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How to Sew Curtains Step-by-Step: DIY Lined Pleated Curtains Tutorial (2024)

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how to sew curtainsLet’s make some beautiful curtains to spruce up your home!

With a sewing machine, fabric, and a few basic tools, you can create elegant, custom curtains.

I’ll walk you through easy steps from taking measurements to sewing straight hems.

We’ll add chic lined pleats with simple pleater tape.

Before you know it, you’ll have stunning new curtains to decorate your windows.

Sewing your own curtains is satisfying, affordable, and easier than you think.

Come sew charming curtains with me!

Key Takeaways

  • Measure window dimensions carefully, accounting for desired length, fullness, and hem allowances
  • Calculate total fabric yardage needed based on window measurements and fullness factors
  • Join fabric panels properly with right sides facing to create wider swaths of coordinated patterns
  • Create curtain lining, attach to curtain panels smoothly, and add structural elements like rod pockets

Is Sewing Curtains Cost-Effective?

Is Sewing Curtains Cost-Effective
One way to save money is by sewing your own curtains at home instead of buying expensive window treatments.

Making DIY curtains is a budget-friendly option when you compare the material costs to buying ready-made.

The time investment in sewing curtains is worthwhile when you factor in the major savings.

With basic sewing skills, you can create custom curtains comparable in quality to more expensive options.

Gather the necessary supplies like fabric, curtain hooks, pleater tape, and a curtain rod.

Then invest your time to determine the ideal curtain length and sew your own curtains.

Though it requires an initial time commitment, sewing curtains is cost-effective long-term.

You’ll save money by purchasing affordable fabric and supplies to create window treatments tailored to your space.

The satisfaction of DIY curtains makes the time spent worthwhile.

What Supplies Are Needed to Sew Curtains?

What Supplies Are Needed to Sew Curtains
Before you begin your DIY curtain project, you’ll need to gather some essential supplies:

  • Fabric
  • Hardware like rings and hooks
  • Basic sewing tools like scissors, needles, thread, and a sewing machine

Having all the necessary materials on hand will make the sewing process smooth and efficient.


DIY Lined Pleated Curtains Tutorial:

The essential fabrics you’ll need for your DIY curtain project are the main curtain fabric and a coordinating lining fabric.

  • Durability
  • Ease of care
  • Pleasing patterns
  • Adequate width
  • Appealing textures


Attach curtain rings, clips, or hooks after obtaining the necessary sewing supplies to hang your homemade curtains properly.

Choose curtain rings or clips that match the style and weight of your custom curtains.

Measure the length of the rod and space rings or clips evenly, inserting them into the folded top hem of the curtain panels.

Follow the package instructions for your specific curtain hardware to correctly install the brackets and securely fasten the rod before hanging your finished curtains.

Sewing Tools

You’ll require:

To stitch up DIY curtains efficiently:

  • Rotary cutter
  • Fabric yardage
  • Cutting mats
  • Measuring tapes
  • Seam rippers

How to Measure Windows for DIY Curtains

How to Measure Windows for DIY Curtains
With your sewing supplies gathered, it’s time to measure your windows. Accurate measurements ensure perfectly fitting curtains.

Follow this process:

  1. Decide where to mount the curtain rod. Higher placements make windows appear taller.
  2. Measure from desired rod height to the floor. Add 5 inches for hems and sewing mistakes.
  3. Measure window width from edge to edge. Multiply by 1.5-2 for desired fullness. This is the minimum fabric width needed per panel.
  4. Cut fabric and lining to these measurements. For pleats, multiply panel width by 2-3.

When measuring, account for curtain seams and hems to prevent miscalculations. Record all numbers.

With measurements complete, you can calculate yardage and select dazzling fabrics for your custom curtains.

Calculating Fabric Yardage for Curtains

Calculating Fabric Yardage for Curtains
Depending on the dimensions you’ve measured for your windows, calculate how much fabric you’ll need for your DIY curtain project.

