Materials
  • - Fabric
  • - Lining
  • - Thread
  • - Heading Tape
  • - Weights
  • - Curtain Hooks
  • Tools
  • - Sewing Machine
  • - Needles
  • - Pins
  • - Clamps
  • - Scissors
  • - Set Square
  • - Straight Edge
  • - Invisible Marker
  • - Tape Measure
  • 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 6: Make up the Fabric panels
    Printable Worksheet
    Printable Instructions

    PLAIN and PATTERNED FABRIC are treated differently at this stage

    Check your fabric for faults and that the correct length has been supplied NOW before making any cuts.

    CUT PLAIN FABRIC DROPS

    With plain fabric we do the same as with the lining. Press your fabric* before measuring and cutting so any shrinkage will be before the curtain is made up. As once the curtain is made it will probably be quite creased and if you have not already ironed the panels they will shrink if you press/steam them later having not done this first.

    WARNING *

    • Cut the widths of plain fabric the length of the FABRIC CUT DROP calculated in step 3
    • As with the lining if you are working with an odd number of widths each curtain will contain a half width. Cut down one of the widths to split it into 2 equal halves.
    • Check the bottom of the panels are straight, if not trim.
    This video shows you
    • How to measure and mark your cut drops.
    • How to cut your cut drops.
    • How to split a width in half.
    • How to make sure you use the correct sides the right way up later.

    If each curtain is more than one width wide, we now need to join the required widths to make each curtain fabric panel.

    JOINING PLAIN FABRIC

    • Lay fabric panels to be joined right side together (make sure the panels are the same way up) align bottoms and edges.
    • If you are working with an odd number of widths each curtain will contain a half width. The half widths should be on the outer edges of the curtain. Join the selvedge to selvedge.
    • Join the panels with a plain seam.
    • Press the seams open
    • Check the bottom of the panels are straight, if not trim.
    This video shows you
    • How to make sure you are joining correct sides and the right way up.
    • How to sew a plain seam.
    • How to press a plain seam.

    PATTERNED FABRIC

    Press your fabric* before measuring and cutting so any shrinkage will be before the curtain is made up. As once the curtain is made it will probably be quite creased and if you have not already ironed the panels they will shrink.

    This tutorial is based on a normal pattern repeat fabric, if your fabric has a half drop pattern repeat please read HERE and adjust the instructions accordingly.

    MARK EVERYTHING OUT BEFORE CUTTING

    It is very easy to make a costly mistake cutting your drops wrong with patterned fabric, That is why we recommend the following method marking out everything before cutting. This also gives you the opportunity to check the fabric for faults and thatk you have enough length.

    MARK OUT THE FIRST DROP (PATTERNED FABRIC)

    The calculation of the quantity of patterned fabric included an extra pattern repeat to enable you to position the pattern where you want it. Decide where the pattern will finish on the bottom of the curtain. (we choose the position at the bottom of the curtain because this is what your eye picks up)

    • From the bottom of the fabric roll move up the fabric to the point on the pattern where you want the bottom of the curtain to be and mark with pin 1.
    • Measure back towards the end of the fabric the hem allowance and mark with pin 2. If not you do not have enough fabric for the hem you will need to move the bottom point of your curtain further up the pattern.
    • Note the position of pin 2 in the pattern and measure up the adjusted cut drop in number of pattern repeats and mark with pin 3.
    • Pin 3 marks the position of the first cut
    • Check the distance between pin 2 and pin 3 is the adjusted cut drop calculated in STEP3.

    MARK OUT THE REMAINING DROPS (PATTERNED FABRIC)

    The length of the first cut drop will probably be slightly different to the other cut drops, as this first section of fabric included an extra pattern repeat to postion the pattern in the correct place. To mark out the remaining drops.

    • Measure up the number of PATTERN REPEATS (ADJUSTED CUT DROP) calculated in STEP3 and mark the fabric at the correct point in the pattern ready for cutting. (The fabric should be cut at the same position in the pattern each time)
    • Check the length of the drop to be cut is the same as the ADJUSTED CUT DROP. Example
    • Repeat until you have all the drops of fabric required.

