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How to Sew Simple Custom Curtains

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Calculations & Fabric
Measurements you need to Sew Custom Curtains

Measurements to Sew Custom Curtains

Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
Before you start you will need measuring devices. Punting is not an option when measuring for curtains. Rotary Cutting tools are especially helpful in cutting perfect squares.
  • Start with a bare window and decide the finished length of the curtains.(A)
  • The header is the amount if fabric which will be behind the top of the curtain. (B)
  • The hem is fabric which is turned under at the bottom of the curtain. (C) The hem on curtains plays a vital part in how a curtain hangs. Most curtains rely on the weight of the hem to hang properly. The lighter weight the curtain fabric is, the more hem you will need. A sheer fabric may need a 5" hem or a hem that is doubled.
  • The width of the curtain -- A sheer fabric curtain will usually be double. A heavy fabric may be one and a half times the width of the window. Most curtains are made using the width of the fabric as a panel. Extra fabric lengths will be needed if you are seaming fabric to create extra width.

Add up your measurements and the amounts needed to enclose raw edges of fabric to calculate the length of fabric you will need for each curtain panel.

  • ______Desired finished length of curtain (A)
  • + ______ Header (B)
  • + 1/2" to turn under top raw edge
  • + ______ Hem amount (C)
  • + 1/2" to turn under the bottom raw edge (or the hem amount for a double hem on sheer fabric)
  • = ______ Total length
Total fabric to purchase
  • ______ Total length for each panel
  • X ______ the number of panels (if seaming count each section as an addition panel)
  • = ______ Total inches of fabric needed
  • Divide by 36 to find the number of yards. Always purchase at least a quarter of a yard extra to allow for the fabric not being cut straight at the store or if you will need to match a print to have the panels match.
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