To determine yardage, first decide the finished length from the top of the rod to the floor.

Then account for hem allowances and any puddling you desire at the bottom.

For width, measure across each window section.

Remember to factor in extra width for pleats and fullness.

As a general rule, multiply your total window width by 1.5-2x to get the amount of fabric yardage needed.

For example, if your window is 60 inches across, plan for 90-120 inches of fabric.

This provides a nice full drape when pleated.

Purchase heavier drapery fabrics like cotton, linen blends, or decorator fabrics around 54 inches wide.

Then calculate the number of panels needed to cover your window at the desired fullness.

Allow extra yardage for matching patterns and joining panels together.

With some simple fabric calculations and sewing, you’ll have beautiful custom curtains.

Choosing the Best Fabrics for Sewing Curtains

Choosing the Best Fabrics for Sewing Curtains
When selecting fabrics for your DIY curtains, you’ll need to consider a few key points:

  • Calculating yardage requirements
  • Choosing pleasing patterns
  • Joining separate fabric panels

Striking the right balance between affordability, appearance, and ease of construction is essential for a successful curtain project.

Let’s examine some fabric options that check all the boxes:

Calculating Fabric Requirements

When choosing fabrics for sewing curtains, you’ll usually need to calculate how much is required for your window dimensions and desired fullness before purchasing.

  1. Measure window width and height.
  2. Add extra length for hems, headers, and pooling.
  3. Calculate total square inches needed.
  4. Divide by fabric width to determine yardage.

Selecting Pleasing Patterns

You’ll want to select a fabric pattern that complements the overall style and colors of the room where you’ll hang the curtains.

When pairing colors and patterns, consider the furnishings and wall colors already present.

Avoid busy prints that compete for attention.

Instead, choose coordinated patterns in mixable textures that highlight the room’s focal points.

With a trusty sewing machine, quality thread, and coordinating lining fabric, you’ll have professional-looking window treatments free of curtain wrinkles.

Joining Fabric Panels

After selecting pleasing patterns for your DIY curtains, join the fabric panels together with right sides facing to create wider swaths of fabric for each curtain panel.

Align the fabric grain properly and use straight or French seams when sewing panels of medium to heavy-weight fabrics together to form wider pieces for café curtains.

Sew the first side, press seams open, then sew the second side, leaving one end open for the rod pocket.

Sew Side Hems and Bottom Hems

Sew Side Hems and Bottom Hems
Often, sew each side hem and bottom hem before creating the curtain lining.

Fold under 1.5 inches of lining fabric and 3 inches of curtain fabric, then pin the layers together.

Use a hard ruler to measure precise hem widths.

Tack the hem edges by machine stitching or pinning before sewing.

With right sides together, pin and sew one side of the curtain panels from top to bottom.

Trim any frayed seams.

Repeat this process on the opposite side.

Finally, fold the bottom edges under the desired hem width and pin.

Machine stitch the side seams to the bottom hem.

Take care to sew straight lines for a clean look.

Press all seams to set them before constructing the lining.

Precise measuring and sewing yields professional-looking hems on your homemade curtains.

Create the Curtain Lining

Create the Curtain Lining
Next, you’ll join and sew your prepared lining fabric into panels to create the actual curtain lining.

Lay out the cut lining fabric pieces with right sides facing each other. Match up the edges and pin them together.

Sew the pieces together, leaving a 1 seam allowance. Take care to sew straight for even panels.

Iron the seams open. This helps the lining lie flat once inserted into the curtain.

Follow these easy steps for smooth lining panels:

  • Sew in straight lines
  • Trim fraying edges
  • Give seams a good press

Creating the lining is crucial for an opaque, professionally-finished curtain that diffuses light pleasingly into a room.

With some handy sewing, the custom lining will be ready to neatly tuck inside your curtain panels.

Moving forward, you’ll be inserting interfacing before attaching the lining to the main curtains.

