IKEA Ritva Curtains Customized With Contrast Edge Band, Pompom Trim and Pinch Pleats
I finally got a chance to work on my breakfast room curtains, but unfortunately, neither of original plans worked out. Many of you convinced me that the trellis stencil would be too busy for the room, which was fine. I actually had my heart set on doing horizontal stripes, and I wasn’t really particular about the stripes being blue or green. I would have been happy with either one, to be honest. So late Saturday afternoon I headed to Joann Fabric to find the perfect blue or green fabric.
Well, I spent about 90 minutes there and looked through every single decorator fabric they had, both in stock and special order, and didn’t find a single fabric that would work. They did have two teal fabrics that were gorgeous. One was a dupioni silk, which was my absolute favorite, and the other one was a cotton that had some color variations that gave it a textured look. But both were pretty much the exact color of my kitchen cabinets. I would have been fine with a slightly lighter teal, or a faded turquoise, or even a light aqua. But there was no way I could do more of the exact same color on draperies right next to a kitchen filled with teal cabinets. And there weren’t any greens that were even close to being a possibility. I finally gave up and went home.
I went back on Sunday, determined to expand my search into the apparel fabric section. I was certain that in that entire store, there had to be at least one blue or green that would work.
So I sat in my car looking through ideas on Pinterest, and came across this picture…
Evidently that’s from an interior designer who’s no longer in business because her website is gone. But her pretty curtain idea lives on forever on Pinterest.
Anyway, I decided to do something like that with just a simple contrast band on the leading edge of each panel and some fun trim. I know this kind of trim isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I really love tassel trims, pompom trims, and other types of passemeterie. So I looked at their selection (which is generally pretty terrible, to be quite honest), and they happened to have a pompom trim that I really liked! So I snatched it up, along with some green fabric, and headed home to get started.
While I worked on the edge banding, I washed and dried the Ritva curtain panels. And by the way, if you’re not happy with the color of your Ritva curtains (they’re somewhere halfway between white and ivory right out of the package), you can add some bleach while washing them and they’ll come out a brighter white. The label says very clearly “do not bleach” so do this at your own risk. But I’m so glad I tried it. I think they look so much better now.
So on to the edge banding…
I bought three yards of green cotton fabric and cut a strip that was about 12 inches wide by 3 yards long. When I’m doing two or more of the same thing (in this case, two curtain panels), I always mark the top of the fabric with pins so that I can be sure I’m using the fabric the same way on both panels.
Then I folded the fabric in half down the length of the fabric and pressed the fold in place with my iron.
And then I folded the bottom back out creating a pocket that was just over one inch deep going the entire length of the strip, and I pressed that into place.
Then I tucked the lip of the pompom trim into that pocket and pinned it into place. I sewed these layers together using a stitch right along the edge of the green fabric as close to the trim as possible.
Next I measured 1.5 inches of green fabric from the edge of the trim, and folded the excess green fabric under. Then I pressed that fold in place with my iron.
You can see here how the excess is just folded under…
I placed my curtain panel on my work surface and made sure the leading edge was pressed as flat and wrinkle-free as possible.
Then I measured over from the edge three inches and marked it with painters tape.
I used that mark to place the folded/pressed edge of the green fabric right along the edge of the painters tape, and I pinned it into place along the entire edge of the curtain panel. You can see that I left several inches of excess green fabric at the top of the panel.
With the entire length of green fabric pinned into place on the edge of the curtain panel, I then took it to my sewing machine and stitched it into place using a stitch right along the edge of the green fabric.
With the whole thing stitched into place, I removed the painters tape and ironed along the seam to make sure everything was lying as flat as possible.
I still had this excess fabric that had been folded under to create the folded edge that I just sewed into place…
So I folded the top layer back, and trimmed the bottom layer to within 1/4 inch of the edge of the curtain panel. I didn’t trim it off all the way simply because the extra layer of fabric gives the edge banding more body and thickness, kind of like an interfacing.
Then I returned the top layer back to its place, and folded the excess fabric around the edge of the curtain panel and pinned it into place.
Then I pressed the fold with my steam iron, and removed the pins.