    CUT THE MARKED DROPS (PATTERNED FABRIC)

    • Some printed fabrics (particularly light weight linens) may need a bit of manipulation at this point to make sure that the pattern across the width of the curtain is all in line otherwise your panels will not line up when it comes to joining them together. Once you have rechecked all your measurements and your pattern is straight across the width of the fabric you can draw a line across.
    • Cut the drops at the marks

    If the curtain fabric panels contain more than one width each we now need to join the widths to make the curtain fabric panels

    JOIN PATTERNED FABRIC WIDTHS

    Your fabric panels* should begin and end in the same place in the pattern if you have cut them accurately according to the true pattern repeat. This will make joining them a lot easier.

    *The first panel will probably be longer due to positioning the pattern but will be cut at the bottom at the same point in the pattern as the other panels.

    Tip

    • If each curtain has a half width, cut down one of the widths to split it into 2 equal halves. The half widths should be on the outer edges of the curtain.
    • Lay fabric panels right side together (make sure both panels are the same way up) align bottoms and edges. Join the selvedge to selvedge.
    • At the joining edge lift back the top layer of fabric until you get a continuation of the pattern where the two fabrics meet. Finger press along this fold.
    • Fold the top layer back down and cross pin a regular intervals.
    • Mark along the pressed line and sew the panels together with a straight machine stitch. (Your sewing machine should be able to cope with the pins but it could become blunt quicker.)
    • Remove pins.
    • Press the seams open
    • Check the bottom of the panels are straight, if not trim. (You should not need to trim anything off as your panels should all be level and if you do trim then you will affect where the bottom of your curtain will be.)
    This video talks you through each step with extra hints and tips for easy pattern matching. It includes in detail
    • Where to start the matching.
    • How to align the pattern.
    • How to pin.
    • How to mark the fold.
    • How to stitch the panels together.

    PLAIN and PATTERNED FABRIC are now treated the same.

    Extra Help & Comments

    Sew Helpful
    Post your questions and comments here, we will reply so everyone can see the answer. 
    Catherine
    Do you ever cut off the selvedge on the curtain or lining fabric?
    Do you use a double hem on thick, heavy fabric?
    Sew Helpful
    I generally leave selvedges on fabric and lining

    • I never cut off the selvedge joining fabric, if it is tight long the edge you can snip into it to release the tension.. 
    • Again on the lining I would only cut off the selvedge when trimming a panel to the right size. I would not cut it off as a matter of course.
    I prefer to use a double hem on thick, heavy fabric as it can add weight to the bottom of the curtain.

    • If you do use a single hem you would have to neaten off the raw edges
    • On a single hem you would not have the flap of fabric to attach the weights to. In this case you would stitch curtain weight chain into the bottom of the hem.

     
    Naomi
    What kind of curtain weights do you recommend?
    Sew Helpful
    You will see in the video the type of fabric covered weights we use, how we set them out and sew them in.
    Linda
    Hi
    This tutorial was excellent
    Do you have any advice on how to combine a gathered heading
    with pencil pleat so pencil pleat place about 8cm fro curtain top and gathered heading on top
    Would be very grateful thanks!
    Linda
    Sew Helpful
    For this type of heading use a narrower heading tape (we use 4cm tape). For a lined curtain we would recommend a fullness ratio of 2.5 so you get a thick gather, to make it look right.

    The curtain would have hook to top measurement of about 9cm (hook to top of tape 1cm plus 8cm frill).

    You will need 8cm extra fabric to fold down the back of the curtain down to the tape. You can reduce your heading allowance from 5cm to 3cm though as the tape is narrower.

    You will need to ladder stitch closedt the frill at each end.





