• - Fabric
  • - Lining
  • - Thread
  • - Buckram
  • - Wadding
  • - 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 pulled back.

    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 and comments here, we will reply so everyone can see the answer.
    Absolutely brilliant. All questions answered in such great detail. Thank you
    Sue Hall
    Can you use this type of header if the curtain track is just below the ceiling. I don't have enough clearance to put a pole up
    Sew Helpful
    Yes, you can adjust the pin position, you need to work out where you want the top of the curtain to finish and what hook to top distance you want before you start making. 
    Thank you so much!
    Hello, I've just cut the fabric for a pair of curtains and have attempted to pattern match, however the pattern along the bottom edge does not match up and have the fabric staggered by 5 cm, so no longer a continued straight edge. I started with a straight edge taken using the right angle from the cutting board/table, even thought this ran through some of the pattern. Was this incorrect?
    Sew Helpful
    Sometimes fabric is not printed straight across, or you need to manipulate the fabric if it has movement See - CUT THE MARKED DROPS (PATTERNED FABRIC) STEP 6. 

    Also see our BLOG item   "The Pattern on the Fabric isn't square!!!!" which does show a technique pulling the corner of the fabric that can sometimes help.

    However you have cut the fabric now and I assume the bottom is staggered after you have joined the panels. You have a couple of options.

    1. Presuming you know where you want the pattern to be on the bottom of the curtain. Put a pin across the width at this point, mark 10cm down for the first fold of the hem, then enclose the stagggered bottom in the second fold of the hem.

    2. Trim the bottom of your cut drops square, then do as above again (the second fold will be shorter than the first) OR measure down from the point of the bottom of your curtain on the pattern and make a double HEM with the remaining fabric, Eg if 16cm left make a double 8cm hem.

    Shelley Kingston
    I am making pinch pleat curtains for a friend but the pole has not yet been put up. I have measured the desired drop to be 215cm. Should I ask her to get the pole put up before I make the curtains in case the height it is put up at is not accurate to the curtain drop I intend to make to, or should I just go ahead and make to a 215cm drop as planned and let them worry about being accurate when putting the pole up?! There is plenty of room above the door for a bit of flexibility!
    Sew Helpful
    We always measure from the pole after it has been put up. It is easier to make the curtain the measured length rather than put a pole up to a specified height accurately. ( the height is eyelet to floor not bracket to floor, the bracket may not get a strong fixing at the height you specify etc.)
    Shelley Kingston
    Thank-you! I suspected that was going to be the case, but always good to check!
    Amazing tutorial, thanks so much for takng the time to create such a thorough and educational video! x
    Jean Kirkman
    My curtain track is 260cm. the fabric is polyester. I want to make triple pleat curtains with interlining in. Will the track be ok but want to hide it or would a pole be better.How many widths should it be 5 in total or 6? Am I better to make small pleats ie 7 per width
    Sew Helpful
    Track or pole is a design decision,  

    We go into covering a track a bit in the STEP 1 video that shows how the curtains can be pushed forward when stacked back if you try and cover the pole or track when they are closed.

    We tend to use tracks in pelmets where you cant see them, also if it has to be a track you can get ones that are not (white plastic) and look nice, but they can be expensive though, (look up  metropole etc)

    We don't do calculations for people, there is a lot of info in the tutorials and videos to guide you through the calculations. (generally we do 4 triple pleats per width, 5-6 double pleats per width, 7 sounds way off the mark for a triple pleat)
    Bloody hell (quality). Decided today to have a go at making curtains after seeing final cost of made to measure. I'm a bloke (not that it matters) in the middle of painting 2 rooms & my wife is reminding me 'carpets first' (before curtains) & that is true but your video has given me the confidence to have a crack at the curtains when the time comes. Exceptional (you put a lot of DIY videos to shame). Thank you very much
    I've just found your wonderful website. Is it £9.95 for each video per curtain/blind?
    Sew Helpful

    £9.95 unlocks all the videos in this tutorial, for 28 days.
    So, essentially, it is £9.95 for each video tutorial for each curtain/blinds for 28 days?
    Sew Helpful
    £9.95 does not unlock all the videos on the website

    Currently (November 2018) It is

    £9.95 to access all the videos on this tutorial -Lined Double/Pinch Pleat Curtain for 28days

