Making lined / interlined curtains Part 1

This tutorial will show you how to measure  your panels to make lined grommet curtains with interlining. Interlining can give nice shape and body to any curtain, but does the most for silky, light curtains. I’m making mine from a heavier fabric, but I wanted to demonstrate how to use it. Interlining is also great for insulating your windows and reducing heat loss. I’m also using blackout lining to help keep a bedroom darker. Next week, we’ll get to the actual sewing and grommets. Finally, the zigzags? Well, chevron fabrics are all the rage, and we have tons! Just search “Zig Zag” on our site.

To read Part 2 of this project (assembling and sewing), click here.

To read how to insert the grommets, click here.


(Click fabrics for direct links for purchase at Warehouse Fabrics Inc.)

Roc-Lon Black Out Drapery Lining

Hanes 5 oz. Drapery Interlining

Zig Zag Village Brown / Natural
The yardage you’ll need depends, obviously, on the window you’re dressing. We’ll discuss how to calculate that below. Also, please take advantage of our yardage calculator!
For this project, I had 5 yards of the main fabric and 4.25 yards of each of the other materials.

The process

These are the curtains I’m replacing. I made these out of solid brown fabric and used the same fabric to line them. I ended up being short on supplies and so my curtains weren’t as wide as I would have liked.Another problem is that I had a window valance that I liked and wanted to use with these curtains. I set the curtain rod in too narrow because I was hoping I could still use it. It didn’t work out, but I never moved the curtain rod, so it’s always looked a bit weird. But these curtains worked for keeping my son’s room darker.This time around, I’ll be using blackout drapery lining and also demonstrating the use of interlining, which is great for improving the look and structure of silky curtains, which I’m not making, but I’ll still demonstrate.ABOVE LEFT: The curtains when closed.
ABOVE CENTER: Daytime, with the interior lights off. Pretty good at keeping light out, but I’m interested in how it will compare with the blackout lining.
ABOVE RIGHT: Pulled back.
Step 1 is to put up your curtain rod. I am moving mine out. About 1″ up and over from the corner of the window, you can see the hole where they were before. They should really be anywhere from 3″ up and over to 6″ up and over from the window.
I went with 4″ and marked a dot up there at the corner of my ruler. I thought my quilting ruler would be the easiest way to measure both directions at the same time. Groovy!
I decided to use anchors because the weight of my materials seems like it will put a bit of a strain on these screws. I am not very handy and the last time I tried to use wall anchors, disaster ensued and they pulled out immediately. The package came with instructions on what size drill bit to use. So you drill a hole …
Then you tap the anchor into the hole using a hammer. I think one mistake I’ve made before is thinking that the tiny hole drilled will not accommodate such a big anchor, so I drilled bigger and bigger. It actually fits quite easily, and you don’t want that hole too big.
I have lightly tapped my anchor into the hole with a hammer.
Next, use a screwdriver to insert the screw. I need to hang my curtain rod bracket from this screw, so I don’t want it in as far as it goes.
Hang your bracket. Obviously, different rods will have different hardware. My rod rests upon that hook there.
Here is my curtain fabric. It makes me dizzy all laid out like that! I was feeling kind of woozy while I was working. First, cut it in half so you have two equal panels that are the width of the fabric. Don’t worry about the print right now — we’ll even that up in a minute. That is, unless your print is very large and you really need to fussy cut it and you have lots of extra yardage. In that case, be more precise in this step.
Now it’s time for some math:Curtain width:

This depends on a few things. For a narrow window like mine, I just used two panels, each the width of the fabric, which is about 56″ for my fabric. My window measures 34.5″ wide, so this will give me nice, wide curtains because I’ll have two panels each about 52″ or so after doing adjustments.Whatever you do, keep in mind the width of the window plus the distance on either side that you set the curtain rod out. In my case, 4″ on either side. Then you want plenty of extra fabric to have nice folds in your curtains, so double the width of your window, at least.Curtain length:

Measure the length of your window (mine was 59″) and add the distance of your curtain rod (mine was 4″ above the window). Then add 8″ for the bottom hem and .5″ for the top hem.
So 59+4+8+.5 = 71.5″
Lining width: Your lining should be the width of your curtains minus 3″
Lining length: Length of your curtains minus 3″.
Interlining width: Width of curtain panel.
Interlining length: Length of fabric – 4″ at bottom hem and 3.5″ at top hem, so in my case, 71.5 – 7.5 = 64

Think carefully about your fabric’s print and if it will need to be accommodated in your curtain design. For instance, I want my zigzags to be even from one panel to the other, so I am going to carefully cut my panels so that they start and end on the same part of the zigzags. Above, I’m getting the tops of my panels even.
Next, I picked a spot for the horizontal pattern to start and stop, and also cut off those pesky selvages. The selvages are stiffly woven and can make things hang less nicely. I cut both panels the same along the sides, and had my zigzags end on a “down” position.
Next, take your curtain length and measure down from the top. I did one panel at a time so I could get my print straight. If you’re using a solid or a print that isn’t too particular, you could do both at once. Again, I want the bottoms of my curtains to be at the same point on the print.
It’s hard to see in this photo, but I’ve laid out the lining and then the curtain on top. I’m going to trim the lining to the size of the curtain. Then, remove the curtain and measure 3″ off the length and 3″ off the sides, depending on what you calculated above. Yes, your lining should be narrower than your main curtain because your curtain will turn in a bit on the sides.
Here, I’m trimming off the sides and bottom.
Repeat with your interlining. I’m going to treat the interlining and curtain as one piece, but I don’t want the interlining to extend past the fold in the hem of the curtain, in order to reduce bulk. It will be as wide as my curtain, but 4″ shorter on the bottom hem and 3.5″ at the top (to reduce bulk where the grommets will go).
All of this will be demonstrated next week.To be continued …