-shirts, pajamas, stuffed animals, shoes -- anything that can fit in the pockets! These work great for kids rooms, and with more grown-up home dec fabrics, they can easily move into other areas of the house. You can further refine the look by coordinating your fabrics with new drapery hardware. A more utilitarian version can also organize hats, scarves and gloves in the mud room. 

So, bring on 2014! I've got space in my closet!

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This page contains a single entry by Holly Frey published on January 5, 2014 3:26 PM.

Knit Yoga Pants from Pajama Pattern was the previous entry in this blog.

One Size Casserole Carrier is the next entry in this blog.

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