How to make -
Hand Pleated Interlined Curtains
  •   Sewing Machine
  • - Tape Measure
  • - Needles
  • - Pins
  • - Scissors
  • - Set Square
  • - Straight Edge
  •   Pencil
  • - Vanishing Marker
  • - Clamps
  • Step 6p: Make up the Fabric panels


    This tutorial is based on a normal pattern repeat fabric, if your fabric has a half drop pattern repeat please read HERE and adjust the instructions accordingly.


    It is very easy to make a costly mistake cutting your drops wrong with patterned fabric, That is why we recommend the following method marking out everything before cutting. This also gives you the opportunity to check the fabric for faults and that you have enough length.


    The calculation of the quantity of patterned fabric included an extra pattern repeat to enable you to position the pattern where you want it. Decide where the pattern will finish on the bottom of the curtain. (we choose the position at the bottom of the curtain because this is what your eye picks up)

    • From the bottom of the fabric move up the fabric to the point on the pattern where you want the bottom of the curtain to be and mark with pin 1.
    • Measure back towards the bottom of the fabric the hem allowance and mark with pin 2. If not you do not have enough fabric for the hem you will need to move the bottom point of your curtain further up the pattern.
    • Note the position of pin 2 in the pattern and measure up the adjusted cut drop in number of pattern repeats and mark with pin 3.
    • Pin 3 marks the position of the first cut
    • Check the distance between pin 2 and pin 3 is the adjusted cut drop calculated in STEP3.


    The length of the first cut drop will probably be slightly different to the other cut drops, as this first section of fabric included an extra pattern repeat to postion the pattern in the correct place. To mark out the remaining drops.

    • Measure up the number of PATTERN REPEATS (ADJUSTED CUT DROP) calculated in STEP3 and mark the fabric at the correct point in the pattern ready for cutting. (The fabric should be cut at the same position in the pattern each time)
    • Check the length of the drop to be cut is the same as the ADJUSTED CUT DROP. Example
    • Repeat until you have all the drops of fabric required.


    • Some printed fabrics (particularly light weight linens) may need a bit of manipulation at this point to make sure that the pattern across the width of the curtain is all in line otherwise your panels will not line up when it comes to joining them together. Once you have rechecked all your measurements and your pattern is straight across the width of the fabric you can draw a line across.
    • Cut the drops at the marks

    If the curtain fabric panels contain more than one width each we now need to join the widths to make the curtain fabric panels

    This video show you how to cut your patterned fabric. It includes in detail
    • How to calculate the Adjusted Cut Drop
    • How to position the pattern.
    • How to check the Adjusted Cut Drop.
    • How to mark out your drops.
    • How to cut your drops without a long T-bar.


    Your fabric panels* should begin and end in the same place in the pattern if you have cut them accurately according to the true pattern repeat.

    *The first panel will probably be longer due to positioning the pattern.


    • If each curtain has a half width, cut down one of the widths to split it into 2 equal halves. The half widths should be on the outer edges of the curtain.
    • Lay fabric panels right side together (make sure both panels are the same way up) align bottoms and edges. Join the selvedge to selvedge. (the first panel if longer may have excess fabric at the bottom)
    • At the joining edge lift back the top layer of fabric until you get a continuation of the pattern where the two fabrics meet. Finger press along this fold.
    • Fold the top layer back down and cross pin a regular intervals.
    • Mark along the pressed line and sew the panels together with a straight machine stitch. (Your sewing machine should be able to cope with the pins but the needle may become blunt quicker.)
    • Remove pins.
    • Press the seams open
    • Check the bottom of the panels are straight, if not trim. (The first panel may have an excess of fabric that needs trimming.)
    This video talks you through each step with extra hints and tips for easy pattern matching. It includes in detail
    • How to set the panels out.
    • Where to start the matching.
    • How to align the pattern.
    • How to pin.
    • How to mark the fold.
    • How to stitch the panels together.

    PLAIN and PATTERNED FABRIC are now treated the same.

    Questions & Comments


    Hi, how do i find out if I am able to steam/iron a face fabric? I am working with 100% polyester, is this a fabric i can steam? thanks


    I wouldn’t iron polyester, just very cool iron but always test first.


    I am trying to cut out my patterned fabric with a metre ruler, metal tape measure and a set square, but the line seems to be out by quite a bit on each side of the fabric. Is it possible that the pattern isn't quite level?


    This is very probable. Quite often fabrics are not printed straight across the width and it can cause quite a problem (particularly if your adjusted cut drop is close/same as your actual cut drop). If the pattern is random, then it is less noticeable but when the pattern is very definite and noticeable, you will notice the run off, more so with a roman blind. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done although I have returned fabrics before for this problem. You need to cut the fabric at right angles to the selvedge and not in line with the pattern. This will mean that when all widths are joined, you’ll have a step up or down where each panel is joined. You can see I had the same problem with the fabric in the image below….

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    This means that when you level off the bottom, you will lose more fabric than you planned. If this leaves you short, you may need to adjust your hem. Hope that helps. God luck. Cindy

    Anne Caiden

    Do I have to pay to see these videos?




    I am making my first pair of curtains (full length) and have just successfully pattern matched what I consider to be a tricky Sanderson patten - thin decorative tail feathers of birds of paradise! The instructions given here and in the accompanying video are superb! They are so clear and easy to follow and enabled me, as a complete beginner, to join fabric lengths with confidence and relative ease. A big thank you to Sew Helpful x


    Where can I find a long tbar ruler like the one you've got?! Many thanks for your great videos!


    Try Merrick and Day

    Merrick and Day tools


    My query is about aligning the fabric panels. My pattern stops about 5cm in from selvedge. The horizontal pattern repeat is 44cm. The nearest point that I can align the pattern when folding the top layer back is about 27cm away from selvedge, clearly i cannot pin & sew at this point or would lose too much fabric. How would you proceed to get the best join? ( my fabric is clarke & clarke halcyon melrose)


    Have you followed the instructions correctly for patterned fabric and cut adjusted cut drops (where each drop of fabric has been cut so it starts at the same point in the pattern repeat) .

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