I trimmed the fabric on back to two inches…
And then folded it under one inch, leaving a one-inch hem along the edge, and pinned that into place.
Then I sewed that fold about 7/8-inch from the edge of the curtain panel.
Here’s how the back looked with the green fabric hemmed along the edges…
And here’s how the front looked…
And finally, I finished the top by folding the excess fabric over the top of the panel and around to the back, and to the bottom edge of the header tape. I folded the raw edge under, and then stitched along the edges on the sides and the bottom to hold that flap into place.
That was pretty much it with the edge banding. I still have to hem the panels, so once that’s done, that will finish up the bottom edge of the edge banding.
Now since I’m using two panels on each side of my window, I also wanted to sew the panels together. I simply pinned two panels together with the right (front) sides together, making sure they lined up as perfectly as possible on the top edge of the panels…
And then I sewed them together and pressed the seam open.
I also pinch pleated the tops of my panels.
Just an FYI, these Ritva panels come with pleater tape already attached. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of sewing in your pleats, you simply need to purchase three-prong pleater hooks and slide those into the tape wherever you want to create a pleat. Click here for a video that shows how to do that.
I prefer my pleats to be sewn in, so that’s what I did here. I didn’t take pictures of that process because I’ve already shown in at least two posts the detailed step-by-step process of sewing in pleats. You can find more details on how to sew pleats on this tutorial under the section called “Adding The Pleats”:
How To Make Double-Width Lined Pinch-Pleated Draperies – Part 2
So these are completely different from what I had originally planned, but that’s okay. I can live with almost all white curtains now that they have a touch of color with the green, a bit of fun and whimsy with the pompom trim and a tailored look with the pleats.
They’re still not finished though. I need to fix the return, which is currently attached to a curtain ring and looked a bit awkward…
And the bottom is still a mess and needs to be hemmed.
I should be able to get these finished today, and I’m hoping to get everything cleaned up and in place by the end of the day so that tomorrow I can give you a full view of the breakfast room with the table, chairs, rug, curtains, and peninsula finished.
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
Kristi, you really do beautiful work! I bet you were wishing your studio was already complete while you were dealing with these long lengths of fabric. I also find it refreshing that you take the time to do the job correctly: actually sewing your treatments, pressing through every stage, etc. As you know, it all leads to something beautiful and professional looking. I can’t stand the treatments made with fabric glue or iron on tape, as they look like the amount of effort that was put in, close to zero. Job well done!!
Exactly my thoughts, Shelley, especially about having the studio ready to work in. Beautiful work and what a thoughtful tutorial. I am so impressed with your photo illustrations, Kristi.
I love them. Where did you get your curtain rod with the rings and clips. I love that they are wood!! I can only find this style in metal…
I bought them at Lowe’s. Bed, Bath & Beyond also sells wood rods and rings.
WOW! Just WOW! I love them!!!
Ditto what she said :)!!! I also love that they are not on the edge and color is on both sides.
Unexpected and fun! Can’t wait to see those pics!
You create magic with a sewing machine! I really admire your talent. My style is more eclectic and less formal, so pinch pleated drapes seem very formal to me. I wonder if that trim could be done on simpler draperies and still not overwhelm them…
I really like this solution. To me the stripes were too stylistically different from the print on your chairs to work. To me stripes are more preppy, whereas the print on your chair is more artistic. So, I think the whimsy of the pom poms is just perfect. Can’t wait to see the entire room!
I totally agree. The pom poms fit perfectly. Stripes and stencil would not have suited the room well.
I just noticed that you have two of ypur three “addicted 2 decorating” logo colors happening in this room now. I am waiting for thr orange/coral to pop in somewhere now. 😊
Do you have enough at the end of the curtains to make pillows for a couple of the chairs? Like small ones? Love the trim!
oooooh yes!!! I like this!
No, I only had about four inches left over from each one.
I was just cursing you in my head because those curtains are amazing… and I can not sew… I am literally sitting here wearing pants that are safety pinned on the one side… I decided that I can use the iron on stuff or glue it, and felt much better… until I saw the first comment ;)… now I’ll just spend my life with curtains with out pom poms like a unexciting person.. maybe I can find a seamstress.. or maybe I’ll glue them anyhoo… unprofessional pompoms vs. unexciting curtains? Maybe your next post will distract me…so keep going.. It is all beautiful.. I love the way you mix colors..:)
You do what you are capable of doing at present.
