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Sew Curtains: Tips for Perfect Lengths, Widths (2023)

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tutorialshow to sew curtainsLooking to create the perfect look for your windows? Sewing curtains is an excellent way to customize their appearance and get exactly what you need.

Here we’ll show you how to sew draperies and curtains, ensuring they have the width or fullness, length or drop, as well as proper yardage – all of which are key components in creating a successful window treatment.

With some practice and understanding of these concepts paired with our top two tools for sewing curtains, the Fiskars Eco Friendly Cutting Mat and HeatBond PeelnStick Fabric Fuse Adhesive Roll, you’ll be able to craft custom-made drapes that make any room feel special!

Key Takeaways

  • Benefits of sewing custom curtains
  • Tools for sewing curtains
  • Measuring and yardage calculation
  • Tailoring for different curtain styles

Sew Draperies & Curtains Yourself

Sew Draperies & Curtains Yourself
When you make your own draperies or curtains, you gain the benefits of a custom fit for your windows, fabric choice to match your decor, and complete design control over pleat type and placement. In this 1 hour and 42-minute Pleated Drapery Panels class, you’ll learn key skills like measuring windows, calculating yardage, sewing pleated panels, and properly hanging draperies for a custom look.

Benefits of Making Your Own Draperies or Curtains

You’d be crazy not to make your own drapes ‘n’ curtains, ’cause then you can get that perfect custom fit for your windows without blowin’ your budget on some pre-made junk that’ll never look quite right! Sewin’ your own curtains lets you pick any fabric to match your style.

Make ’em any length, add fancy pleats, ruffles, or contrastin’ bands. Think outside the box for window treatment trends like cascade curtains, swags, jabots.

With the freedom to design drapery exactly how you want, your windows will finally get that perfect custom touch you’ve been dreamin’ of.

What You’ll Learn in the Pleated Drapery Panels Class

You’ll learn how to measure windows, calculate fabric yardage, sew pleated panels, and hang draperies in the 1 hour and 42 minute Pleated Drapery Panels class.

You’ll discover:

  • Pleated Drapery Techniques for a custom, high-end look
  • Custom Curtain Design options like pinch, inverted, and box pleats
  • Window Treatment DIY tips for perfectly fitted, floor-length drapes
  • Sewing Window Decor panels with crisp, professional pleats
  • Curtain Making basics from start to finish for flawless results

By the end of the class, you’ll have the sewing skills and knowledge to create elegant, tailored draperies to frame your windows.

Curtain Width or Fullness

Curtain Width or Fullness
When choosing curtain fullness, it is important to understand the impact on both aesthetics and functionality. Selecting the correct curtain width involves balancing the desired look with the operational requirements of the curtains.

Understanding the Importance of Curtain Fullness

The amount of fabric fullness determines how well your curtains will draw and stack. Optimal fullness allows the panels to neatly stack back when opened. Measure precisely and calculate yardage accordingly.

For rod pocket headings, determine the finished width based on your desired fullness. Pencil or pin pleats require more width than grommet or tab top headings. Proper fullness results in beautifully draped and functional curtains that frame the window.

Choosing the Right Curtain Width

When selecting curtain widths, less fullness creates a tailored look like a model on a catwalk, while more width adds softness and texture resembling clouds on a breezy day.

  • Sheer fabrics: 30-50% fullness
  • Lightweight fabrics: 50-100% fullness
  • Medium-heavy fabrics: 100-150% fullness

Choosing the right curtain width involves considering fabric weight, window size, hardware, and the desired look. Lighter fabrics need less fullness, while heavier fabrics require more gathering.

Curtain Length or Drop

Curtain Length or Drop
When choosing a curtain length for your home, it is crucial to measure correctly. For a conventional drop, measure from just under your mounting hardware to where you would like the bottom hem to graze, then make adjustments if you prefer floor-length, puddled, or sill-length panels.

Measuring for the Perfect Curtain Length

Measure curtain panels 1 above the peak high points of your floor for a graceful floor-touch. Consider functionality over design rules for window treatments near doors or heating vents. Opt for a generous puddle or sill-length when unsure. The length of the curtains directly impacts aesthetics and daily use.

Flooring Type Recommended Length
Carpet 1 above carpet
Hardwood/Tile Sill or 2 puddle
Concrete 1 above floor

Getting the ideal curtain length involves weighing design, function, and personal style. Sample different lengths using clips before sewing your final hems. Proper measuring leads to a flawless floor-sweeping length.

Adjusting Measurements for Different Curtain Styles

You’ll need to tailor your measurements depending on the style of curtains you want, such as leaving extra length for puddling with full-length drapes or accounting for hardware clearance with exposed rod treatments.

As Grandma Ellie always said, measure twice so you don’t have to cut thrice. For floor-length drapery panels, add a few extra inches for a graceful puddle. Exposed rod treatments require deducting hardware clearance. And don’t forget to match patterns and allow for lined headings.

