There are some things I have learned over the years that continue to reap dividends, one of these skills is the ability to make lined curtains. I’ve not bought ready made curtains in years. However it’s been a while since I made any and I wondered how well I would remember my mothers teaching, it all came flooding back and I found myself talking to my Mum and thanking her for passing on her skills.
First of all you need to know the finished size of the curtains, I measured what was already hanging there. Then out came paper and pencil and I drew a little diagram, adding 3 cm to the top of the 155cm finished length for turnings and 12cm to the bottom for the hem, so far this is just a rough guide.
As for the curtain width you need 1.5 to 2 times the window width, the exisiting curtains were 1.5 widths of fabric in each curtain so as long as my fabric is a similar width that should be fine.
Fabric samples were ordered and I worked out the quantity of fabric including extra for matching the pattern, I ordered pencil pleat heading tape and lining fabric too.
Fabric laid out, folded in half right sides out so the pattern is visible, then I measured 3 lengths and marked with a pin.
Making sure each length starts with the same point in the design.
One of the 3 lengths of frabric was cut along the fold line and each half was attached to the other fabric pieces. Phew the pattern matched!
Linings were cut and joined in the same way. Now it’s time to join the lining to the curtain fabric down the sides , you want the seam to be 2 or 3 cms in , not on the edge so starting 3 cm down from the top edge of the fabric lay the fabrics right side together, edges meeting along one side, and sew to about 12cm short of the bottom. Then lay the curtain out flat and trim the lining so it’s 4 to 6 cm less than the fabric width. Pin the edges together and sew as before.
Now it needs pressing, firstly turn down the top 3cm ready for the heading tape.
Press the edge of the curtain 2 to 3cm in as allowed.
This is the bottom where I didn’t sew right down, this makes hemming easier.
Now it’s time to add the heading tape, you need to free the ends of the cord and turn in a bit of tape, hopefully you will have the loops for the hooks near the edge but with enough tape to stitch along without going over the hook loops.
Here you can see how I folded the end in tucking it around the fabric and keeping the cord ends free.
Then you do the same at the other end.
Stitching is straightforward, I like to stitch both sides in the same direction, and don’t stitch over the cords.
Now it’s time to turn up the hems, I hand stitch the curtain fabric one and a mitered corner looks very professional.
Then stitch down the sides.
Now the exciting part, it’s time to hang the curtains, after pressing of course. Pull up the cords and knot one end, then pull up to the desired measurement, a little over half the window with, then knot the other end. Don’t cut off the cord as you may want to undo the gathers one day. Instead twist the cords together
Then let them go and double up in length, now just tuck the twist into the cords to hide it.
And here they are, the finished curtains, I’m very pleased with the result and it was very satisfying to make my own curtains.