How to make -
Hand Pleated Interlined Curtains
  • - Fabric
  • - Lining
  • - Interlining
  • - Thread
  • - Buckram
  • - Weights
  • - Curtain Hooks
  • Tools
  • - Sewing Machine
  • - Needles
  • - Pins
  • - Clamps
  • - Scissors
  • - Set Square
  • - Straight Edge
  • - Invisible Marker
  • Step 1: Measure the Window
    Printable Worksheet
    Printable Worksheet

    Fix your curtain pole or track in position.

    • Measure Pole length - the length of the track or pole excluding finials or end caps.
    • Decide on where you want the curtain to finish - eg whether to the sill, to the floor or over long etc.
    • Measure the Hook Drop
      - The distance from the curtain ring eye where the curtain hook attaches to the pole down to where the curtain length will finish.
    • Measure Hook to Top - The distance from the curtain ring eye up to where you want the top of the curtain to finish.*
    This video shows you
    • How to measure pole length.
    • How to measure hook drop.
    • How to measure hook to top.


    Most people instinctively think you should cover the pole or track with the curtain, however choosing a high hook to top measurement can cause the curtain to hit the pole/track when stacking back, pushing the curtain forward between the pleats when the curtains are opened.

    Some people like their curtains to stack forward especially if you are covering a track but your pleat spaces need to be proportionate to you pleats otherwise they will stick forward too much.

    Extra Help & Comments

    Sew Helpful
    Post your questions & comments here, we will reply so everyone can see the answer.
    Sophia Clarke
    I have had problems measuring interlining from a large roll since it can easily pull out of shape and then it is uneven once cut....can you recommend a table top fabric dispenser, to put a roll of fabric on, to cut more evenly? do a clamp one but it is really pricey to get sent to the UK...
    Sew Helpful
    We do have one that we made ourselsves that slots into the frame of a big table. To be honest though we dont really use it that much.

    fabric roller 

    It is made from components of Stanless Steel Fishing rod stands, They are strong and adjustable.

    Fabric Roller 2

    Fabric Roller 3

    I like the fabric dispenser
    When should I consider using interlining? I have been asked to make some curtain for a friend and it is fairly hefty fabric. Should I use interlining?
    Sew Helpful
    It’s a design decision, you are going to have to decide in agreement with the customer how thick they want them to be. There are different thicknesses of interlining. See our blog for an article on interling types.
    Rachel Hamilton
    I am putting up a new pole, i am unsure how much the pole should extend past the window and if that should also include the architrave. is there a rule of thumb? I assume it depends also on the width of the window - ours is 142cm or 166cm including architrave.

    Thank you
    Sew Helpful
    For windows that size we would look to extend the pole 20-30cm either side. Poles tend to come in standard sizes, 180cm, 220cm. You will probably just get away with a 180cm pole for the 142cm window. We'd make the second window proportionate.

    Generally when you go up a pole size you need more fabric widths.
    I am making curtains and the pole is not fitted yet. How do I calculate the hem? I have the height the pole will be fitted at and the diameter of pole and rings. Can I calculate it from this?
    Sew Helpful
    We would always wait for the pole to go up then measure and make. (it's far simpler)

    The Hem is at the bottom so is just dependent on the length of the curtain. 20cm allowance full length, 16cm allowance sill length.

    However I think you are asking about the allowance for the top. You could estimate the hook drop then add on extra amount to take into acount any error, then calculate fabric etc as per the instructions. You could then make the curtains up to heading stage, then finish them off to the correct length when you have the pole up and have measured the actual hook drop.

    Note: Making the curtains to an estimated length then trying to hang the pole at the correct height is difficult to get right.
    Hi thank you so much for your brilliant videos. I am going to make some double pleat interlined curtains following your video for my daughter but she would like blackout lining included as she needs to sleep during the day. Can I use the blackout lining as I would normal lining or do I need to add it at the back later, and if so how would I do that?

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