    Lorraine from Scotland
    Hello...
    I just want to agree with the lady above. I have found this tutorial EXCELLENT. Each step is so clearly explained. I have just finished a supposed NQ in soft furnishing at a local college and can I say that I have learned more in the couple of hours I have been watching this, than I learned in weeks at the course. Thank you so very much. Do you have any plans to make pinch pleat curtains? It is so nice that you do these for free, but I am certain that you could make a little money selling complete DVDs or even complete on line tutorials....I would be your first customer!
    Sew Helpful
    Hi Lorraine thanks for the kind comments.

    You will find later in the tutorial there are a set of videos available to help you that we charge for. We put all the written instructions and some videos online for free.

    The lined pinch pleat written instructions are nearly ready.
    Barbara
    I have a large pattern repeat (64 cms )with very large modern flowers. Would you advise me where to start the pattern on the heading. Do think it would look better if I placed the start of the pattern which includes the whole flower at the top of the curtain rather than at the hem.The curtains are full length 229 cms and will be hanging from a pole
    I think this tutorial is excellent Thank you.
    Sew Helpful
    There are no rules, it's a design decision. But generally on a curtain we would position the pattern so the whole flower falls at the bottom of the curtain.
    Anne Forbes Knudsen
    Hi
    Thank you so much for excellent tutorials, they are exceptionally good! I am interested in finding out what size work table you have and what the surface is. Would you please let me know where you have bought it along with the long ruler with the blue handle on the end?
    Thank you !

    Anne
    Sew Helpful
    Our table is 165cm by 275cm, it is a white Formica board we had made up and edged which sits on sets of legs from ikea. The long T bar comes from Merrick and Day online.
    Jayne
    Hi, can you please give me some advice on double pleated curtains. When the curtains are closed would there still be an overlap if the drapes are hung from a pole? And when it is overlapped, should the width of the overlap be the same as the width of the return ? Also, would you put in a drapers pin in the overlaps or would they finish at the last pleat? Thank you
    Sew Helpful
    1. Yes we overlap them.
    2. There are many ways to do it, we tend to use 7cm from the leading edge to the first pleat on each curtain and overlap these flaps.
    3. We put a pin hook next to the pleat on the curtain that will overlap over the top and a pin hook nearer the leading edge on the curtain behind.
    Peggy
    The selvage on my curtain material is only about 1cm wide. The pattern repeats every 45cm. If I use a wider seam then I will remove one of the circles in the pattern completely. The circles only appear every 45cm and not staggered as in some fabrics.
    Shall I do a wider seam or match the pattern as show in the excellent video?
    Sew Helpful
    We would join using just the 1cm selvage. Unfortunately some fabrics are a bit tight for space on the edge. You would be losing alot of fabric if you came across to the next pattern.
    Julie
    The selvedge on my curtain fabric is very wide,8cm. Should I trim it to make a narrower seam
    Sew Helpful
    You can it won't do any harm. We probably wouldn't bother though.
    Julie
    Which method would you recommend for getting a straight edge from which to measure the curtain lengths? Can I rely on the pattern being straight horizontally. My pattern has horizontal zigzags. Thanks Julie
    Sew Helpful
    You can't always rely on the pattern being straight and it can move with the fabric, it varies according to your fabric (hopefully everything will be true and straight with yours). You basically have to smooth it out, check it and in some cases try to manipulate it, if the pattern is not true. However you need to stay true to the selvedge edge when measuring and cutting though.
    Rose
    Hello,
    Somehow I've made a mistake with my measurements and ended up with only a 10cm hem allowance (not the 20cm). What do you recommend I do in this situation?
    - do a double hem of 5 cm
    - a single hem of 10
    - or buy some interfacing at 10cm deep and add this to the back of the single 10cm hem to add some weight.
    Your advice would be appreciated!
    Sew Helpful
    in this case we would go for a double 5cm hem.
    doxy
    Hi its me again. This question concerns curtain weights. I see they come in different weights of lead. My curtains are medium weight cotton which I plan to interline with 250 gram sarill. What gram weight lead should I get?(also is 250gram the correct
    choice for my curtains ?)
    Sew Helpful
    You'll see in the videos we use a fabric covered weight, these are the weights we use in our lined and interlined curtains. They are approx 13g (1.3kg per100)
    doxy
    Further to my last question just to be more clear I meant to write is 250 sarill the correct choice (not 250 gram lead weights)
    Many thanks.
    Sew Helpful
    A 250gsm Sarill will give you quite a thick heavy curtain. If that is what you are after it is the correct choice. Sarill is a good interlining to use if you are a beginner as it doesn't move too much. Our tutorials on how to make interlined curtains are on the way.
    doxy
    In answer to Julie I can definitely tell you not to rely on your design being straight.I started by pulling out a weft thread in order to cut the lengths at right angles to the selvage. I soon discovered that the design of concentric circles in horizontal bars hasn't been printed straight.As I can't have the bands sloping I'm having to ignore the rules and do the hem measurements so the design runs level even if it affects the hang of the curtains somewhat.
    It's Clarke and Clarke 'Eclipse'
    Good luck.
    MandyKay
    These videos are really useful thank you.
    My question is regarding my patterned material. When joining two drops so right sides are together, selvedges aligned, the patterns won't match up. I seem to have to move the top fabric about 6" in from the underneath fabric to match the pattern. It is a printed pattern with 45cm pattern repeat I have cut the lengths starting from the same place on the pattern each time. I wondered what you would advise?
    Sew Helpful
    You are correct in that you have to cut the lengths at the same point in the pattern (on the lefhand side) this is effectively what you are doing when you measure and cut adjusted cut drops.