AME, you sound like my daughters – LOL! They too used to say they couldn’t sew, but kept trying, on small, simple things like flat window valances, pillows, etc. That has given them a bit more confidence to at least try hemming drapery and making simple slipcovers for dining room chairs. I always tell them if you can drive, you can sew! It’s “gas pedal” and “steering” if you think about it! They still resort to iron on tape, but it isn’t very often anymore. If you get a lesson or two on basic sewing, you will be happy!
I love love love pom poms! My grandmother used to use them when sewing and it reminds me of her. I think these look great! Good job thinking outside the box!
Really cute idea. Wish I could do something like that at my house but with a bunch of pets I find myself periodically washing curtains just to get all the pet hair out.
Love the pom Poms! Hmmm…where could I use that in my house?🤔
Wouldn’t it have been easier to hem them before you added the green piece to the side?
I don’t know that that would have been easier. Seems like about the same amount of work. I think hemming it last gives it a cleaner look though. Hemming it first means that I’d have to do the bottom the same way I did the top, folding the green fabric over and stitching around the edges. That doesn’t really give a clean look like hemming the trim into the bottom does.
I like this so much better than the striped or trellis draperies! And I was so happy to see your pins in the right direction when you were sewing! It drives me crazy whenever I look at “how to’s” on the internet and see how badly the sewing is being done!
I like what you did with the curtains. Much more interesting now. Your view looks nice out the window. Did you ever get siding put on outside to cover the sheathing wrap outside?
No, it still just has the house wrap on it. Once the garage conversion is done, we’ll need to do something with the exterior on both the breakfast room/pantry and the garage-turned-studio.
That looks wonderful- my heart is so happy that you kept the body of the drapes white, and I’m in love with the ball fringe!
Wow! You always have some surprises up your sleeve. This is one of them. I was cynical of pompoms, mostly because it’s so much easier to get it wrong. I love them, but consider them cute or I don’t know… But this… you made it look pretty darn good. 😀 You just made pompom trim look classy. How do you do this?!!! It’s bold, classy, a little bit fun tucked in there. 😀 Fantastic job!
I confess that when you wrote ‘pom poms’ I inwardly groaned. But I was wrong, dead wrong. Your curtains turned out so cute, and the pom poms give a fresh and fun look. Well done!
Will the burnt-out lightbulbs in the breakfast room finally be replaced? LOL! J/k, J/k!!! (Every time I see that lovely room, those lightbulbs bug me–my OCD flaring up). 🙂 But truly, your transformation of that space is really amazing and inspiring! Can’t wait to see it all pulled together!
Pom poms! What a fun touch of whimsy!
Incredible! Love the edge treatment on your curtains and how you clearly explain how you go looking for something and end up creating something else just amazing.
Those curtains look fun and cheerful!
I love that option that you went with, one more pic with both sides!!
Dang, I wish I had your skills! I’m loving the end results. Keep going. I look forward to your posts. They are so inspiring 😁
Love the look! That ball fringe is perfect for the space – not too fancy, more casual. I have the same drapes, totally forgot they have the pleater option! Thanks for the reminder!
I love them. 100% Love Them!
I, too, like your photos and how tos. Your work is impeccable. I’m not a pom pom person so your choice isn’t my cup of tea BUT it isn’t my breakfast room, is it? If you love it, then it’s great! I do love the bright white of the drapery panels and think they look bright and clean in your breakfast room.
I really hate to be that person but I think they look hideous. They remind me of my uncle’s shag-mobile from the 70’s with the pea green shag carpet and tassels hanging from the windows (I wasn’t around in the 70’s but my uncle kept the van for almost 30 years and was living in it up until he went to prison a few years ago for sexually assaulting an 8 year old boy in a park). Plus, that green does not go with your cabinets at all. I think it clashes with the teal. But it’s your house so whatever floats your boat. I usually like your design decisions. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with your pantry.
