Melissa of the Sewing Rabbit Team is here today with a sewing tutorial that pet owners everywhere are going to love. Pet Hair Resistant Curtains!!! I know, you’re welcome. Lol – these fabulous curtains not only resist pet hair, but they are also super easy to clean. If you have little ones with sticky hands running around, all you need to do is simply wipe them off. The Pet Hair Resistant Curtains is a super easy sewing DIY, that will help you from having to constantly throw those curtains in the wash. You are going to love it.
Pet Hair Resistant Curtains DIY
I love my cat, Sinatra. Like all cat-owners, I think he’s not your typical cat; he is social to the point it’s annoying, loves to cuddle, especially whenever you’re watching TV and can’t wait to jump in the shower after you, even if it’s only to lick the water off everything. What I don’t love: his hair. It’s white and it gets on everything. I put up these pretty coral curtains earlier last year in our new (mid-century) house.
And now I want to rip them down, as the cat hair is making them whiter and whiter. Sinatra’s favorite spot to hide and nap is in the kitchen curtains, particularly whenever the neighborhood cat, Babou (we call him that after the Archer ocelot), comes to tease him from the world outside the glass.
Endless vacuuming and lint brushing don’t make a dent the hairball that has amassed on the fabric.
While I know dealing with pet hair is a never-ending battle, I figured out one tactic: vinyl panel curtains! Au revoir cat hair!
*Instructions on figuring yardage to follow
- Main fabric (ivory burlap)
- Drapery lining fabric (white Special Suede)
- Vinyl, laminated cotton or oilcloth (black and white check oilcloth), refered to as oilcloth for the duration of the tutorial
- 3″ Non-woven drapery tape
- Roller foot and a regular sewing foot
- Measuring tape
- Upholstery weight thread
- Larger sewing needle, 80/12 to 110/18
- Turning tool
- Fabric glue
- Clover Wonderclips, snap hair clips or binder clips
- Painting mask or banana, if using burlap
Since I already had my curtain rods installed, I clipped my measuring tape into the drapery rings and let it hang down to the floor to figure out my length measurement. I added 3″to this measurement to allow for errors and because I was dealing with a very loose weave fabric, burlap, as my self fabric.
Then, measure across the width of your window opening. Decide how many panels you want or need in order to cross the width. 2 panels worked great for my window opening, but you may need more. (Our old apartment had to have 4 in the living room at over 10 feet tall a piece!) I divided my measurement (70″) in half, which came out to 35″ wide per panel. Add 2-3″ on either side to allow for coverage over the edge of the window and the meeting point between the two panels.
I highly recommend drawing a diagram to help you visualize what pieces you need and note your measurements.
Depending on your style and/or budget, you’ll want to add fullness to the curtains. Typical tabbed curtains use a ratio of 1.5:1 to 2:1 of your original measurement. My fabric measured 60″ and my lining, 54″, so I opted to use the widths of these fabrics to create my panel. By allowing the exterior fabric to fold over to the interior, my width became 57″, which is a ratio of 1.5 roughly. Since these curtains stay open 90% of the time, it seemed a waste of time and money to make them any fuller.
I chose to use an oilcloth for two reasons: 1. I couldn’t find any laminated cotton prints that I liked for my kitchen 2. It is a little more flexible than traditional vinyl. Because the back side of the oil cloth had a rough texture, which would attract pet hair, I decided to attach one piece at the bottom of the exterior and the lining pieces, whereas I might have had one piece of vinyl at the bottom, since it’s smooth on both sides. The oil cloth was 48″ wide, so again, to optimize fabric, I chose to make the bottom piece 24″ tall so I could get two pieces out of the length of the fabric. I recommend using a taller piece of laminated fabric if you have larger pets.
My pieces came out as follows:
- Burlap main fabric: 2 pieces 60″ wide by 62″ tall (58″ finished measurement, plus 1/2″ seam allowance at top and at bottom, plus 3″ to allow for the loose weave)
- Drapery lining: 2 pieces 54″ wide by 59″ tall ( 58″ finished measurement, plus 1/2″ seam allowance at top and at bottom, no allowance since it’s a firm weave)
- Oilcloth: 2 pieces 60″ wide by 24″ tall (hereafter called oilcloth piece A), 2 pieces 54″ wide by 24″ tall (hereafter called oilcloth piece B)
***If you have sensitivities to dust or allergens, I highly recommend using a painter’s mask or bandana while working with burlap. You’ll notice my burlap dust bunnies accumulate as the tutorial pictures progress.