With careful measurements for your desired style, you’ll achieve perfectly custom curtains.

Estimating Yardage

Estimating Yardage
When estimating yardage for sewing curtains, you’ll need to calculate the fabric width and length required while factoring in hem allowances and pattern repeats. To determine the total yardage, measure each curtain to find the finished length and width, add allowances for hems and headings, account for pattern repeats if using printed fabric, and calculate the number of fabric widths needed based on standard bolt widths.

Calculating Fabric Yardage for Curtains

Next, calculate the total yardage required, factoring in repeats and extra length for roomy drapes. Calculate your fabric widths carefully. Measure and determine widths based on the finished length, including heading, hem allowance, puddling, and repeat dimensions.

Overestimating yardage avoids miscalculation disasters while allowing for design changes. Underestimating requires starting over, wasting time and money. Measure precisely for accuracy.

Considerations for Hem Allowances and Pattern Repeats

When calculating your fabric requirements, make sure to consider hem allowances and any pattern repeats to achieve the perfect length for your new curtains. Allow for additional yardage based on the hem technique you choose, such as double-fold tape, corner-fold, or traditional sewn and topstitched hems.

Take into account extra yardage for heading fullness, cascading ruffles, or a generous floor puddle. If your fabric has repeating motifs, ensure proper alignment by calculating the repeats across the finished width of each curtain and down its length.

By carefully considering hem allowances and pattern repeats, you can achieve a polished and professional finish for your custom curtains.

Where to Measure

Where to Measure
Let’s begin by identifying the correct measurement points for your curtains. Ensure that you measure both the hardware (rod, pole, etc.) and the total curtain length from top to floor. Additionally, double-check that the window is plumb and account for uneven floors by taking measurements at multiple points.

Determining the Correct Measurement Points for Hardware and Curtain Length

Measure curtain length from the top of the rod to the desired floor clearances for a tailored yet full look.

  1. Measure from the top of the rod to where you want the curtain to barely brush the floor.
  2. Add 2-3 inches for a graceful floor pooling.
  3. Consider window and floor unevenness.
  4. Account for the depth of any pole accessories.

Accurately measure the window and the desired length. Check plumbness and hardware placement. Calculate precise yardage, including hems. Expert skills ensure properly fitted, beautiful curtains.

Checking Window Plumbness and Accounting for Uneven Floors

Double-check your window’s plumb and your floor’s level before you finalize measurements. If the walls or floor are uneven, your curtains won’t hang right. Check the window frame itself for plumbness—measure from corner to corner diagonally.

Use a small level to verify floor flatness. Make adjustments to get curtains hanging straight and proper. Precise measurements matter when sewing custom curtains. Account for out-of-plumb windows and unleveled floors when taking measurements.

Top 2 Tools for Sewing Curtains

Top 2 Tools for Sewing Curtains
Hey there home sewer! When making your own curtains, two essential tools are the Fiskars Eco-Friendly Cutting Mat and HeatBond Peel ‘n Stick Fabric Fuse Adhesive Roll. The eco-friendly Fiskars mat provides an ideal cutting surface with gridlines to aid in shaping, while the HeatBond tape offers a simple hem finishing alternative to stitching for perfectly pressed hems and edges.

Fiskars Eco Friendly Cutting Mat

You’ll find this eco-friendly Fiskars cutting mat handy for precisely cutting your fabric pieces. With its large size, measuring grid, and bonus bias lines, it’s a must-have for cutting fabric off the bolt, squares, and strips.

This self-healing mat boasts durability and a lack of foul odor, making it ideal for sewing and quilting projects. While some users prefer the previous version, it offers good value for occasional and hobbyist use.

Keep this essential tool in your sewing arsenal for eco-friendly crafting and seamless fabric bonding.

HeatBond PeelnStick Fabric Fuse Adhesive Roll

To enhance your crafting experience, consider incorporating the HeatBond Peel ‘n Stick Fabric Fuse Adhesive Roll into your projects, providing a quick and efficient solution for fabric bonding without the need for sewing or ironing.

  • Suitable for various fabric-related tasks.
  • Quick and easy to use.
  • Maintains fabric integrity.
  • Ideal for curtain repairs and alterations.
  • Cost-effective alternative for certain repairs.

With its strong double-sided tape, this adhesive ensures your fabric projects stay securely in place, making it a valuable addition to your sewing toolkit.


Sewing your own curtains doesn’t have to be a daunting task! With the right tools and a little bit of knowledge, you can create custom curtains that fit your windows perfectly and look stunning.

With the Fiskars Eco Friendly Cutting Mat and HeatBond PeelnStick Fabric Fuse Adhesive Roll, you can easily measure, cut, and hem your curtains for a professional finish.

By understanding fabric fullness and measuring for the perfect curtain length, you can have the ideal curtains for your home in no time.

With the right technique, you’ll be able to sew curtains that look like they were made by a professional.

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.