    If your pattern is not lining up have you got a half drop pattern repeat? Go to the tutorial list  basics section to see info on half drop pattern repeats

    On some fabrics we have had the join right on the selvedge edge.

    Kate
    Please help me........ Basically I have joined together patterned material that has a very large pattern, one width and a half. Although it has married up correctly, some how along the way I have managed to loose the pattern being able to correctly be in line when I add the heading tape. I don't really understand how it's happened. I think it's because the material is silky and it's where I have manipulated it to match. I have already added innterlinning and the lining. So unless I start again (I could cry at the thought) I am faced with either making the pattern straight at the top but the curtain will be longer gradually along to the other side. Or I loose some pattern and make them hang straight. Because the pattern is so large it is noticeable. I know when I gather them you won't be able to tell as much. It's out by as much as 5 cm from one end to the other. What shall I do ? Thank you so much for your wonderful web site :))
    Sew Helpful
    When you hemmed the curtain- did you notice that the pattern was not running straight? I am thinking that if you unpick and start again and make the pattern straight you might not have enough fabric at the top. With some fabrics you do need to be a bit firm with them and get the pattern straight as some have a lot more give in them- cutting them straight is the key. 
    You are quite right about your options. You can unpick and straighten fabric (make sure you will have enough heading/hem allowance) Or just carry on and hope the rise in the pattern is not so noticeable once the curtain is pleated up. This is a tricky one- for a hobby sewer take into account your  sewing experience, confidence, how much patience you have left and also how much it will annoy you if the pattern is not straight. If the curtains are going to be there for a while ( and I guess they will as you have invested money and time in them) I would always recommend getting them right but it's your call.
    judy
    is it a good idea to lock in the lining to the curtain or is that old fashioned now? I am making very wide curtains but not to the floor and locking in will be a lot of work - can I miss this step out do you think?
    Sew Helpful
    We do not lock the lining to the curtain in our lined curtains.
    judy
    just another quick question - what make is your l shaped ruler and how long is it?
    many thanks
    Sew Helpful
    The rulers are generally used in carpentry.
    We use a 1metre steel ruler purchsed from a builders merchant



    And the steel L ruler is unbranded again from a builders merchant. 40cm by 60cm

    Lara
    You say that you can machine stitch the hem, but it is not recommended. What if you where using a blind hem foot on your sewing machine?

