Making a Basic Curtain Panel

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All curtains are made in a similar way, with hems on the bottom, sides, and top. The top hem, also known as the “heading,” is then finished to create a variety of styles. A gathered curtain may have a rod pocket or a gathering tape sewn at the top, while a pleated curtain has crisp buckram added to the heading.
Multiple widths of material are sewn together to achieve the fullness needed. When possible, try to line up the seams in the face fabric and linings to prevent shad­owing when light shines through the fabric.
The term panel is used to describe any size curtain, from a single width to multiple widths. You can have one three­-width panel, for example.
Basic steps are shown here so that they do not need to be repeated for other projects in this chapter. Once you know the basic steps, you are ready to make almost any style of curtain!
Excerpted with Permission from Singer(R) Sewing Custom Curtains, Shades, and Top Treatments: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Making and Installing Window Decor.

Step 1

Getting Started
Allow extra for the bottom hem and heading. The most common bottom hem size is 4 inches (10.2 cm) doubled (allow 8 inches [20.3 cm]). You can vary the hem size based on the project. Short curtains can have smaller doubled hems and extra­tall curtains can have larger hems.
Finished length + hem and heading allowance = cut length
What You Will Need
decorator fabric
lining (and interlining)
drapery weights
Yardage Requirements
You will need to determine how much fullness your project requires to determine yardage requirements. Refer to specific projects for detailed calculations.

Step 2

Cut and prepare fabrics, joining widths if needed. Hem the bottom edge of the face fabric with a 4­inch
(10.2 cm) doubled hem and for the lining use a 3­inch
(7.6 cm) doubled hem. Secure a drapery weight at seams. Finish hems using your preferred method.

Step 3

Place the hemmed face fabric face down, and cut off the selvage edges. Place the lining face up over the back of the hemmed fabric, smoothing it out neatly and evenly with the bottom edge inset 1 inch (2.5 cm) along the bottom hemmed edge of the face fabric. (A) If multiple widths are sewn together, line up the face fabric and lining seams, if possible.

Step 4

Cut the lining 3 inches (7.6 cm) less than the fabric along each side. Fold over 3 inches (7.6 cm) along the side, tucking the cut edge under to create a 1½­inch (3.8 cm) doubled side hem. Press lightly. (B) Add a drapery weight inside the fold of the hem at the bottom corners. (See Chapter 2: Getting Started.) Secure with pins. (C)
Repeat for the other side. When using multiple widths, pin together the fabrics down the seams and across the top before moving over to continue making the curtain.

Step 5

Finish the side hems by hand or machine sewing.

Step 6

Measure from the bottom to the top, marking for the finished length, allowing extra fabric to finish the top as needed for the style you are making.

Step 7

With Photo 1: Place the lining face up over the back of the cur tain panel and inset 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the bottom. Trim away excess lining even with the side edges and tuck the cut edge under the side hem.
With Photo 2: Fold a 1½­inch (3.8 cm) hem on each side and press.
With Photo 3: Use pins to secure the side hems.

Step 8

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