Materials
  • - Fabric
  • - Lining
  • - Thread
  • - Buckram
  • - Wadding
  • - Weights
  • - Curtain Hooks
  • Tools
  • - Sewing Machine
  • - Needles
  • - Pins
  • - Clamps
  • - Scissors
  • - Set Square
  • - Straight Edge
  • - Invisible Marker
  • Watch the videos for full step by step tution of the instructions and expert tips from the workshop

    Video User Comments

    I love your videos they have given me the confidence to make my own curtains and blinds....Julie

    Your videos are so good, thank you…..Alex

    Once again, I should say that I think the video tutorials are extremely well done. Although I've been sewing for years I've learnt lots of techniques that are new to me and that give a much more professional finish........Heather

    Thank you for such brilliant tutorials and videos....... ....Barbara

    I have absolutely loved your videos for curtain making, I have learnt so much from you….Charlotte

    Step 9: Form the Pleats
    Printable Worksheet
    Printable Worksheet

    CALCULATE YOUR PLEAT SIZES & SPACING

    To do this we already know:

    • The finished width of the curtain (FW)
    • The width of the made up curtain panel to be pleated - measure now. (PAN)

    Now Choose:

    • The width of your RETURN* - we recommend 8cm. (R)
    • The width of your LEADING EDGE - we recommend 8cm.(LE)

    *Note if you are returning to the wall make this the distance from the pole to the wall plus 1cm.

    Next

    1. CALCULATE WIDTH OF FABRIC AVAILABLE TO FORM PLEATS (WFP)

    To calculate the width of fabric available to form pleats simply subtract the Finished Curtain Width (STEP 2) from the width of the panel to be pleated.

    • WFP = PAN - FW

    2. DECIDE THE NUMBER OF PLEATS (NP)

    You now know how much fabric you have to form pleats (WFP). Next you need to decide how many pleats you want your curtain to have (NP).

    If working with the 1.9 fullness ratio (STEP 2) we used in the videos we suggest using 6 pleats for every fabric width used to make the curtain panel. For example if you have used 2 widths of fabric to make your panel we would recommend 12 pleats, if you have used 1.5 widths we would recommend 9 pleats etc. You may want to vary this depending on the size of pleat you want, this number is usually a good place to start.

    3. CALCULATE THE ACTUAL PLEAT SIZE & SPACE SIZE

    PLEAT SIZE (PS)

    To calculate your pleat size divide the fabric available for pleats by the number of pleats.

    • PS = WFP ÷ NP

    SPACE SIZE (SS)

    You will always have one space less than the number of pleats. For example 12 pleats - 11 spaces, 10 pleats-9 spaces. To find the size of the space between pleats

    • Subtract the size of the RETURN and LEADING EDGE from the finished curtain width
    • Divide the result by (the number of pleats minus 1)
    • SS = (FW - LE - R) ÷ (NP-1)

    You should now know

    • The width of the fabric panel to be pleated
    • The number of pleats per curtain.
    • The size of each pleat
    • The space between each pleat
    • The size of the RETURN
    • The size of the LEADING EDGE

    CHECK YOUR RESULTS

    If you are new to curtain making fold a sample pleat with some lining or spare fabric the size of the pleat you have calculated (see STEP 9b - How to fold the Pleat). If you are not happy with size of pleat and the space sizes start the calculation again using a smaller number of pleats for a larger pleat, or a higher number of pleats to make your pleats smaller.

    MARK OUT AND SEW IN YOUR PLEAT SECTIONS

    • Lay the curtain down, right side facing up.
    • Mark along the top of the curtain where each pleat will start and stop with a pin
    • Check the size of your RETURN, LEADING EDGE and the spaces between the pleats add up to the finished width of the curtain.
    • With a vanishing marker draw a vertical line down from each pin to the bottom of the buckram to mark the edge of each pleat.
    • Remove the pins
    • Pinch the back of each pleat together so the lines match up.
    • Machine stitch down the line to the bottom of the buckram (to hold the back of each pleat together).
    • Once you have sewn in all the pleats check the width of the heading is now the finished width of the curtain.
    This video shows you
    • How to mark out your pleats
    • How to deal with small errors
    • How to sew in your pleats
    • Where to start your stitching (important)