    I've just finished making a pair of curtains for my daughters bedroom and I did the hem and sides by hand as I didn't realise I had a blind hem foot on my machine.

    The end result is great so I am happy, but as I am just about to start my next batch of curtains I was wondering if I could speed things along by using the machine without compromising on finish.

    By the way your tutorial is excellent. Thank you!
    Sew Helpful
    We are talking about a straight machine stitch there. You are right in there are blind hemming feet for machines that blind hem and infact you can buy a blind hemming machine (which we have in the workshop) that does a really good job, but only worth buying if you are making lots of curtains.

    We've just shot some video demonstrations showing the finishes using a straight machine stitch, blind hemming foot or a hand stitch on the hem. Those should be available shortly. 
    Lara
    Thanks for your reply. I'll try out the blind hem foot I have and see how I get along.
    Sara
    Could you please tell me brand/colour of the the fabric you used in this video- it is exactly what I am after and looks like a linen mix!
    Sew Helpful
    The fabric in the videos you viewed is Romo Linara   - Colour French Blue. Linen union ( a cootn linen blend. New videos will be coming soon using a different fabric.
    Louise
    Thank you for such great tutorials! I have just finished my first pair of curtains and they look great! So now I'm attempting a more challenging style. I have patterned fabric for the main body of my full length curtains then a 60cm band of plain fabric on the bottom. My question is, would you attach the pattern and plain fabric together as one panel before sewing the vertical panels together or would you sew the pattern match panels together first, then join the plain bottom panels to each other, hem them then join the pattern and plain sections together? Also what type of seam would you use for attaching the plain and patterned fabric together so it sat nice and flat? Thank you again.
    Sew Helpful
    You need to sort the pattern out first joining and cutting where you need to,  then join your plain fabric to the made up patterned panels. Join with a standard plain seam as in the video for joining fabric.
    Louise
    Sorry, I refreshed my screen and it sent my message again.
    Another question, would I overlock the bottom of the patterned panel and the top of the plain fabric before joining the two to finish them off or is there a better alternative. Also, would you press the seams open or up?
    Thank you again, I keep looking at the curtains I already made and I feel so appreciative of your expert guidance. Also thank you for such fast responses to my questions. I have told many people about your tutorials. Louise
    Sew Helpful
    We would not overlock as the seam will be hidden behind the lining, We would press the seam open.

    Here are a couple of photos of a curtain we made with a panel joined to the bottom.

     





















    The Seam is pressed open with no overlocking



    Helen
    I'm using a fairly heavy fabric and can't get my seams to lie flat along the join. I've used a 2 1/2cm seam allowance and have pressed it several times with a dry iron. Any advice??
    Sew Helpful
    Unfortunately some fabrics are like that.
    Sandy
    Hello I have just taken delivery of MTM pr of curtains and notice that the pattern matching varies by 2cm on one and 3cm on the other. The heading is 10cm twin pleats and where the fabric has been joined together the seams are tot eh front of the pleat and are prominent and show permanently. Is this acceptable in your opinion? Thanks
    Sew Helpful
    I'm sorry we do not comment on commercially made curtains and blinds.
    Susan
    I am making my first extra wide drapery panel in a sheer pattern. The selvedge edges are opaque. You still do not trim them off? Won't that look like an opaque line between fabric widths?
    Sew Helpful
    This tutorial is not for making shears. It is for cotton lined curtains that are not see through.

    With an unlined  shear if you trim the opaque selvege it will fray badly and you will have to sew a french seam. There is always going to be darkness on the join of a shear.  Many shears are double width to avoid unsightly joins.
    Lena
    I'm on making my 3rd pair of curtains using your tutorial and the videos are especially useful and excellently made. You help make making curtains easy and straightforward with a professional result if you take your time. Thank you for your excellent website.
    Sue
    I have a selvedge on each side of my curtains.They are unlined. Should I leave it as it is - or hem it?
    Thanks for all your advice!
    Sew Helpful
    Hem it definately
    Sue
    Thanks for your advice. I have hemmed them and of course it was the thing to do!
    So helpful to be able to ask questions.
    Peter
    It's an excellent tutorial on the pencil pleat curtains. I have just completed mine with no previous experience other than making a woodwork apron at school 50 years ago. Thanks for all of the advice and tips.
    Lady Sewful
    Hi again,

    I am making 3 curtain panels 1 single width, 1 double width and another single width to cover 2 windows. The double width will be in the middle. When joining the plain fabric where do I put the join? Many thanks
    Sew Helpful
    I'm afraid the question is not quite detailed enough as to why there are 3 panel for 2 windows.

