• - Fabric
  • - Lining
  • - Thread
  • - Heading Tape
  • - Weights
  • - Curtain Hooks
  • Tools
  • - Sewing Machine
  • - Needles
  • - Pins
  • - Clamps
  • - Scissors
  • - Set Square
  • - Straight Edge
  • - Invisible Marker
  • - Tape Measure
  • 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. * Note



    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, rather than under the pole/track, when the curtains are pulled back.

    Some people like their curtains to cover a track when they are closed, this will cause them to push forward when pulled back.

    Questions & Comments


    Please can you tell me where I can purchase a tape measure where part of the foot can fit through the curtain ring eye as shown in your image. Thank you.


    The tape was bought from a builders merchant in the UK. it is an -- Advent 5m dual printed -- tape  a quick google shows you many places to buy it.

    Try Screwfix online.


    I'm planning some sill length curtains but my hook drop varies by 1cm. Do I go with the shortest or longest length or something in between? Many thanks for your excellent tutorials. This will be the second pair I make using your tutorial.


    This is a common problem and is really a question of taste and what you prefer. Do you want your curtain to touch the sill or not. Ask 3 different people and you will probably get back the 3 answers you have given. Indeed we have learnt over the years to ask the client what they prefer.

    We like the longest option where the curtain is slightly touching at one end and to the sill at the other.


    I am looking to make curtains for a bay window (four separate panes, two on the side and two in the middle). Will there be any fundamental changes in the steps I should follow?

    (I have read that there are lots of different types of bay curtains, from one large one, to three smaller curtains. I just want a normal set - two bits of fabric that hang at the sides when open and meet in the middle when closed)


    No change to the instructions to make a pair. You just need to measure the  length of the track /pole the curtains will travel along around the bay and that will be your pole length.

    Rose H

    What is the recommended height from the top of the window reveal for the pole? I intend using 6" pencil pleat tape.


    We don't use fixed rules, we judge by eye what we think looks right.


    Your instructions are for measuring up for curtains hung from poles. How do I

    I deal with the measurements when using a track ?


    The measurement from a track is the same. You measure the length of the track - that will be pole length.

    Measure the hook drop from the the eyelet on the track.

    Then you decide your hook to top distance.

    Pencil Pleat Heading on track


    Hiya, I am about to embark on my first curtain making project. How do I know which row I want to put my curtain hooks on? There is a choice of three rows on the tape, but I don't know which is the correct one. Is there a method to ascertain this? Thanks


    Watch the video in the next step (STEP 2) about hook drop and hook to top. That will give you information to help you choose which row to put your hook on.



    I'm making full length curtains for a friend, they are to be fully lined and the fabric was £20.00 per metre. How much and what should be hand sewn.

    Many Thanks.


    Steps 3 and 4 of the tutorial show you how to calculate the fabric and lining quantities. Where to hand stitch and where to machine stitch is covered at each stage in the tutorial instructions.

    Liz M

    Can I use a six inch heading tape with curtain to go on a pole ?




    Your instructions and tutorials look excellent, but I cant seem to see any recommendations when it comes to choosing header tape. Do you think the 6" tape gives a better finish with heavier fabrics and is it any more difficult to work with than the more traditional 3"?


    It's no harder to work with, it is just a choice for what look you are going for. 


    I want to use pale coloured blackout lining fabric. Is there anything you would recommend or particularly avoid (UK)?


    We buy wholesale, there is an item about linings including blackout linings in the website blog.

    Sew Helpful Lining Guide


    If I have ceiling mounted curtain tracks with the curtains hanging below, will I need to add 'hook to top' allowance to the curtain length?


    Your hook to top will be from where the hook attaches to the glider up to where you want the top of the curtain to finish. If you want the curtain to run under the track make the top of the curtain about .25cm below the bottom of the track so it doesn't rub.

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