1. Prepare your machine: Attach the roller foot to your sewing machine. This foot will allow for smooth movement of the oilcloth, which will stick to the plastic of your machine and sewing foot.
Change out of your needle for a new one of a large size, 80/12 to 110/18, which will allow you to use an upholstery weight thread. I ended up using 3 bobbins for this project, if you like to prepare them ahead of time.
Set your stitch length to a medium to longer length. My Janome goes up to 5, which I use for basting and gathering, so I used a 4 length. The longer stitches will come out much more elegantly on heavier weight fabrics like this.
2. Serge the cut edges of your burlap to prevent fraying. If you don’t have a serger, use a zigzag stitch.
3. Put oilcloth piece A face down to one of the pieces of burlap, clipping together using Wonderclips, binder clips or hair snap clips. Do not use traditional straight pins since it will poke holes into your oilcloth. Not only that, it’s really hard to pin laminated fabrics without bending your pins.
Note how I put my first clip on the top of the fabric(selvedge in my case), as opposed to along the cut seam edge, so I have room to put my presser foot down to start my primary stitches.
4. Stitch together top piece to bottom piece using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Also, if your machine has an auto-needle-down function, as you’ll see below, this would be a great project to start using it. It will keep your needle down in the fabric every time you stop, which comes in very handy when the weight and awkwardness of the large pieces of fabric threaten to give you uneven stitching.
Be sure to remove the clips as you stitch.
5. Open up the two pieces, roll the oilcloth section into a tube so that it will fit in the opening under the arm of your sewing machine.
6. Topstitch along the seam, keeping the presser foot lined up with the stitched seam, keeping the seam allowance pressed towards the burlap. The oilcloth is too thick to press the seam allowance to that side.
7. Repeat step 3-6 for the second set of oilcloth piece A to the second burlap piece, or for as many more panels as you need.
8. Repeat step 3-6, clipping together oilcloth piece B to the drapery lining piece, for as many lining panels as you need.
9. Matching the two oilcloth pieces , one A and one B, clip the exterior panel to the interior lining panel together and stitch together with a 1/2″ seam allowance, down the length of the curtain panel. Remember that the burlap piece will continue 3″ past the lining piece.
10. Open up the two pieces, roll the interior lining panel up into a tube. Topstitch along the seam, a presser foot’s width and keep the seam allowance pressed towards the lining side.
11. Match up the other side, clip together and stitch 1/2″ seam down the length of the curtain panel. You’ve now created a tube.
12. In order to topstich the remaining side, you’ll have to sew down the inside of the tube, so to speak. Take your time as the fabric will bulk up around your sewing area as you work your way down the seam. Reminder: keep using that needle-down function! When you’ve finished the seam, you’ll have to work the fabric back the way you sewed it to release it from the sewing machine.
13. Before sewing up the top opening, you will want to make sure your exterior and interior piece will hang evenly. The loose weave of the burlap can cause a lot of shifting, especially since you’ve been manipulating it this whole time. Match up the oilcloth opening and hang the curtain upside down, still inside out, from the drapery clips. Mark where you need to cut the burlap to match evenly with the drapery lining behind it.
14. Cut the excess burlap off that you marked. Pull the burlap 1.5 inches towards the back on either side, so that the excess from the 60″ wide fabric is pulling around to the back of the 54″ side. Clip the end pieces together temporarily.Clip down down the length of the top seam, cutting it off when you reach the end of the curtain panel’s width.
15. Take the 3″ drapery tape and line it up parallel along the length of the cut top opening, on the side of the drapery lining, cutting off excess at the end.The fabrics should be sandwiched together like so: main fabric, drapery fabric (those two facing each other still), and then the drapery tape.
16. Stitch along the top edge with 1/2″ seam allowance. Clip the corners and dab a bit of fabric glue on the edge, since burlap frays so easily.
Turn out corners with a turning tool.
17. Turn each panel right side out. Press all the side seams and top seam. Do not press the oilcloth or vinyl; it will melt. Instead, leave it folded under some heavy books for a day or two to obtain and nice crease. After it’s pressed, you’re ready to hang them up. And voila!
The panels ended up being much bulkier than my previous curtains, so I’ll need to make some new tie-backs, but that will be another project for another time.
I’m carefree now that my curtains are hair-free!
Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…