Hi Finding your tutorial really useful. I have been making my own curtains for years but I have always been a bit disappointed with them. Your videos, tips and tricks are great. I have just completed the lining steps for a large ceiling to floor triple width curtain. It looks so much more professional than my past efforts. I am now following the step for joining the fabric. My question is this: I am using a Laura Ashley woven jacquard beaulieu fabric. The pattern is very true and even so I was able to easily pull a thread to ensure I cut it straight. I am following your video to match the pattern but it appears to match perfectly at the edge of the selvedge. . I am going to sew a small sample to make sure I am right. But I was just wondering if you have ever met this before? If I am wrong do you have any advice?
Thank you for your help.
Weaves can be very close to the selvedge at match compared to prints. You just have to join where it matches.
Hi, very useful videos thank you. I’m sewing my first set of curtains for a bay window so lots of fabric! Also using polyester velvet fabric which says not to iron. My question is should I still try to press the seams after joining the fabric panels? I’m worried about ruining the fabric if I shouldn’t be ironing it but I don’t want the seams to not sit properly. I’ve already pressed the lining fabric seams. TIA
I would not press the seams open with a polyester velvet. Finger press the open and see if that works. If not, you could slip stitch them open - just make sure that the stitch does not show through to the face fabric. I think finger pressing open should be ok though.
Hi. I'm finding the tutorial really useful, but I just wondered if there is meant to be a video accompanying the explanation about how to cut patterned fabric drops? I can't see that there is one. Thanks.
There isn't one in this tutorial. But we did make one in the newer interlined curtain tutorials. I will add that one into the lined tutorials. (might take a day or two).
Do you ever cut off the selvedge on the curtain or lining fabric?
Do you use a double hem on thick, heavy fabric?
I generally leave selvedges on fabric and lining
1) I never cut off the selvedge joining fabric, if it is tight long the edge you can snip into it to release the tension..
2) 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.
1) If you do use a single hem you would have to neaten off the raw edges
2) 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.
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.
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 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?
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.
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
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.
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!
in this case we would go for a double 5cm hem.
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?
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.
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 interlining 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
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.
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?
We do not lock the lining to the curtain in our lined curtains.
Just another quick question - what make is your l shaped ruler and how long is it?
The rulers are generally used in carpentry.
We use a 1metre steel ruler purchased from a builders merchant
And the steel L ruler is unbranded again from a builders merchant. 40cm by 60cm
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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??
Unfortunately some fabrics are like that.
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?
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.
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
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?
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?
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
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?
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.
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 ?
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.
I'm joining patterned fabric.I also have a large floral pattern repeat and the only way the patterns match up is if I go in 10cm from the selvedge on one panel. I lose a lot of material and actually have to compromise on my curtain width. But the seam now has a short selvedge and a large selvedge. Would you recommend trimming the large selvedge side so it equals the other? I'm using non-blockout lining so I'm wondering if it would look weird the the light shines through? Thank you! Second time I'm following your videos, they are excellent!
Yes we would trim the selvedge down so they are the same size. (Not unusual for this to happen)
Hi, I am making one large curtain for the landing. It is 270 long and 350 cms wide. Do you have any advice for how to grapple with the material. I laid it out on the floor in the largest room I had but still struggled to get it flat because of all the furniture etc. Also, I am using a velvet. I've left the selvedge edge on the fabric but wasn't sure where to sew when joining panels- ignore the selvedge and pretend it isn't there, so get a wider hem than usual? If I sew just the selvedge then it risks showing on the right side.
Have you watched the videos? You join selvedge to selvedge but always
sew in from the edge so there is no chance of the selvedge showing on
1). Make sure the nap of the velvet is down and the same on all panels.
2). Use a walking foot to prevent slippage when sewing.
3). I'm afraid we haven't got an answer for not having enough space. You just need to work in sections.
Hi there and thank you so much for this excellent tutorial! I'm using a patterned fabric which says it has a pattern repeat of 64cm and half pattern match. Got the information on website I bought it from. So I've been looking at your information about using half drop pattern repeat which all makes sense and is very well explained. But if I fold the fabric in half the pattern match perfectly together..... it wouldn't do that if it was half drop pattern repeat would it? I haven't cut the fabric yet, but I feel like if I cut it as a normal patterned fabric it would still match. Am I wrong?! Thanks for your help! Ulrika
To us it looks like the fabric has a half drop pattern repeat, but because the width contains 2 full horizontal pattern repeats, it would join as a normal pattern repeat.
Fabric companies can be very variable in their interpretation of half drop pattern repeat and sometimes get the figures completely wrong. Always measure the pattern repeat on your fabric.