How to measure tab top curtains

Written by marla currie
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How to measure tab top curtains
Even lightweight curtains can have tab tops. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Even someone with modest sewing skills can create tap top curtains. Tab tops are an easy do-it-yourself project you can make for any size window. Only a few basic measurements and simple sewing are required to make tab tops. Tab tops are a modern window treatment perfect in any room even in a traditionally designed space. You can make curtains in a variety of fabric weights. Whatever the fabric used, the basic measuring required is the same.

Things you need

  • Fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine

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  1. 1

    Measure the window to estimate the amount of fabric you'll need for the project. Measure both the width of the window and the desired length for your curtains. Put these measurements in a project notebook to take to your fabric store with you. Depending on the size of the window and the particular design of the curtains you want to create, determine the number of panels to use at each window and the amount of fabric you need to buy.

  2. 2

    Add about 20 cm (8 inches) to the height measurement to accommodate hemming the raw fabric at both the top and bottom. Tab curtains need about 1.5 times the width of the window in fabric measure as the tabs create gentle folds when hung and extra fabric is needed for that effect. Create a 5 cm (2 inch) hem at the top of each panel. You'll need about 10 cm (4 inches) extra fabric added to the width to allow for a 5 cm (2 inch) hem on both sides of the curtains. Stitch and press the hems on all sides.

  3. 3

    Determine the number of tabs you'll need to create for the width of each panel. A tab will be stationed on each end of the panel as well as positioned at intervals across the top of the curtain in numbers that best meet the desired finished look of the curtain. Depending on the width of the curtain, you may need to make 5 or more tabs per panel. Evenly space tabs about 10 to 20 cm (4 to 8 inches) apart depending on the width of the panel.

  4. 4

    Purchase an additional 1/2 metre (1/2 yard) of fabric per panel to make the tabs themselves. Measure and cut the tab fabric. The measurement of the tabs should accommodate the type of rod you will use. You'll want to ensure that the finished tabs are large enough to slip the rod through comfortably and allow for free movement of the drapery on the rod to close them.

  5. 5

    Cut the fabric for the tabs to the required size. Fold in half, and sew a seam down the side to close the tab along its length about 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) from the edge. Turn each tab out, and press the tab with the seam down the middle to hide it in the finished tab. Fold the tabs in half lengthways to make loops. Pin tabs at exact intervals along the top edge, and stitch the tabs in position along the edge of the top of the panel. Repeat for the other panels.

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