How to Make Lined Curtain Panels

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27.1.12

Update: If you’re looking for the exact fabric I used it’s Robert Allen Khandar available here* or at a number of other places too.

As promised, I’m back to show you all easy step-by step instructions How to Make Lined Curtain Panels of your very own. When I started this DIY project I had made curtain panels before but never lined ones.

This time I wanted to add the lining because I knew it would make the curtains last longer, drape better, feel more luxurious, help filter out the light (which might even help you get a few more minutes of precious sleep) and prevent the neighbors from seeing some fantastically awkward silhouettes through the curtains. Yeah um, no thank you.

How to Make Lined Curtain Panels

With all those reasons kicking me in the butt to figure these bad boys out, a funny thing happened, I realized that they’re not really anymore difficult then the plain old unlined version, especially when you use this cheap and easy secret for the lining.

The secret is to use twin sheets for your lining fabric, there’s a few benefits to using sheets as lining; they’re way cheaper than buying specific drapery lining (I got mine at Wal-Mart for $5 each), there are all different colors to match your curtain fabric and they come complete with an awesome large hem so there’s no need to sew that. Every step saved equals an awesome benefit in my mind.

With all that said, there is actually more ironing than sewing in this project. So if you don’t own an iron then go buy one right now…on second thought read this tutorial first then go buy one.

How to Make Lined Curtain Panels

So let’s get to the point of why we’re all here shall we? Let’s learn how to make some professional lined curtains…and I thought you were all here to read my ramblings. Psssshaw ;)

What you’ll need:
  • 54 in Home Decorator Fabric in your choice of pattern cut to your desired length plus 12 inches (so for my 84 inch panels I used 3 yards of fabric for each panel with some excess scraps left over for goof ups)
  • Twin sheet for lining
  • Sewing Machine
  • Sewing Machine Thread to match your fabric
  • Iron
  • Good pair of scissors (sharp scissors will make all the difference in the world)
  • Ruler or yardstick

Step 1

Gather your curtain fabric and cut to size, for each standard 84 inch panel you’ll need 96 inches of fabric or around 3 yards which will give you some scraps at the end. To make longer curtains just add 12 inches to whatever you’d like your desired curtain panel length to be then divide by 36 to see how may yards you’d need.

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 1

Step 2

Once you have all your fabric cut out it’s time to start with what will be the bottom hem. Start by laying your fabric out upside down on your ironing board. If you have a pattern make sure it’s going in the right direction. Fold the bottom edge up 1/2 inch and press firmly into place. Then fold your fabric over again 5 inches, press and pin into place. Sew the hem in place with a straight stitch.

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 2

Step 3

Now it’s time to get your side seams sorted out. Some people advise cutting off the selvedge which is the finished edge from the factory that runs along lengthwise to prevent the selvedge from shrinking differently then the rest of the fabric. I didn’t on mine because I plan to bring them to the dry cleaners for cleaning in the future but you can di it depending upon your preferences.

Fold the vertical sides in 1/2 in and press, then fold over again another half inch and press again. You’ll want to pin it in a couple of places to hold it together then do the other side in the same manner. Don’t sew the side seams together just yet though.

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 3

Step 4

To prepare the sheet you’ll need to cut off 3 of the 4 hems, leaving the large decorative hem in place. This will form the bottom hem of your drapery lining.

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 4

Step 5

Now it’s time to place your lining together with your drapery fabric. Lay the entire piece of drapery fabric (wrong side up) out on a large flat surface like the floor. Lay the sheet right side up on top of your drapery fabric. The wrong sides of your fabric should be together. Now, align the sheet’s decorative edge (that you didn’t cut off) about 4 inches above the edge of the bottom hem of your drapery panel. You don’t want them to line up at the bottom and you won’t want to sew it together. Leaving it loose will help the fabric hang better and look more like curtains than like a pillow case in the end.

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 5

Now tuck your sheet edge under one side of the hem you pressed in Step 3 and pin firmly into place.

With the one side pinned smooth out your sheet liner so it lies flat on top of your drapery fabric. Depending upon your panel size and fabric width you may need to cut off the excess fabric from your sheet. Cut the sheet so that it tucks under the remaining vertical hem neatly. Trim the top to match the length of your drapery fabric.

Step 6

Final step. Fold the top edge down 1/2 inch and press into place. Then fold over 6 inches and press. Pin to hold it into place. Now you’ll want to sew two straight stitches. Sew with a 1/4 inch seam to lock into place. To create a rod pocket measure down 2 inches from your top and sew a straight stitch.

Creating the rod pocket is optional but I always do this last stitch even if I’m using ring clips in case I change my mind later and want to shirr the curtains on the rod. I’m fickle like that ;)

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 6

Tips to Ponder

If you are making multiple panels, make sure the lengths match up exactly.

Check to make sure you cut your prints in the same direction, and make sure you sew your panels so the pattern runs in the same direction.

*Some links contain affiliates

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20 comments :

  • dee dee

    Maria,
    Your curtains are so beautiful!
    Thanks for the instructions!
    Dee Dee

  • LoriLGrundy

    Where is this fabric from? So pretty and I love the large scale!

  • Vroberts0304

    I’ve scoured the internet looking for one good tutorial on making lined panels.    You’d be surprised at how many bad ones are out there. THANK YOU for providing a simple tutorial.  The pictures were very helpful.

  • Hey_hay18

    Thank you so much for this post!  I had just about given up finding a good one I could follow but this was super easy to follow and I’ve already done one panel!  The only thing I did different was to sew the sides one at a time b/c I thought it’d be easier to have one sewed in place before I started doing the other one.
    Great job…I’ll have to check out the rest of your DIY projects!

  • Maria

    Hi, You did an amazing job on the drapes, they are beautiful. Thanks for the instructions…I just need to dust off my sewing machine now….

  • Kathi

    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! Thank you so much!

  • lESLI

    i am totally doing this for my living room window, which is nekkid!

  • Chris O'Leary

    Thanks so much for posting this tutorial which was so easy to follow. Made 10 panels to cover five floor-to-ceiling windows (3 of them a bay window). You were right about the ironing, ironing, ironing! :) But they came out great and without tears (mostly)

  • jay

    MARIA, THANk you so much for the instruction. I wondered if you could suggest a solution for my inside room, which I wish to be an elegant, dramatic, dining room. It”s not huge, but will have a round table, and 8 chairs, uncrowded. I favour black and……., hate blues, love pink/mauves, and wondered if I might do something with fabrics, rather than wallpaper, as where I live, that is impossible to buy. On-line purchases are impossible too.
    Thank you for your input. j

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  • leah

    THIS IS MAYBE THE FIFTH OR SIXTH LINED CURTAIN TUTORIAL I’VE LOOKED AT online. I love your illustrations; I’m a visual learner so it makes it that much easier to picture it. (SO much better than a blurry snapshot.) And thank you so much for taking the extra step of explaining why you do things. As a beginner sewer, that’s important to me so i understand not just how to do something but why i need to do it that way. for example, this is the first one i’ve read that explained why i shouldn’t sew the bottom hems together! Thank you!

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  • Penni

    My 92 year old mother is making draperies for my window. She pretty much knows how to make them but here’s our question: I’m using a 1″ rod for a shirred-on drapery with a plain rod pocket at the top (no ruffle). How big should the pocket be for the 1″ rod so that the drapery can be pushed to the side and stay in the gathered position? The fabric has a nice heft to it, not a real light fabric. Thanks very much!

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