I’m just curious. What exactly did you expect to accomplish with your comment? Do you expect that I”ll change my decisions based on some random comment from an internet stranger who has never been in my house before and doesn’t know me? I’m getting beyond tired of people cloaking rudeness in this “well, I’m just being honest” nonsense. Would you like to share pictures of your house with me so that I can tell you everything I hate and think looks “hideous” about your house? This is MY house. It’s not some group project where we vote democratically to decide what happens in MY house.
I miss the days when people actually treated each other with kindness and respect. The internet has destroyed any semblance of tactfulness and given rise to this horrible “everyone is entitled to hear my opinion” attitude. I hate it. And I don’t give a damn if you don’t like my curtains, to be quite frank. I’m sure I could walk into your house and immediately find ten things I find “hideous.” But you know what? I’d never, ever dream of giving voice to that opinion about someone else’s home and design decisions because it’s rude and what I think of someone else’s house doesn’t matter. If you really, truly hated to be that person, you wouldn’t be. You ARE that person because you choose to be.
Very well said. That comment was completely rude and unwarranted. I don’t understand these people, like you said, what do they hope to accomplish? I really do not understand why she chose to share that she was living in a van that was her uncles, who went to prison, blah, blah, blah……really? Ugh.
Everyone needs to go back to the rule “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
I may not always love your idea’s for me, but it always seems to fit perfectly in your house and always looks beautiful.
Perfect response! It is so sad that people feel the need to be so rude with their opinions. If you don’t like something, just keep your mouth shut for heaven’s sake. By the way, I love your blog😊
and the point of bringing up your Uncle’s transgression was….?????
This is a decore site… KRISTI’S decore site. We all have our likes and dislikes, and we all have our personal style. Her method and instructions have helped me tremendously in my own home renovation.
Wow. Just wow. I can’t believe you bothered to write that diatribe. You should have just kept your opinions to yourself as well as personal details. The curtains are AMAZING
Kristi, once again, your creativity rises to the occasion!! I am in love with the pom poms!! I’ve been seeing small ones on curtains lately, but yours are the bomb!! BTW you are the queen of window treatments. You don’t skim on details and it shows. Beautiful! I look forward to seeing the final shots tomorrow. 🙂
p.s. I think people forget that we aren’t all little soldiers cut from the same mold. We all like different things and that is what makes the fabric of life so beautiful. And your corner is pretty spectacular. 😉
p.p.s. It’s been 5 years now since you helped me and added a little beauty to my corner of the internet. I still love it. TX!
Think you did a great job—
CRISP, Clean and those Pom poms look FUN!!! Unexpected punch it needed–
Impressed with the attention to detail you always take in completing a project.
Darling trim, and I’m glad that you kept them simple solid white. This way they will pop a little but not entirely steal the show.
A number of different options that you were toying with would have worked really well for your breakfast room and you’ve created yet another that also works. I love this one because it’s both cute and sophisticated, polished, attractive, and no one will mistake this for drapes that were bought off a shelf! Your sewing tutorials are my favorite ones, thanks!
Oh I love that banding! I think you are right about switching up the green on those panels too. I was thinking a punch of teal but now that I see it, it makes so much sense! It will go so well with the back of those chairs! You do really great work….I am learning sewing tips!! I never thought to use painters tape! Can’t wait to see it all put together!
Huh… clever way to hide that trim band! I sew a lot, but I don’t know that I would have thought of that. Thanks for sharing it!
I was kind of curious too (like another commenter)… was there a reason you didn’t hem them first? There doesn’t have to be of course! The answer can always be “Because I chose so”. But whenever you make a choice I don’t understand I tend to figure you may have a trick I just don’t know about (like the pleat to hide the trim band)… because you usually do!
I think it gives it a cleaner look to fold the trim into the hem.
Ah! Once again there is sense to your method (rather than the more common madness). Thanks for answering!
What kind of bleach and how much did you use? I have these curtains and would love to lighten them.
I would also love that information! I’m terrified of bleach and just know I’ll ruin them if I try this on my own Ü I tried the “soaking in Oxi-Clean Revive White without any luck at all. Thanks for any information you can send my way! I think the curtains turned out beautiful!
