I have had a set of cotton twill curtains in my house for years. I don’t really remember where I bought them anymore; they have just been a part of my home for ages. This spring, I got a set of new set of (more energy efficient) French doors to replace the 1950s era sliding glass doors that open from my kitchen to the back patio.

Because the curtain rod now needed to be moved, I took the cotton twill curtains down for a wash – and I decided to decorate them.

Applique Curtain- DIY (8)

I used our 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey in white with our Anna’s Garden stencil to add an 18” Negative Reverse Appliqué (see page 99 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design) border to the bottom of the curtains.

After a very hot wash and dry, my curtains drew up in the length and became too short for my new French doors. I remedied this by adding a simple, matching, white cotton jersey border to the bottom with a straight stitch.

The following instructions are for four curtain panels that are 55” wide.

2 yards 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey
Anna’s Garden stencil
Garment scissors
Embroidery scissors
Tools for your choice of stencil transfer method
Button Craft thread

1. Cut four rectangles of cotton jersey fabric 18” high x 55” wide. Adjust the height based on your desired appliqué area and the width based on the size of your curtains.

2. Transfer your stencil design (see page 17 of Alabama Studio Sewing+ Design) onto the right side of your appliqué fabric and let the fabric dry thoroughly.

3. Pin your appliqué fabric securely to your curtain base as illustrated below.

4. Stitch the two layers of fabric together 1/8” inside the edge of the stenciled shape; then cut the top layer of the fabric 1/8” outside the edge of the stenciled shape, leaving a 1/4” sliver of top-layer fabric beyond your stitching line.

5. Continue stitching and trimming away the cotton jersey appliqué fabric until you have completed all four patterns.

6. Add a cotton jersey border by cutting a rectangle of fabric twice the height of your desired border size and as wide as your curtains. Fold the rectangle in half across the long edge and apply to the top of the curtains with a straight stitch.

7. Hang curtains. Sit down and have refreshment.


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Click to read 10 comments
  1. Tina Leigh

    This is a fantastic post. I love this idea. Thanks for the inspiration and congrats on such beautiful curtains for your home. They turned out perfect in my opinion.

    1. Luanne Kelly

      These panels are gorgeous! I love the hem detail. Would you mind sharing how that was done? It looks like you added cording…is that right?


  2. Samina

    Beautiful Curtains! Also, compliments on your latest book. Just received it and am inspired to start an Alabama Chanin project — right now

  3. maria

    Love this series. One of the best things about thursdays! I have all your books and love them all. The latest book? Fabulous. Inspirational. I was also at the Heath studios in Sausalito recently and had the opportunity to see your designs on Heath’s pottery and tableware. wow.

  4. jonn

    Humble curtains upcycled and made AMAZING; go ahead and put a pair of those in my goody bag at my next workshop-heehee

    i do love the AC clothing but i also love having AC home accessories because they make me smile everyday – currently working on a pillow in Facets that works with my AC quilt in my bedroom-now i need some AC curtains!

    thanks for the inspiration!

    1. marci

      I love the way you dealt with the shrinkage of the curtains. That’s what happened to mine. I will have to pull out some cotton jersey and add it to the bottom of the curtains. I love the way jersey flows.

  5. Rita

    What a great idea! I love your work & have all 3 of your books – so inspiring! I have been reviewing them just this week to try and come up with a way to make a tasteful curtain to hang in the doorway between my kitchen and laundry room (to conceal the clutter.) This is just perfect – now I have my weekend (and then some) project! Thank you for the wonderful example you set in giving us ideas to make our lives more beautiful in a mindful and responsible way.

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