How To Sew Simple Sheer Panels


Do you have windows that you need to cover for privacy… but you still want the light to shine in?

I just moved into my new home… which has all bare windows.

My master bathroom has 2 large windows that face out to the construction site and golf course… so if I’m not careful, I may be putting on a show for all to see.

Problem was I didn’t want to put blinds on my windows. First… blinds can get expensive. Second… I want something more delicate and softer for this bathroom. Third… I wanted to make it myself. And… I wanted creative control.

So what’s the perfect solution?

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I decided on simple flat sheer panels. One for each window.

I chose a delicate cream colored sheer that has a crumpled look to it.

I hemmed the side edges with a 1/2″” double hem and the bottom edge with a 1″” double hem.

A double hem is an edge folded in twice. So, you would the side edges in 1/2″” and press. Then fold in another 1/2″” and press. The sew up each side with a straight stitch.

The bottom hem forms a rod pocket where you need to insert a clear plastic rib, wooden dowel or weight rod 1/4″” less the finished width.

The sheer panel was stapled to a wrapped 1 x 3 board… and installed inside the window frame.


I love this look. It’s so unbelievably simple to make… and quick! And it gives the room a soft, quiet effect. Plus, now I have privacy… and it’s still bright in the bathroom.

Want to learn a no-sew method for creating this exact same panel?

Instead of sewing the folded edges. Use 1/2″” wide steam-a-steam 2. This product is great! You peel off one side and stick it to your fabric under your folded edge. Then peel off the other side, lay your folded hem over the strip and press with steam. And now your hem is in place!

Here are some ideas to take this design to the next level.

Ok, now… how to add some designer flaire to these panels!

1. Use a patterned fabric.
I used a sheer for this window treatment… but you don’t have to. Try using a patterned fabric to add color to your room.

2. Make a sheer roman shade.
Make the panel functional… and you have a roman shade. Using clear ribs and iron-on rib tape… attach the ribs every 6″” up the panel. Sew on rings just below each rib and 1″” from each side edge. Refer to the No-Sew Roman Shade lesson I gave you for rigging the shade.

3. Add a valance.

Make a valance to install over the top of the window. If your panel is a sheer… pick a bold pattern that matches your decor. Your valance can be a gathered rod pocket… a roman shade valance… a balloon valance… the possibilities are endless. For more ideas and instructions for window valances visit Window Valance Patterns

4. Drape garland or beads.
Install a hook at the top corners of the window frame. Then drape colorful beads… clear beads… country style garland… christmas garland… colorful rope. Perhaps hang a fancy tassle from each hook.

Cut Dimensions of fabric for the Simple Sheer Panel
Cut length = finished length + 2″” + board depth
Cut width = finished width + 2″”
One last word…
Window treatments do not have to be complicated to look nice. In fact, sometimes simple is better. The simple sheer panel is the perfect window treatment when you need privacy and you don’t want a lot of fabric on the windows. It’s also a great way to dress up your windows until you have more time to do something more involved.
You can find your clear ribs, roman shade rings, lift cord and soon, steam-a-steam 2 at Drapery Sewing Supplies
Happy Sewing!
Jenny T.

3 Comments on How To Sew Simple Sheer Panels

    March 15, 2009 at 4:19 am (9 years ago)

    I found your topic “How To Sew Simple Sheer Panels | Simple Sewing Projects” when i was searching for sheer curtains and it is really intresting for me. If its OK for you i would like to translate your topic and post it on my german blog about sheer curtains. I link back to your topic of course!

    • Jenny T.
      March 15, 2009 at 11:41 am (9 years ago)

      Thank you! Of course you may use my article. Please do. And yes, please link back to

      That goes for anyone who would like to use the content on this site. As long as you link back to this site, you are free to use this comment.

      Your HTML code for the link should look like this:

      Simple Sewing Projects

      Thanks again!

      Jenny T.

  2. Cristina
    May 13, 2016 at 2:41 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi Jenny!
    I am also very interested in creating sheer Roman Shades. Where can I find the instructions for the no-sew Roman Shades you mentioned above?

    Thanks a bunch!


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