How to line curtains in easy steps

Here I'll show you how to line curtains. (This is for lined only, not using interlining as well). Once you've mastered the different stitches needed and you can sew a tidy, straight machine seam, you can move on to making your drapes.

The components you'll need

It's best if you get all the components of your drapes ready. Here's what you'll need.

  1. The fabric joined up using machine seams.
  2. The lining joined up with the hem completed.
  3. Suitable thread for hand sewing.
  4. Enough weights for sewing into the corners and on joins.

Making the lined curtain

First, lay a fabric panel face up on the table. It helps if the table is big enough so you can lay the whole panel out flat. If the table can't support it all, make sure the section you're working on is completely flat. Mark out the position of the hem lines and side turnings with pins. Mark the miter points for the corners with pins.

fabric fold marksMark the fabric where the folds will be

Now lay the panel face down on the table. It's best if you secure the fabric so it can't move (fabric covered bricks are good for this). Fold the hem and sides to form the corner miters.


Put the fabric covered weights into the corners and sew the corners using a slip stitch.

Hem and sides

assemble the fabric & liningHow to line curtains - assembling the fabric and lining

Sew the hem using a hemming stitch, and the sides with a hemming stitch or a slip stitch. (Part of knowing how to sew drapes means you can decide which stitches you prefer to use.)

When you make the small stitch into the back of the fabric you only need to just catch a couple of fabric threads. This will be enough to secure the hem and sides without the stitches showing on the front.

Measure the finished length up from the hem, and use pins to mark the top of the drape.


Put the lining in position on the fabric front side up. (The back of the lining is now resting on the back of the fabric.) Position the leading edge first. If you can, match up the lining seams with the fabric seams. Arrange the lining so the lower edge is 1½" (4.0cms) above the hem of the drape.

Fold the lining back and interlock it to the fabric wherever the fabric has a join and on every half width. The distance between interlock stitches should be about 15" (38cms) but this doesn't have to be exact. Just don't have them less than about 12" apart.

As with the hemming stitches, you should just catch one or two threads of the fabric. When you do this correctly the stitch marks won't show on the front of the fabric.

Cut the lining so it's level with the sides of the fabric. Now turn it back and under so it's 1" (2.5cms) back from the sides and use a slip stitch to secure it.

Fold over the top of the drape marked out by the pins. You can mock miter the corners and use a slip stitch. Fold the lining over about 1/4" (0.6cms) from the top and slip stitch.

Repeat for the other drape, and make sure they are both exactly the same length.

How to line curtains - now there's just the heading to do!

Your drapes are now ready to be headed up. How you do this will depend on whether you want to machine a heading using a styling tape, or do it by hand.

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