How to make -
Hand Pleated Interlined Curtains
  •   Sewing Machine
  • - Tape Measure
  • - Needles
  • - Pins
  • - Scissors
  • - Set Square
  • - Straight Edge
  •   Pencil
  • - Vanishing Marker
  • - Clamps
  • Step 8: Insert the Buckram


    • Clamp the bottom of the curtain to the table, lining side up.
    • Smooth out the layers so they are totally flat and sitting straight on the table.
    • Fold the lining back at the top
    • Measure up from the bottom of the fabric hem "the finished curtain length" and mark with a pencil in approximately 4 places across each width. Draw a line joining the marks together.
    • Trim the excess interlining away
    This video shows you
    • Laying out the panel and folding back the lining
    • How to mark and measure the top of the curtain
    • How to trim away the excess interlining


    • Cut a piece of non fusible buckram 20cm longer than the width of the fabric panel.
    • Lay the buckram onto the interlining so the top of the buckram is inline with the top of the interlining, with 10cm protruding from each side.
    • Fold the fabric down over the top edge of the buckram and pin in place. The fabric folded over should only be 5cm deep. (if req trim away any excess fabric making sure the fabric doesn't cover more than 3/4 of the buckram)
    • At each end fold the buckram in 10cm so it now finishes flush with the edge of the fabric panel inside the side turn.
    • Form mock mitres at each corner where the fabric is folded over.
    This video shows you
    • How to position and fold in the buckram.
    • How to form the mock mitres.
    • How to make sure you dont push the side folds out.


    • Herringbone stitch the fabric fold to the buckram and interlining, along the top and down each side. Finish the herringbone stitch down to join the stitching coming up each side turn. (not through to the face fabric)
    • Ladder stitch the mitres closed
    • Lock stitch the bottom of the buckram to the interlining.
    • Remove all pins in the heading.
    • Fold the lining back up
    • Trim the lining so it protrudes 2cm above the top of the curtain.
    • Fold the top of the lining under itself, so the lining now sits 0.5cm below the top of the curtain.
    • Slip stitch the lining to the fabric along the top and down both sides. (tuck the lining corners under to make them tidy)
    This video shows you
    • How to herringbone stitch in detail
    • How to ladder stitch in detail
    • How to lock stitch the buckram
    • How to trim the lining
    • How to slip stitch in detail
    • How to tidy the lining corners
    • Where/how to start and finish your stitches

    Questions & Comments


    Hi, thanks for the great tutorial. I’m at the stage where I need to sew the pleats in through the buckram. I used fusible buckram as demonstrated in your video but my sewing machine can’t make it through this. It’s a decent machine and I’m wondering if the fusible, ie gluey nature of the buckram is the problem? I’m not sure what to do now as and am a bit stuck!


    The fusible buckram shouldn’t be a problem as it is designed to be machine stitched. I would suggest it is the the machine. Are you making lined or interlined? Simple lined hand pleated shouldn’t pose too many problems for your sewing machine, however, interlined can be more problematic. Make sure you change your needle to a heavy duty one, otherwise they will keep on breaking.

    Try lifting your pressure foot on the machine a little higher to get the pleat under and give it another go. Failing that, I am sorry to say that they will have to be hand stitched.

    Good luck. Cindy 


    I am making full length curtains with an eyelet heading . The eyelets are being sent away to a company to be inserted .The curtains are interlined would you machine sew in the buckram into the heading as then the interlining and lining follow from the heading .


    I always try to minimise the amount of machine stitching on the face fabric of any curtains so I would not personally machine stitch in the buckram. I would use eyelet buckram and enclose it in the face fabric (as in the lined hand pleated tutorial). You would  need to allow the depth of buckram plus 5 cm for this as your header allowance and this is folded over the eyelet buckram on the back of the curtain and the 5cm is tucked up and under. This fold is then hand stitched in place so no visible stitching to front.

    If you have not allowed enough fabric for this in the make up, then this is what you could do. Put the buckram in place as you wish and fold the face fabric over the top. Slip stitch the lining approx 0.5 cm down from the top on the back of the curtain. Then use strong thread and run 3 parallel lines of tacking stitches  couple of cm apart horizontally along the buckram to temporarily hold it in place. Once the eyelet are in, this stitching can be removed. I have never done it like this I hasten to add but just trying to think how best to do it if you don’t have enough fabric to encase the buckram.

    Hope this helps.  Cindy 


    Hi there, please can you tell me which clamps you use and where you got them?

    Many thanks. Amy


    Google spring clamps, you can get them on ebay, amazon, builders merchants etc.


    Thank you so much for these videos and tutorials. They are going to be a huge help. I am planning on making interlined curtains but with heading tape instead of buckram as I am not confident that both my sewing machine would manage and I would keep them straight and even enough. What stitch should I use to attach the heading tape? Would a slip stitch do? Do I have to try and catch the face fabric or can I just sew it to the lining and interlining? Thanks for helping.


    We machine stitch heading tape in place.


    I am making 3 width curtains with heavy velour and medium weight interlining. I'm about to add the buckram but now wondering if I should make them 0.5/1cm shorter than the curtain length to allow for some drop due to the weight of the curtain? I'm worrying that they may drag when finished. Fantastic tutorials. Thank you.


    We don't do that.


    Hi, I want to make pinch pleat curtains, I see you can now get heading tape with two or three pleats in place then you can buy the hooks to put in to form the pleats. Would the curtains look as nice made like this?



    Hi Dawn

    In the workshop we never use pinch pleat tape - we always hand make the pleats with buckram which gives a far superior finish.

    When sewing in the buckram across multiple widths of curtain do you work a stage at a time across all widths or complete several processes on one width before moving the curtain across the table?


    Hi Jennie

    That is a very good question. In the tutorials we have done it all step by step (to demonstrate the method) but when I make in the work room, I do sometimes combine steps.

    This depends on a couple of things - how big the curtain is? What fabric I am using? If the curtain is very large and made of a fine 100 % linen and is interlined, I would try and move the fabric as little as possible and try and accomplish a couple of steps at a time. For example - I may have the face fabric wrong side up on the table, lay on the interlining, fold up and stitch the bottom hem and attach the buckram one section at a time, then move on to the next section of curtain. I don’t tend to lay lining on at the same time as (especially a large curtain), it can just be a bit too much going on at once. So I do tend to do the lining separately.

    Hope that helps.

    Lisa Allison

    Hi there, when I try to sew the buckram the thread is loping on the underside. I have tested on a piece of other fabric and it is sewing as normal, what can I do? I have tried all sorts. Thank you


    Im sorry we don't understand what you mean.


    Why non-fusible buckram? Could I use fusible?


    We use non fusible because we do not need to fuse the buckram. You can sew in fusible buckram instead if you like. It will be messy and difficult to herringbone stitch through though if you fuse it.


    Do you have to make interlined curtains wth hand pleats? Does heading tape not work with the extra bulk?



    Yes you can make interlined curtains with heading tape (and we do). We just haven't made a tutorial yet .  The lighter the interlining the easier it is to pull the heading tape into pleats.


    What stiffness of buckram would you recommend? Merrick and Day have light, firm and extra firm - could you advise which of these is most suitable? Many thanks!


    Not Extra Firm (very hard to hand stitch through and you will need a strong sewing machine) we genrally use a medium stiffness buckram.


    Could you ever place the buckram between the fabric and the interlining - rather than between interlining and lining- to form crisper pleats?


    You probably could but it is not something we have done. We think it might look odd and it is better keeping the form of the fabric from top to bottom. Using a thinner interlining might be a solution to consider.

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