I realize it’s a little unfair to make comparisons to Target prices, but I want to be realistic in that Target is one of the first places I would go to search for housewares like this (and no, they’re not paying me).
Take these curtains from Target, currently on sale at $23.79 per panel.
I knew I wanted something similar to this color scheme -- a little cream, a little yellow. Neutral, if you will. So I went to Joann's to check out fabric. I can't remember exactly what print I was looking at, only that the brand was Waverly and that the colors were similar. Something like this, which I found on Joann's website:
How much do you think this would cost per yard? Naive Heather would've thought, what, $10 a yard? Try $59.99. PER YARD. And fine, it was on sale for 40% off. But that'll still run you $35.99 per yard, and I needed about five yards per window. $180 curtains were not in my budget, especially when it would've taken me at least a couple hours to iron and sew everything (and that's highly optimistic).
I know you can find cheaper fabric. But isn't the point of making your own curtains getting to choose exactly what you want? And apparently my tastes run expensive. But don't worry, my hopes were dashed for all of about a minute. I flew the white flag and ended up at Target, like I usually do.
They took a while to grow on me (all patterns do) but now I think I love them. I don't know what it is about me that finds it so hard to commit to housewares. I just keep thinking that something better will come along (a cuter pattern, a better sale) and it keeps me from pulling the trigger. But sometimes I find that you just have to bring something home and put it up for a while to see how it melds with your space. As I like to say, you can always take it back!