Oh my goodness! They look so fresh and lovely. What a beautiful finish with the pleating and pom pom trim. Thanks for sharing.
Kristi, those curtains are amazing! You came up with a perfect solution to dress up ‘off the shelf’ curtains with a lot of pizzazz — that green is beautiful and will go so well with the chair fabric, and those pompoms add a lot of interest and a bit of whimsy. The color match of the pompoms to the curtain fabric is spot on. I enjoy seeing that curtain fabric up close, I didn’t know it had that textural element to it which is just lovely. The pleats are beautiful, and I love the contrast with the wooden rod and rings, it’s refreshing with the white curtains and color bands. You did such a great job with this project, those curtains look totally custom-made. No one would believe they weren’t special order!
I used that exact same green fabric to,create a Bed skirt and accent pillows. Love your creativity!
So fun! So fresh! You never cease to amaze me how you ultimately zero in on the perfect solution that puts YOUR stamp on YOUR space! Granted, you may take a convoluted journey to get there sometimes, but one of your best posts was when you acknowledged that you felt so much better about what you plans for your home were when you realized you needed to be true to yourself! Obviously “Ally” did not read that post or else she would have realized she was messing with THE wrong decorator who was going to fiercely defend herself! AND she also underestimated your readers who would fiercely come to your defense as well! You keep things real here! It’s such a soft place to land and I think we all secretly think we ‘have’ that fire you have that makes you THE perfect decorator for your home! We all want to feather our own nests as WE see fit. You encourage us with every post to do what pleases us by example! You really empower us, I think! Your trials and tribulations and the honesty you share when things don’t go as planned make you the real deal. You truly have a gift for design and creativity for sure, but your REAL gift is that you selflessly share it with us as we all limp along in our own homes! Okay- okay- I know- enough of the sappy stuff! But I cannot end without commenting also on how absolutely impeccable your sewing skills are! My mother used to sew a lot when I was growing up and if there is one thing she taught me it was that the inside, or the backside that no one ever sees needs to be just as neat as the part that they do see. You are an extraordinary fabricator as well as an extraordinary designer as well as a mighty nice person! I think I speak for many when I say we all love coming here! Not to sound corny, but YOU GO GIRL!
Kristi, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your drapes with the darling little pompoms! They look so fresh, whimsical and just so fun! And I love that you chose green instead of teal. And I have to say that your sewing skills are just outrageous – I’ve learned so much about sewing drapes from your blog, so thank you for taking the time to show us “how to” every step of the way! We’re building a new house and you’ve inspired me to make custom drapes that will be fun and one of a kind! I’m so sorry there are classless people out there who feel it’s their right to foist their opinions on everyone in their path… And I agree with you, if you can’t say anything nice, then shut the h#&* up. Can’t wait to see what else you come up with for your beautiful home!
Love these! You always come up with the best ideas. You’ve started my creative thoughts going on what to do with mine. I also have the Ritva curtains and I’ve never really liked them because they weren’t quite white enough for my taste. I’m going to try bleaching them. If they get ruined, it won’t be much of a loss since they’ve been sitting folded on a table for well over a year.
there are so many reasons why I love your blog!! You broaden my horizon (never before would I have thought I might like pompoms but your curtains are perfect for your room and so sweet), you give me so many practical tips (painters tape – what a great help when sewing a straight line!!) and I’m always with you when you voice your opinion conc. those trolls – very well said!
Thanks for sharing your journey and ideas and creating a corner of the internet that is not hateful but inspiring!
I’m really glad that you went with something fun but understated. The focus will be on your chair upholstery and future rug choice.
How do you stop yourself from putting those pompons on ev.ry.thaaang? I couldn’t! I LOVE a bit of whimsy in a room!
I love these! If you wanted to, you could always stencil the curtains to get more color. I love pompom trim on almost everything!
The real question is…does Peeve like to play with the pom-poms on the curtains? They seem to be a kitty’s dream come true. Play toys next to a window.
