A beginners guide to making unlined curtains

If you have small or large windows in your home then it can seem like an impossible job to find curtains that fit properly, but before you decide to fork out on custom made curtains why not read our beginners guide to curtain making. In this tutorial, we’ll take you through how to make your own unlined curtains and save yourself plenty of money along the way as well as creating something that’s fully bespoke.

Things you’ll need

  • Tailors chalk
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric scissors
  • Sewing machine, needles and thread
  • Heading tape
  • Pins
  • Iron
  • Suitable fabric

Measure your fabric

The first step to creating your curtains is to measure your windows to work out how much fabric you’ll need. Depending on the width of the windows and the pattern of your material you’ll also need to work this out based on how often the pattern repeats. It’s always best to order more material than you need to make sure that you have enough for pattern matching.

Cutting the fabric

Remember the old adage measure twice and cut once, well this definitely applies when it comes to cutting your curtains. You’ll want to cut the lengths of fabric to your finished length + 8 inches for the hem and the pattern repeat measurement. So if the pattern repeats every 12 inches then this will need to be added to the measurement to get the length you need. When cutting your fabric remember to use a sharp pair of fabric scissors to make sure you get a nice clean cut.

Joining the fabric widths

Unless your window is really narrow you’ll probably need to join at least a couple of widths of fabric together to make your curtains. Pin the fabric widths together matching the pattern as you go or for plain fabrics use a half inch seam. If you are using an odd number of widths for your curtains e.g. you need 5 widths for your set of curtains then join all the widths together first before cutting down the middle. The half width will then go on the outside with the full width in the middle.

Hem the sides

Using your iron press and pin a 1 inch + 1 inch hem on the outer edges of each curtain, this should be flat stitched with a colour matched thread close to the edge of the inner fold. If you want a professional finish then you can either hand hem the sides or use a sewing machine with a blind hem stitch.

Hem the bottom of the curtains

By now your curtains should be starting to really take shape and so the next step is to hem the bottom of the curtains. Turn up a 3 inch + 3 inch hem on the bottom edge of the curtain and use an invisible hem stitch or a blind hem stitch with your sewing machine. Slip-stitch the open ends of the seams to create a neat folded edge.

Add the heading tape

If you’ve made it this far then you are nearly finished. The final step is to add the heading tape to your curtains which will let you attach it to your curtain track or pole. Smooth the curtain out on a clean flat surface with the seams and hems facing upwards and measure from the bottom to the top marking out the finished length. Fold the top of the curtain over at the finished length and trim the folded material down to 2.5 inches and iron lightly.

Once folded you need to pin your heading tape to the top edge of the curtain to hold it in place. Now you can stitch along the top and bottom edges of the tape with a thread that matches your fabric colour. You just need to attach your curtain hooks to your heading tape and you’re ready to hang your custom made curtains.