DIY Window Treatments: Step-by-Step Instructions

Make the necessary number of lining drops. Make half-widths where necessary to match fabric half-widths (for example, for a pair of curtains with 12 drops in each curtain).

Step 19

Seam the lining drops together by aligning the edges and straight stitching down the length, just inside the lining selvedge (edging) with a sewing machine. For example, if you have two widths in each curtain, you will only have two vertical seams to stitch. Take care to identify which side of the lining is the visible side and, when seaming, lay visible side to visible side so that the selvedges are on the "back" of the lining when joined. Press the seams with an iron.

Step 20

7 Fold the lining hem over twice. 5cm (3") and 7 5cm (3”) Machine a straight stitch along the top of this hem.

Step 21

Sew the fabric drops together now. The procedure for plain fabrics is the same as for linings. Peel back the selvedge of one fabric layer on patterned fabrics to determine where the seaming line should run down the drop of fabric to achieve the best possible pattern match. Make a line with an iron along this match position. Now, use as many pins as necessary to carefully match the pattern between the two drops.

Step 22

Step 21 should be repeated for each seam line.

Step 23

Sew along the seam lines with a straight stitch, fabric face-to-face.

Step 24

Place your fabric face down on the worktable and use an iron to thoroughly press out the seams.

Step 25

Some selvedges are "springy," causing the fabric to gather. If so, make 10cm-long snips into the selvedge to relieve any tension in the selvedge stitching. In strong light, the writing or color references printed on the selvedge of lighter fabrics may show through to the face side of the fabric. If this is a possibility, trim the selvedge edges with writing on them, but not too close to the sewn seam.

Sewing curtains

Step 26

You are now ready to begin assembling and finishing the curtains. You begin by working on the fabric of the curtains, one at a time, face down on your worktable.

Step 27

Pull up a 7 at the bottom of the curtain. 5cm (3") crease, followed by another 7 A double-turned hem requires a 5cm (3") crease. Fold the hem back open and press a 5cm (2") turning down each curtain edge. As before, cut off strong writing or make snips to de-tension along the selvedge if necessary.

Step 28

Make miters in the curtain's bottom corners now. These are to create neat flat corners without cutting away excess fabric (which would prevent any future alterations). To make a mitre, unfold along the crease lines you made for the second hem turning and the curtain side. With the first of the two hem folds still in place, turn press the curtain corner at 45 degrees, passing through the intersection of the edge fold line and the second hem fold line. Your curtain will now have angled corners. Fold the edges and the second hem in. Your curtain will now be square at the corner, with a neat flat back join angled up from the corner where the side turning meets the hem. Use an iron to press

Step 29

Lock stitch the side turnings with a long running stitch up to 15cm long, just catching the face of the fabric.

Step 30

Prepare curtain weights by sewing them into small lining pockets made from scrap fabric. These pockets are designed to keep any metallic residue on the weights from leaving marks on your curtains.

Step 31

At the base of each vertical seam, hand stitch weights into the corner mitres and the hem. Weights should be placed in the fabric layers away from the curtain's face.

Step 32

Hand stitch the miters along the folded diagonal line.

Step 33

Hand stitch along the folded hem with a herringbone stitch, just catching through to the curtain face.

Step 34

Your curtain's hem and two sides are now finished. Lay in the lining while your first curtain is still on your worktable. You can take care of the other curtain preparations later.

Step 35

Place the lining reverse-side down on the prepared curtain, setting the finished hem of the lining 2 inches apart. 5cm (1") up from the curtain's finished hem, and align one vertical unturned edge of the lining with one finished edge of the curtain Don't be concerned about aligning the other edge just yet. Pin the lining in a couple of places to keep it in place.

Step 36

Turn in the raw edge of the lining down one side by 2 inches. 5cm (1") and squeeze The lining's turned edge should now be 2 5cm (1") back from the curtain's finished edge With a stitch length of about 1cm (3/8"), slip stitch down the lining edge, catching through to the curtain fabric beneath. Continue slip stitching about 3cm (1 1/4") horizontally along the lining hemline from the corner at the bottom of the curtain.

Step 37

To ensure that the two components are lying flat together, smooth out the lining across the back of the fabric.

Step 38

Trim the second side of the lining down the entire length so that the cut edge of the lining is level with the finished edge of the curtain.

Step 39

2 Turn in the lining's edge Press and stitch 5cm (1") as before, including going around the corner at the hem.

Step 40

With the curtain carefully laid flat on the worktable, lining side up, measure up from the hem the required finished length of the curtain and turn over the curtain and lining together to make a fold at the required finished length. Press down and temporarily pin along this fold. You can combine this with pinning on the heading tape with practice. Repeat the measuring and pinning process all the way around the curtain, checking the length at least every half-width of fabric.

Step 41

Prepare a length of heading tape, say 7 feet. 5cm (3") Pencil Pleat tape - pull out the gathering strings from one end of the tape and knot them securely together on the reverse (non-pocket) side of the tape When you come to gather up the curtain heading, the strings will not pull through the tape.

Step 42

With the knotted end of the heading tape at the curtain's outside ("return") edge (when viewed from the face side), In preparation for stitching, pin the tape along the top of the curtain (you can set the tape down if necessary to suit your track or pole specifications). To allow for cutting off excess turning (see below), the pins should be placed at the top of the tape. Remove any temporary pins that you may have used when adjusting the length of the curtain top. Cut the heading tape about 4cm (1 12") beyond the finished edge of the curtain, then pull through the gathering strings to the pocket side of the tape. Fold the tape over to form a turning about 4cm (1 12") from the cut end of the heading tape, so that the edge of the heading tape is set within the edge of the curtain.

Step 43

Now that the tape is pinned in place, cut away any excess fabric or lining from beneath the heading tape, turning so that the trimmed line of fabric and lining is just within the depth of the heading tape. which will then serve to conceal the raw edges Do not cut your curtains any shorter than necessary, as the "spare" fabric can come in handy if your curtains shrink after being dry cleaned.

Step 44

Pin at regular intervals along the bottom of the heading tape.

Step 45

Machine a straight stitch through all layers across the top and bottom of the heading tape, handling the curtain through the sewing machine with the heading tape uppermost. If your curtains are very large, you may need to support the bulk of the curtaining on a table or similar arrangement, or get an extra pair of hands to help guide the heading through the machine.

Step 46

Give the curtains a final press and fold up until you're ready to hang them. Fold them lengthwise rather than across, as vertical creases are less visible than creases across the curtaining. Fold them only vertically, then drape them across a pole, coat hanger, or the inner cardboard tube that your fabric came in.

Jane Clayton made to measure maker

Step 47

Repeat the process for sewing and putting together the next curtain.

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