Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Upcycle - Shirt to Curtain

Exciting: New Sewing and Craft Room! Dilemma: I needed a unique curtain for the small window. Where did I find my inspiration? In my husband's discarded clothing pile, of course! I love how the upcyled shirt curtain turned out, and the cost was $0.00. "Sew-Easy" to follow directions and photos are included.

Here's the small window (32-3/4" wide x 16" high) in my new Sewing and Craft Room. It has a nice view of the woods, but I wanted something to close when needed. I debated about a covering: Shade? Blind? Curtain? I decided a curtain would be best, and my husband hung a bronze curtain rod above the window. (Thanks, dear!)

The ultimate find: My husband's 2XL 100% cotton, Vintage Oxford, button-up shirt which he had designated to the "Give-Away Pile" (before the transformation).

Ultimate Find!

I needed as much fabric as possible for the length of the curtain, so I used a seam ripper to carefully remove the stitches of the underarm seams of the shirt. This gave me an extra 3/4" of fabric.

Now that the underarm seams were removed and steam-pressed, I used a yardstick and a pen to draw an even line across the shirt at the underarms. 

I then cut along the line that I had drawn. 

Next, I folded the shirt together and cut it down the back fold. 

I turned the back edges under about 5/8" and again about 1/4" from the raw edges of both sides and sewed a narrow hem down both sides of the shirt back. I steam-pressed the hem flat.

Narrow hem down the back

Finishing the Top Edge of the Shirt Curtain

Working on the backside, I folded the top edge of the shirt/curtain down 3/8" and steam-pressed.

With edges even, I sewed Single-Fold Bias Tape along the top edge of the shirt/curtain. I turned the ends of the bias tape under about 1/4" and edge-stitched. I then sewed the bottom edge of the bias tape to the shirt/curtain.

Sewing the Loops

Since the curtain has vertical stripes, I decided to make the stripes on the loops horizontal for contrast. I cut 2-1/2" strips of fabric for the loops from the remaining top and sleeves of the shirt. I cut enough strips to make 12 loops so I could have 6 loops on each side of the curtain.

I folded and pinned the strips of fabric 3/4". I folded the other side in and under 1/4" and seamed it down the middle, creating strips 1" wide.  

I then cut the strips into 8" lengths. I folded each 8" strip in half and zigzag-stitched the ends together, creating loops.

I mass-produced the sewing of the loops, and I cut the threads when finished.

And the loops were sown...

I measured and put a pin on the top of the shirt/curtain so the loops would be evenly placed. I pinned each loop to the top edge of the shirt/curtain, with the edge of each loop placed 1/2" below the edge. I sewed three times and back-stitched the loops in place. I'm relieved that I didn't have to sew the bottom hem of the shirt!

Now, the new shirt/curtain is finished! 

Finished curtain, front view

Finished curtain, back view

I love how the curtain looks on my Sewing and Craft Room window! The original hem of the shirt makes it look more interesting! I can button it closed or open as needed. 

Shirt to Curtain? It can be done!!


  1. You have come up with yet another creative upcycle project, Nancy! It is good to see you are posting to your blog again.

    1. Thanks, Germaine! Sometimes I amaze myself, and this was one of those times. These curtains are definitely one of a kind!