Fully lined curtains are elegant, block double the light of unlined curtains and protect the fabric from fading in the sunshine.
Sewing curtains with lining is great for children’s and baby’s rooms, which require more darkness. Plus, they also allow the curtain fabric to appear opaque, as it has the backing fabric of the lining. While they look complicated to sew, they are actually incredibly easy, once you know a few tips for hiding all the stitching.
Sew custom curtains and draperies that elevate your decor!
Read along and learn to make your own customized lined curtains!
Before doing any sewing, first you need to cut your curtain fabric and lining fabric. Check out this post on how to sew grommet curtains to learn the steps properly measure your windows for curtains. you will need to measure, cut, and sew any panels together to have our curtain fabric the size you want for your windows prior to beginning this tutorial.
To add in the correct amount for the sides, top and bottom, use the following guide: The top will be treated based on your hardware of choice, so be sure to add in the amount you need for your fixtures. The hem allowance to add in is 4″ and the side seam allowance is 2″ for each side, making it 4″ wider overall. The lining fabric should be cut to the same size as the curtain fabric, then trimmed down to be 2″ shorter and 4″ narrower. Once you have the panels ready to go, proceed to step 1 below to start the sewing process.
Iron and ironing board (a small portable pressing board can be helpful, so you can bring it to the fabric instead of the other way around, allowing you to keep the fabric flat on your surface), seam gauge, scissors, pins, sewing machine, and an area large enough to lay out your entire curtain. This can be your floor or a large dining table, just as long as you can lay it all out, as that will make the pinning and lining up steps much easier once you have the volume of yardage that curtains typically require.
Fold the hem of the curtain fabric up 3/4″ and press with an iron set to the appropriate heat for the fabric you are using. A seam gauge will help this step a lot, as pictured above.
Fold the hem of the curtain fabric a second time, this time making the fold 3 1/4″ so the hem amount between the two folds is a full 4″ hem. Press with your iron.
Repeat steps one and two with your lining fabric, first folding and pressing 3/4″ and then folding 3 1/4″ and pressing a second time for the full 4″ hem allowance.
Pin the hems in place in preparation for sewing. Tip: With this amount of fabric, it is more important than ever to have the excess fabric to the left of the needle. Pinning the pins into the fabric with the heads of the pins facing you will allow you to pull them out easier as you wrangle all the curtain fabric.
Stitch the hem of the curtain, sewing close to the hem fold. Tip: find a spot on your presser foot to follow since the 4″ hem is too large to follow on your seam allowance guide. For my example, I used the right edge of the left toe along the fold to keep my stitches straight. Remember, you will see these on the right side of the curtain. For an entirely invisible hem, this step can be hand sewn.
Repeat step 5 with your lining fabric, sewing close to the hem fold just as you did on the main curtain fabric.
Press the stitching and the bottom hem fold with your iron.
Repeat step 7 with your lining fabric, pressing both the stitching and the bottom fold.
Place the curtain fabric on a flat surface with the right side facing up. Lay the lining fabric down on top of the curtain fabric, right side down so the right sides are facing. Line up the top edges and one of the side edges. The opposite side will not line up since the lining is less wide. The hems also will not line up since the lining is 2″ shorter than the curtain fabric.
Pin along the side seam that you have lined up. It can be helpful to pin a little bit along the top edge and the bottom edge to secure the lining in place.
Stitch the lining to the curtain fabric along the side that you pinned in step 10. Use a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Lay the curtain flat again and this time line up the fabric and lining on the side opposite the sewn side. Because the lining is narrower than the curtain, lining up the side seams will pull the seam sewn in step 11 beyond the stitch line. Pin and stitch the fabrics together at the same 1/2″ seam allowance as you did in step 11.
Press both of the side seams flat after sewing to flatten the fabrics. Then turn the tube of fabric right side out, so the wrong sides of the lining and curtain fabric are facing.
Once you turn the curtain right side out, the lining will naturally roll 1″ of the curtain fabric to the wrong side of the curtain, keeping the lining away from the edge. Use your seam gauge to measure the fabric that is rolled to the back side of the curtain and press in place.
At the bottom corner on the lining side of the curtain, fold the raw edge of the fabric at a diagonal, tucking the raw edge in. Press the fold with your iron.
Hand sew the fold in place using a needle and thread. Repeat the folding, pressing, and hand stitching on the other corner of the hem.
Finish the top of the curtain based on how you choose to hang it. For a pole, fold a small amount and press, then fold again enough to fit the rod through the fabric and stitch in place. For ring clips, fold and press the top layers twice and stitch. Then simply clip and hang!