Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lined Curtain Panel Tutorial

Here is the tutorial for lined curtain panels. The width of the finished panels depends, of course, on the width of your windows. The big deciding factor for me is the width of the fabric I picked out to use. I don't like seaming two lengths of fabric together to make a wider piece, so often I will just use the width of the fabric for each side of the window. For instance, my bedroom windows that I made these panels for are wide, so I used the width of the fabric, selvedges trimmed off, 55", for each of the two panels. The length of your curtain is personal choice. I like hanging the rod well over the top of the window - I think it looks better. The panels I made fall somewhere below the bottom of the window. I didn't want panels to the floor. Too formal and also too pricey to buy all that fabric. To the desired finish length of the panel, add 6" for the bottom hem (double 3"), and 8" for the top hem (double 4"). I used drapery lining that I bought at Mill End Textile with a coupon, so it ended up being about $1.50/yd. Good deal. Whatever length and width you want your panels to be, the lining is cut 3" shorter and 4" narrower than the main fabric. Remember that - those measurements are important.

Trim off the selvedges from your fabric. I didn't do this for the first shower curtain I made for the cabin and the seams were all puckery. Selvedges are more dense than the rest of the fabric and they just will cause problems if you don't get rid of them. Strip piece them together to make a project, or use them as ribbons for gifts.

My trimmed curtain fabric is 55" wide so I am trimming the width of my lining fabric to 51" wide, 4" narrower than the main fabric. The length of the raw curtain fabric for each panel is 83". My lining has been cut to 80" long.

Main fabric hem is a double 3" hem. Measure and press up 3", and then fold that over again and press in place. You will use your blind hem stitch on your machine to hem this as one of the last steps. You can pin these in place if you wish after pressing, but I don't usually bother. Most heavy home dec fabrics hold a nice press.

The lining hem is a double 2" hem. Fold it up 2", press, and fold again.

Stitch lining hem in place close to the folded edge.

With right sides together, match up the top folded edges of the curtain fabric hem, and the lining fabric hem. The curtain fabric hem isn't stitched down at this point, but just fold it in place and match it to the lining.

Starting at the hem, stitch lining to curtain with a 1/2" seam allowance, starting just above the hems without catching them in the stitching. In theory, the lining and the curtain fabric should come out even at the top end. If it doesn't, don't sweat too much - you can hide the discrepancy in the top fold.

Turn right side out. You will notice that the curtain fabric folds quite nicely to the inside, and the lining hem is 1" higher than the curtain fabric. Press hems and sides in place. I like to pin the hems together so they stay in place as I work my way up the sides of the panel.

Find a big surface to work on - I have two tables pushed together, and smooth out the lining and the curtain.

How much you fold down at the top of the panel depends on how you are going to hang the panel. I folded down a double 4" because I originally was going to put big grommets in the panels. Once I had the curtains done, I changed my mind and just used black clip-on rings. So, I could have done a 1" double hem, a 2" double hem, etc. The 4" double hem looks good, though and gives a lot of body to the top, so I may just use that measurement all the time, no matter how I plan to finish.

Before sewing the top hem in place, make sure both sides of your panel are the same length, and once you have one panel done, make sure each new panel is the same length, also. Some slight adjustments may have to be made to make sure they are consistent.

Sew top hem in place.

Open up the fold of the curtain fabric hem and blind stitch in place using the blind hem stitch on your machine. Look in your manual to see how to do this.

Turn in the corners of the hem and hand stitch in place.

Give your panel a final good press. All done! These really go together fairly quickly and look very professional. Let me know if you have any questions! Jerilynn


  1. This fabric is wonderful. I wish I had your sewing skills, but the tutorial was well illustrated. You are a natural teacher and designer! Thanks Jer.

  2. Great tutorial, but I may still need a live demo. Or at least say I do so I can hang out with Jerisew(s)for an afternoon. First question: Oh wise teacher, can one consume margaritas while sewing at the lake with a friend and still expect straight hems? Wonderful fabric choice. Very red chair compatible.

  3. Any adult beverage helps the curtain construction seem so much fun. Glad you guys liked the tutorial. I give lessons.

  4. Thank-you Jeri for the curtain tutorial...I hope to give it a try soon.

  5. Hi Jeri, just came upon your tutorial via Pinterest and love it. I immediately bought one of those hem measurement tools. Do you remember the name of the fabric pattern you used, or even the manufacturer? I'm crazy about it. Thanks! Nicole

  6. So funny! I just ordered that hem measure tool too! I really need help knowing how to cut lines so straight!! Interested in that mat in the first pic too, where you cut the 51 inch line. GREAT TUTORIAL. Can you please do youtube'd be awesome!