How to make a simple lined curtain

I had no idea how pointlessly complicated making a basic lined curtain could be until I embarked on making one.  After trawling the web I was quickly confused by conflicting advice about machine stitching versus hand-stitching, how much extra fabric to allow and so on and so on. So here my friends, is the no fuss, straightforward and best of all – quick – way to make a good looking lined curtain. I made this for our kitchen door to keep out nasty cold drafts but this method would work just as well on regular windows.  I got my fabric from the mecca that is Shepherd’s Bush Market – amazing oatmeal coloured heavy Irish linen for £11 a metre. What’s not to love? I’d recommend blackout fabric for the lining if you’re planning to make bedroom windows, it’s very cheap and really does block out all light.  Look for lining fabric which is the same width or wider than your curtain fabric so you don’t have to join pieces and ALWAYS make sure you measure twice…

Simple lined curtainHandmade lined door curtainHandmade lined door curtain

What you’ll need:

Curtain heading tape
Metal measuring tape
Dressmaking scissors
Sewing machine
Needle and pins

Step One

The easy bit: Measure the width and length of your door to work out how much fabric you’ll need. The total width of your curtain must be at least the width of the doorway plus a half.  If your fabric is patterned make sure you choose one main point in the design and mark off each length at this point so it’s consistent.  Cut this out and then measure and cut the same amount of your lining fabric.

Step Two
If you need to join widths to make up each curtain, pin the fabric pieces together along the selvages (the finished edges of the fabric that won’t unravel) with right sides facing. Sew the pieces together using a sewing machine with a 2.5cm seam allowance. Press the seams open and snip into the selvages (raw edges) at 45cm intervals so the seams won’t pucker when the curtains are washed.  Measure, cut and join the lining in the same way as the main fabric. Trim 5cm from one side of each curtain lining piece.

Step Three
Place the curtain and lining right sides together, with side edges matching.  At this point you’ll see the lining is narrower than the curtain but don’t panic, this is intentional. Machine stitch the side seams with a 2.5cm seam allowance. Press the seams open and snip into the selvages at 45cm intervals so the seams won’t pucker. Turn the curtain to right side out and press flat, so that the lining sits centrally behind the main curtain.

Step Four
At the top of the curtain turn the fabric under 3cm and press. Knot the cords at one end of the heading tape. Pin the tape close to the top of the curtain, fold under the short edges of the tape and hiding the raw fabric edges. Machine stitch along all the edges of the tape. Draw up the tape to fit the window and knot the cords.

Step Five
Undo the side hems at the bottom so that you can turn up and finish the main curtain hem. Temporarily hang the curtain by a few hooks and mark off the desired length with pins. Turn up a double hem in the main fabric to the marked length. Press and hand stitch the hem. Turn up the lining; making it 2.5cm shorter than the main curtain (trim off the excess lining at the bottom to make the hem less bulky). Hand stitch the hem.

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