How to Sew Curtains Step-by-Step

Updated February 21, 2017

Making your own curtains gives you a vast array of choices in fabric type, weight, colour and finish that you would not otherwise have for your window treatments. Two-panel curtains such as those described below can be as fancy or as plain as you want, depending on the style of pole and the fabric you choose. For a formal dining room, for example, you could use dupioni silk and make the curtains floor length. You could make windowsill-length curtains out of denim for a children's playroom. The curtain fabric may range from light to medium weight. If you decide to use a coordinating curtain fabric for the back of the panels, instead of curtain lining fabric, you should choose a light to medium weight material.

Install the curtain pole above the window frame according to the manufacturer's directions. Make sure the clip-on curtain rings are on the pole before you install it, unless the pole is removable.

Measure from the bottom of the clip-on rings to the point where you want the bottom of the curtain to be. Measure the width of the window frame.

Calculate how much fabric you will need. Your fabric for each of the two panels will be the width of the window plus 1-1/4 inches (to account for the seam allowances). The length will be the number you determined by measuring from the bottom of the clip-on ring to the point where you want the bottom of the curtain to be plus 1-1/4 inches.

Cut two lengths of curtain fabric and two lengths of the fabric you will use for the lining, which may be a curtain lining fabric or another fabric that coordinates with the curtain fabric.

Put one curtain panel and one lining or coordinating panel together with right sides facing. Pin around all four sides.

Sew the panels together, using a seam allowance of 5/8 of an inch. Leave an opening about 8 inches wide at the top. Clip the corners. Turn the panels right side out and press, turning the edges of the opening inward. Hand sew the opening.

Attach the panels to the clip-on rings, using half the rings on the pole for each panel.


Think of your curtains as reversible and choose two complementary fabrics, each of which could be the front side of the curtain.

Things You'll Need

  • Drapery pole
  • Clip-on curtain rings
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Coordinating or lining fabric
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
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About the Author

Tanya Lee is a professional writer with more than 30 years experience. She has published extensively in the field of education and as a journalist, the latter in such publications as "High Country News" and "News from Indian Country." Lee holds a M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.