Shabby-chic curtains – Add lace to transform plain curtains

Shabby-chic curtains – Add lace to transform plain curtains

Want shabby-chic curtains? Easy! I pinned these lace panels to the front of our bedroom curtains many moons ago. Christmases and birthdays have passed but they remained pinned, not sewn. Now this hasn’t bothered me – not one little bit – but my husband will insist on finding the pins (in his feet) regularly and so, in an effort to avoid blood stains on the carpet, I was forced to show the curtains to the sewing machine. Since the curtains and the lace panels were both relatively cheap, I think the result isn’t bad – not bad at all.

Instructions here are pretty basic, but they do show just how easy it was to transform something very plain into something a little more interesting.


Pin the lace panels to the top of the curtains – these panels were already edged at the top and were wider than the curtains, with scalloped edges along both sides. To make the most of this, I folded the lace panel vertically to make the curtains 1/3rd plain curtain, 1/3rd with one layer of lace and 1/3rd with the lace doubled over – on this edge I left the lace just a centimetre or so over the width of the curtain so that, when they move, you don’t see a strip of plain curtain at the sides. This gives a graduated kind of appearance, so (hopefully!) it doesn’t look too much like I’ve stuck a piece of net onto existing curtains – which, of course, is exactly what I’ve done! I’ve sewn along the top, directly on top of the existing seem on the lace rather than creating another line. If your lace is not finished at the top, a very quick and simple fold over and stitch will suffice.



I hung them, then measured a little longer (less than a centimetre) than the actual curtains. Again, not enough to notice but enough to avoid a strip of curtain at the bottom when they are in use.

As straight walls and floors aren’t the norm here, I measured these properly before cutting but then hung them again and made adjustments to the pinning before I hemmed.


Now, of course, I have 2 pieces of lace ‘cut-offs’, which have opened up a whole new box of possibilities; table runners are the obvious or maybe turn it and use the scalloped edging as wide lace, but we’ll see what they say to me in the coming months…

And the chandelier? I told you I have ideas way above my station!

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