How to make -
Pinch Lined Pleat Curtains
(Double Pleat)
Step 6b: Hem the Fabric panels

MAKE THE HEM

Hem the bottom edge of the fabric panels and add curtain weights. This is a double hem (turned twice) 8cm for sill length curtains and 10cm for floor length curtains:

  • Position curtain weights 6cm in from each end of the fabric panel (to allow for side turns in the next Step) and at half width intervals.
  • Sew the curtain weights flush with the bottom of the curtain panel. (when the hem is folded up twice they will sit on the bottom of the hem)
  • Fold up the bottom (10cm or 8cm)
  • Fold up another (10cm or 8cm)
  • Pin the hem in place.
This video shows you
  • How to position and sew in weights.
  • How to fold and pin the hem.

STITCHING THE HEM

View this next video to see the machine options on your sewing machine for machine stitching and how to hand stitch the hem.

This video will show you
  • How to machine straight line stitch the hem.
  • How to machine blind hem stitch the hem.
  • How to hand stitch blind hem in detail.

Questions & Comments

Diana

Thanks for your advice I will make a double hem.

I have another problem..I have joined the leading edge panel and it appears to be puckering even though I have been very careful sewing it (several times and lots of unpicking!) I does not hang evenly either. Do you have any tips? Should I put buckram in it?...I am out of ideas

SewHelpful:  

That is a problem and a very frustrating one at that! Are the 2 fabrics very different? Is one of them velvet or a thicker weave? The problem that you have (I think) is that the 2 layers of fabric are passing under the sewing machine foot at different rates as you stitch. The answer is a walking foot - they are not cheap, approx £45, but are an essential piece of kit for a regular sewer and I couldn’t do without mine. 

I realise this is quite a lot of money and doesn’t help you out now but it’s the only way to effectively solve this problem. If both fabrics are the same, you could try tacking first and then machine sewing maintaining tension in both fabrics as they pass under the foot but if the fabrics are different, this could end up pulling one more than the other and you’re no better off. Maybe try this on about 50cm and see how it looks rather than doing the whole length - less to unpick if unsuccessful.

It really is one of those scenarios though where having the right tool for the job will really help you.

Good luck with your project. Cindy

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Diana

Hi, I am revamping some water damaged curtains and am adding a leading edge and bottom band of fabric. The fabric is suede like and quite thick. Would it be better to make my bottom hem a single fold of 18cm perhaps? I am concerned that the curtains will not hang well if I make a double hem as it will be quite bulky. I will still be positioning the weights though.

SewHelpful:  

We always tend to do a double hem even on a bulky velvet as it is a much neater finish and the weight of the hem helps the curtain hang.

If you decide to use a single fold you will need to finish the raw edge.


Ir

I love your tutorials and am spending hours reading all the helpful tips. Thank you!

I have a question, if I am making linen double pleat curtains which are lined and interlined and will be puddling on the floor by 1", do I still include weights in the hem or higher than the hem. I am thinking that the weight otherwise will be just lying on the floor.

SewHelpful:  

We alway put weights in the hem in the usual place.

Sam

Do you recommend any particular weights? I have come across lead weight tape for curtain making, is this as effective as individual weights? Thanks

SewHelpful:  

We use the fabric covered weights (as in the videos) for our customers curtains. You can use the lead tape in lined curtains, we tend to use it more for shears.

Sophia

Can you tell me where to buy the curtain table clamps you use? I only have some very rough sharp metal ones from Merrick and Day, yours look kinder to the fabric....thanks

SewHelpful:  

Try EBay and search for spring clamps.

Sania

For my full length curtains I have allowed 10 cm for each curtain hem allowance.

If I fold the hem twice 10 cm first time and 10 cm second time will I not be using 20 cm for the hem allowance for each curtain?

By doing this will my finished curtain length not be short by 10cm?

SewHelpful:  

Yes you are using 20cm to make the hem.

If you go back to STEP 3 you will see in the fabric quantity calculation the hem allowance was 20cm (double 10cm hem). 

So you should have allowed 20cm for the hem in your fabric quantity and fabric cut drop calculations.

NT

I'm using my dining room table to work but we need it for meal times! Is there a good way to move/store everything without messing it up?

If I am making short curtains with 2x8cm hem, should the side fold be 4cm instead of 5 to make it match up better?

SewHelpful:  

         1.   I’m afraid you just have to fold it up carefully

         2.   No the side turns 5cm regardless

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