Insert Interfacing at Top of Curtains

Insert Interfacing at Top of Curtains
Next, cut pieces of heavyweight interfacing to tuck inside the top hem of your curtains for added structure and support.

Choose a mid-weight or heavyweight interfacing, avoiding lightweight varieties that may not offer enough support.

Position the interfacing so it sits just below where the pleater tape hooks will be installed, either hand-sewing it in place or fusing it with an iron set to a wool or high heat setting.

If you don’t have interfacing on hand, carefully positioning straight pins can work temporarily as well.

For no-sew curtain alternatives, Heat n’ Bond can adhere the pleater tape hooks.

Hang your curtains using the pleater tape as instructed, threading the hooks through the rings.

The interfacing provides stability so the curtains hang properly.

Attach Lining to Curtains

Attach Lining to Curtains
You’ll then tuck the lining fabric into the curtains, smoothing out any wrinkles, before pinning it in place along the side and bottom seams.

Using curtain pins, attach the lining to the side hem first, working from the middle outwards and pulling the fabric taut as you go to remove any wrinkles.

Take care to keep the lining straight and not bunched.

Once pinned, run an iron over the pinned edges to flatten them before removing the pins.

This helps the lining lie flat and not detach easily when the curtains are hung.

For the bottom lining hem, pin the edges first before stitching by machine or hand.

Removing all wrinkles is crucial for a crisp lined curtain that hangs beautifully.

Throughout lining attachment, rely on your curtain pins, tape measure, and iron as trusted curtain-making tools.

Add Rod Pocket and Hang New Curtains

Add Rod Pocket and Hang New Curtains
With your curtains fully assembled, turn them right-side out.

Fold 3 inches of fabric over to create the rod pocket by sewing a top hem that’ll let you slide the rod easily through the opening.

Consider the ceiling height and window size when selecting curtain rods – you want the curtains to hang nicely without bunching on the floor.

Mount the rod several inches above the window frame for a cohesive look.

Choose between hanging curtains on rings, clips, or a rod pocket based on personal preference.

Calculate the number of panels needed to cover the window width with gentle gathers.

Once the rod is threaded through the pockets, your custom curtains are ready to hang!

Admire your handiwork and how the pretty patterns complement the room’s decor while filtering light beautifully.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some tips for sewing even hems?

Measure hems early to ensure they’re even before sewing.

Pin generously to hold folds in place.

Sew slowly, frequently checking measurements.

Let gravity help smooth and even out fabric as you stitch.

Press finished hems well to flatten.

How do I make pleated curtains?

Measure and allow double your curtain width for pleats.

Press pleats before stitching the tops.

Use a pleater tape on the back to make evenly spaced, tidy pleats.

Attach clip rings to the pleater tape.

Hang on your rod for beautiful pleated curtains.

What kind of thread works best for sewing curtains?

Use 100% polyester thread to sew curtains.

It has the strength needed for heavy fabrics and helps prevent puckering with regular tension.

Always test thread color matches first.

What’s the easiest way to hang curtains on the rod after sewing them?

Simply slide the rod through the pocket you sewed at the top.

Hook your preferred drapery rings or clips on evenly, and move them across the rod until your curtains hang just how you want.

How can I reduce wrinkles when ironing the finished curtains?

Stay focused when ironing.

Use a press cloth between the iron and fabric to prevent scorching.

Iron on the wrong side first, then flip over.

Iron pleats and hems in place.

Work slowly and methodically.


So, stitch spectacularly sensible curtains this season, you savvy sewer!


Follow the fabricating features for fuss-free furnishing:

  • Measure meticulously.
  • Match colors magnificently.
  • Hem handily.

Effortlessly envelop each elegant window with lining and interfacing, then insert perfectly pleated panels.

Finally, fondly festoon these fabulously frugal, fantastic curtains you fashioned yourself!

Voilà – your home’s how-to-sew curtains project is picture-perfect!

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.