Pinch Pleat Curtain Making Instructions

Updated June 13, 2017

Give your windows a tailored look with pinch pleat curtains. They can be lined or unlined. If you have windows that face the street or are too close to a neighbour's house, consider making lined curtains. The lining will also help sunlight from being too bright in a room. Making pinched pleat curtains yourself can be an economical alternative to hiring a designer or purchasing premade curtains. Pinched pleat curtains are traditional, fashionable and add texture to the decor of a room.


Get your work area ready with your supplies before you begin your pinch pleat curtains. The supplies you will need are a sturdy curtain rod, measuring tape, fabric, lining fabric and pleater tape. Hang your curtain rod in position over the window. Measure the area to be covered by the pinched pleat curtains. Your rod should be strong enough to hold the weight of the pinch pleat curtains. These curtains typically have more fabric in them than other types of curtains. Determine how long you will need to make the curtains. Measure from the top of the rod to a point ending at the position you want the curtains to hang. Add 7 inches to the length. This calculates your curtain panel measurement. Now, measure the length of the rod and multiply it by 2 1/2 times. Add 1 inch for each seam and 10 inches for the side hems. This calculates the width of your curtain panels.

Calculate the amount of lining fabric needed for the curtains. Cut the lining fabric 5 inches shorter than the curtain length. Cut the lining fabric 8 inches narrower than the curtain panel width.


Use your earlier measurements to cut the fabric. Sew the fabric panels together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Press the seams open. Hem the lining with a 1/2-inch hem. Turn the edge up another 1 1/2 inches and stitch. Place the lining on the curtain fabric with right sides touching. The top and right sides should be even.

Stitch from the top corner and go down. Stop stitching about 2 inches before you reach the lining hem. Repeat on the left side. The fabric will bell; this is typical. Turn the curtain with the right side out. Press the seams in toward the lining. Adjust the lining to be in the centre of the curtain fabric.

Pleat and Hem

Use pleater tape to save time when creating the curtain header. Pleater tape is a strip of fabric that has the pleats already formed. Place a strip of pleater tape on top of the curtain with right sides together. Stitch a 1/2-inch seam down the top of the curtains. Flip tape to the back. Pin the pleater tape to the back side of the curtain 1/2 inch from the top. Pin the edges of the tape under and sew in place. Turn the bottom edge up 3 inches and then another 3 inches. Stitch in place.

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About the Author

Jennifer Terry is program director for TriCounty Agency for Intellectual Disabilities. As a University of Alabama graduate, she holds a Masters in rehabilitation counseling and a Bachelor in psychology with an emphasis in child development. She also earned an Associate in business management and second Associate in computer information systems from Bevill State Community College. She holds a grant writing certificate from North Georgia College and State University.