    £9.95 to access all the videos of the tutorial - Lined Goblet Pleat Curtain for 28days
    £9.95 to access all the videos of the tutorial - Lined Triple Pleat Curtain for 28days
    £9.95 to access all the videos of the tutorial - Lined Cartridge Pleat Curtain for 28days
    £9.95 to access all the videos of the tutorial - Lined Pencil Pleat Curtain for 28days

    £9.95 to access all the videos of the tutorial - Lined Roman Blind for 28days
    £9.95 to access all the videos of the tutorial - Interliined Roman Blind for 28days

    £14.95 to access all the videos of all the tutorials for - INTERLINED Handpleated Curtain for 28days 

    £5.95 to access all the videos of all the cushion tutorials for 7 days

    FREE  to access all the videos of all the lampshade  tutorials

    Louise Earle
    Can I use a curtain track for double pleats. Your video doesn't show one when measuring hook to top for a track only a pole so am wondering if they will stack back nicely like you showed in the video with a pole.
    Sew Helpful
    Yes you can, here is a double pleat on a track we made recently. 

    We put the pin hooks near the top of the curtain so the gaps stacked back under the track. If you do decide to have the pin hooks lower so the curtain covers the track make sure your gaps aren't too big relative to the pleat size so they dont push forward too far compared to the pleat. Making a mock up with some lining and buckram helps to work out how bigger pleats and gaps to go for if you are not sure.

    Double Pleat on a Track 
    Sharron Boog-Scott
    I want to make a curtain for my front door using velvet wiith double pinch pleats. Someone has suggested that the method for fitting buckram which I have used for my other double pleat curtains (following your tutorials successfully!) will not work for velvet as it is too thick. It has been suggested that I use buckram which is glued on both sides, and eliminate the wrap around the buckram to reduce bulk.
    What would you do?
    Do you have any other tips for sewing velvet?
    I have already purchased the velvet.
    Sew Helpful
    We do not iron velvet as you can damage it so would not use fusible buckram with it.

    The thickness would not be a problem for our machines so we would make with the normal method. If your machine is not up to it, to reduce bulk  you could tack the buckram in place, fold over 5cm fabric at the top then bring the lining to the top at the back (similar to the interlined method). Once the pleat folds are sewn in place you would then need to remove the tacks.
    Sharron Boog-Scott
    Thankyou. I hadn’t thought about the fact that ironing could damage the velvet!!
    I shall make a start, confidence renewed!
    I have invested in a good sewing machine, so it should be a good test.
    Thanks again!
    Your tutorials are 100% brilliant ! Thanks to you I had the confidence to take on tcurtain jobs for clients . I was able to make perfect curtains ,lined triple and double pinch pleats. Clients VERY happy. I will send photos when I have good quality ones available. I am now working through your blind making tutorial.
    May I ask which semi industrial sewing machine you are using?
    Thank you so very much !!!!!!
    Sew Helpful
    It's a Janome 1600P

    There is a review we did on it here in our BLOG . Janome 1600P Review
    I have just finished making 9 cascading roman blinds for my round bay window following your excellent video and now I am going to tackle curtains and a valance. Do you make the valance exactly like you would a curtain and can you use Velcro instead of a curtain track if making pinch pleat headings? Will the sewing of the Velcro show on the face of the valance?
    Sew Helpful
    Valances are similar, I'm afraid it requires a written tutorial to explain properly which is beyond the scope of answering questions here. 
    Does you calculate take into account ease + overlap?
    My pole width is 240cm so do I actually enter 240 or 260 which will allow for 10cm ease + overlap for each curtain?
    Hope that Makes sense...thank you
    Sew Helpful
    You are not calculating at this STEP you are just measuring. Ease and overlap is covered in the next STEP when you calculate the curtain dimensions.
    I have a 6 inch return to the wall. Do I add this onto the pole length now or at the pleating stage? Thanks
    Sew Helpful
    Please see the next STEP, STEP 2 it is explained there. (add it to the pole length)
    Thank you for your brilliant videos. I am going to make some double pleat interlinked curtains for my daughter. She is a nurse and so has to sleep during the day and wants blackout lining incorporated into the curtains. Do I use this the same way as ordinary lining or do I need to add it on after I have made the curtains and if so how would I do that?
    Sew Helpful
    Just replace the lining with blackout  lining. Do not press open any join seams, fold them to the side.

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