    Are the windows separate or joined along side each other or is it an L?
    Are the 2 single widths forming a pair of curtains together?
    Is there any reason you are not just making a pair of curtains for each window?
    Samantha
    Hi there

    Thank you so much for the excellent videos! I think I'm doing well but I have a question about joining plain fabrics. If I use 4cm of my trimming allowance on one panel, but only 1cm on the others, won't the panels be different lengths and uneven when I join them and hang them? Apologies if I missed your having covered this but how do I ensure all three panels are the same length after trimming/straightening?

    Many thanks
    Sew Helpful
    You'll see in the video we join them at the bottom inline to form the hem and they are uneven at the top. We deal with the uneven top and any excess fabric when we trim it down to form the heading in STEP 8  (first video).
    Samantha
    Thanks for the response. This was my first ever sewing project, and I am so pleased with how the curtains turned out. I used a beautiful Susie Watson fabric and (I think) they look fab in my daughter's nursery. I will try to add a pic to the 'your makes' section. Thanks so much for the very helpful and thorough videos which have given me the confidence to keep sewing!

    Sam

    Samantha
    Thanks for the response. This was my first ever sewing project, and I am so pleased with how the curtains turned out. I used a beautiful Susie Watson fabric and (I think) they look fab in my daughter's nursery. I will try to add a pic to the 'your makes' section. Thanks so much for the very helpful and thorough videos which have given me the confidence to keep sewing!

    Sam

    Rebecca
    Hi Julie
    Your tutorials are fantastic. I'm on my 3rd set of curtains with no previous experience and can't believe the results.
    My question is about patterned fabric. I cut my fabric in the same place on each drop and followed the pattern when doing the hem. I'm now ready to hem the top of my curtain ready for the heading tape and noticed there is about a 0.5cm difference in the length of my curtain if i follow the pattern. Hope this makes sense. My curtains should be 218cm drop but following the pattern in places they are 217.5. Do i follow the pattern or stay true to the drop measurement. I'm worried if i do this the pattern won't match when the curtains are drawn. What do you think i did wrong?
    Sew Helpful
    The pattern not being true on the fabric is an eternal problem for cutain makers. 0.5cm isn't much of a difference and will only really be noticable on a tight regular pattern.

    Stick with your measurements and make the curtains the correct length. 
    Pat
    I’m joining three widths of fabric. How do I hide the edges after sewing together? They are not to be lined
    Sew Helpful
    Use a french seam.
    lis
    Just cutting my drops. Patterned light weight linen fabric.
    It seems that the pattern is printed a few degrees off the horizontal.
    Should I cut the lengths exactly by length along both selvages (this would mean that the pattern will look slightly different along the top of the curtain) or should I start at the L hand selvage and measure and cut using the same point along the pattern ?
    Sew Helpful
    Unfortunately your curtains are only going to be as good as the fabric you use . We try and manipulate the fabric as best we can and then cut square to the selvedge. Pulling the corner can work with some fabrics (there is a risk it make move back though). If the fabric is really bad we will return it. Depending on the number of widths you are joining you will end up with some stagger at the bottom so will need to make sure you have enough trimming allowance. If it is a random pattern it is less noticeable than a very regular one. Sometimes you just have to use the fabric the best you can.

    Your Question or Comment

    Is ice cream hot or cold?
    blank
    Enter answer:
    blank
    blank
    Powered by Commentics