Tips For Sewing Curtains
Before you even start thinking of sewing curtains it is important to examine your windows. To
get the most out of your windows and curtains see first if you can improve the look of your window
Ways to improve your window treatments:
- Short, narrow windows can be made to look longer and wider by extending curtains beyond
edges of the window and down to the floor.
- Off-center windows can be made to look centered by carrying curtain fabric beyond the edge
of the window on the wall.
- Place the fixture and rods first so that measuring will be more accurate.
- To measure curtains, start from the bottom of the rod and measure to within one inch of
sill, or to the bottom of the apron, or to within one inch of floor, depending on length desired. The
curtain rod slips through a casing made at the top and, if desired, a heading can stand above the
- Curtain should be at least twice the width of the window, and wider for very sheer fabrics
or for a really full effect.
- The casing is made approximately twice the width or diameter of the rod. For a one-inch
finished casing, add 2 ¼ inches, the ¼ inch for the first turn of the hem, and for one-inch heading add
an additional two inches. Add at least three inches for a finished hem at the bottom and two inches as a
shrinkage allowance. In sheer fabrics, hems are often made double.
- Measure lengths very carefully so that pairs are identical. Be sure center hems in a pair
face each other. Hems may be done by hand or machine.
- Trimming is most easily done with ready-made trims applied to center and bottom edges. Cut
off all selvages before starting to turn in hems.
- When buying curtain fabric that has a pattern you will need to the size of the pattern and
at what distance the patterns match.
After straightening the fabric and cutting the lengths, sew the outside narrow hems first, then
do the center hems. Do the top hem (casing and heading) and finally apply the trimming.
For an illustration of how to measure a window see the article on ‘Different Curtain
Styles’ in our Window Treatment Ideas site.
Don’t start cutting and sewing curtains yet, check thoroughly first.