Oh, I am so happy about this post, I have been thinking about my son’s room he needs curtains and I wanted to do them with an inserted trim along the sheers and drapes. I even bought green cotton for the sheers so long ago. This makes my work so much closer to being done!
Being the seamstress that I am, I probably would have taken the side hems and top hems out, ironed them flat, and THEN sewed them together (and resewn the top hem – and probably would have serged the side seams). BUT, YOU certainly have more experience with drapes, home furnishings, etc. than I do, and if you think it’s okay to leave them in, then who am I to disagree? AAMOF, I actually came BACK to this post after reading your next post about “keeping your shoulds out of my decorating” (not that my house is all that decorated, especially according to the hubby – but that’s a whole OTHER subject)
I have to say I’m very intrigued by the Ritva curtains. Seems like you like them, and the price is definitely very reasonable. I wonder how they would take to dye. . . . . I’m guilty of having only wood blinds with nothing else, but we’ll be downsizing in the not so distant future so I don’t want to spend tons on drapes.
I love your blog. Your are truly an inspiration and very talented. I love the details you give on your projects. I have a question about the Ritva curtains. I have some hanging in my bedroom waiting to be hand hemmed. I saw that you stated you had washed them before adding the pom-pom trim. Was there a reason for washing them beforehand. I wanted to wash mine but I was leary of losing the crispness of the fabric. Did starch them or just steam-iron them? Thanking you in advance.
I washed them because I had several readers tell me to be sure and wash them first because they would shrink considerably. They did shrink about five inches. If I wash the in the future, I’ll have to do so by hand because of the trim, but the label specifically says not to dry clean. I also wanted to wash mine so that I could bleach them and see if I could get the any brighter. Washing and bleaching did brighten them up a bit and get rid of some of that yellow/antique white undertone they had right out of the package. They’re still not stark white, but they’re definitely a bit brighter. And they didn’t lose any crispness at all by washing them. I was afraid of that, too, but was pleasantly surprised at how thick and substantial the fabric felt right out of the dryer. I just steam ironed them, no starch.
I love these! Can you share how much bleach you used? Thanks!
I washed them one at a time in my top loading machine set in between the “small” and “medium” load size, and I added one cup of bleach.
Kristi! Thanks for sharing! Ignore my prior comment above on the proportions for bleaching. I didn’t read through all the comments before sending out my plea Ü I can’t wait to try straight bleach….first time I’ve ever bought a bottle of bleach so I’m hiding all my colored clothes Ü
Hey! I saw that you washed your Ritva curtains one at a time and put one cup of bleach. What type of bleach did you use!?
If I don’t have a top loading machine can I still put the bleach in my front loading or would you suggest soaking them in a bin?! And if so for how long and then I can wash them after I soak. Thanks for quick responding last time. I’m really hoping to lighten my Ritva curtains 🤞🏼👏🏼
I have zero experience with front loading machines. I would imagine you could soak the panels for ten minutes or so (just be sure you’re doing each panel exactly the same) and then follow up with washing them.
Hi Kristi, I’m going to do this project for my living room soon, with a fabric leading edge on Ritva curtains. I’m curious, have you liked these curtains without a lining? Would you even be able to add a lining because of the pleating tape and finishing already in place at the top? The sides I figure could be easily unpicked. I know how to sew but haven’t done professional draperies so I’m really grateful for all your in depth tutorials on this topic. Thanks in advance if you have time to respond.
I’m kind of a drapery snob 😀 and almost never like unlined curtains, but I have to admit that these are the exception. They’re a heavy weight linen-look fabric, and the amount of light they allow in is really beautiful. I’ve never been bothered by them being unlined.
Inspirational post! I purchased the Ritva curtains and was disappointed that they have a yellow cast. I loved everything else though….price, and fabric hand feel. Going to attempt to lighten them today. Thanks for sharing!
Kristi! Thank you for this….it is exactly what I want to do in our Master Bedroom for our window coverings. My one question is…..how do you clean the draperies when they need it? They cannot be dry cleaned (from what I remember), so do you gentle wash them in cold and hand them dry?
Hand wash, line dry, and iron. 🙂 It’s a pain, but you’re right, they can’t be dry cleaned. And the trim really shouldn’t be machine washed.