Once you have your interlined and hemmed the curtain panel (see How to make Interlined Curtains – part 1 ) you’re ready to add the lining and finish the panel ready for pleating.
The lining should be the same width as the fabric and interlining, in this case one and a half widths in each panel, and have a 10cm double hem.
Step 1 – Attaching the lining
Lay the panel out flat on the table wrong side up with a seam within reach. Smooth out the layers to ensure that the fabrics are as flat as possible. (Fig. 1)
Lay the lining, right side up, so that one seam is matching its corresponding seam in the panel and the bottom is 3cm above the bottom edge. Pin into place, through all the layers, for half a width starting at the seam line ending at the middle of a width. Smooth out the lining along the length and as much width as possible. (Fig.2)
Carefully peel back the lining to expose the lining and interlining seams and join them together with a lock stitch (Fig.3) – the same process as attaching the interlining to the fabric. The stitching should start just above the top of curtain hem and finish approximately 20cm below the drop of the curtain. You may need to do a provisional measurement so that you know where to stop.
Replace the lining and smooth back down into place. Across the top of the curtain pin through just the lining and interlining to hold the two layers together. (Fig.4) This will be useful later on.
From the other side of the panel peel back the lining to the half width so that the seams line up – again, the same process as when the interlining was attached to the fabric. Join the lining and interlining together along the fold line with a lock stitch. (Fig.5)
Replace the lining and pin across the top and bottom as before. Repeat the process across the width of the curtain until you have all the seams and half widths joined.
Step 2 – Side hems
When you reach the side of the panel if the lining is wider than the panel trim away the excess. I usually use a 3.5cm wide ruler as a guide. (Fig.6)
Turn under the lining so that the fold is 3cm away from the curtain edge. At the corner the lining will meet the diagonal seam of the mitre. Start stitching the lining in place along the bottom hem 7cm from the corner. To reinforce the opening I usually stitch a few stitches at the same point before continuing along the hem and sides. Use a slip stitch and stitch through all of the layers except for the fabric. This helps hold all of the layers together. (Fig. 7)
Repeat for the other side. The curtain panel is now ready for measuring and finishing to the correct length.
Step 3 – Measuring
You should now have a flat panel which has been finished on both sides and the bottom. Turn the curtain over so that the fabric is uppermost.
With the curtain flat on the table smooth out the layers starting from the bottom. This is especially important with thin fabrics that may have wrinkled while you were working on the lining. I feel this is almost like pulling up trousers and is worth the time making sure the layers are working together. The pins on the bottom edge will stop the hem distorting if you smooth too much and the pins at the top, through the lining and interlining, stop the lining from dropping down on the underside.
When you are happy that everything is flat, measure from the bottom of the hem to the finished drop and mark with a pin through all of the layers. (Fig. 8 & 9)
I like to begin on one side and measure a half width then move the curtain and measure the other side for a half width. I then lay the curtain flat on the table and work across each width until it’s all been measured. By doing the sides first I know that the layers haven’t shifted while being moved across the table.
Step 4 – Finishing the top
Turn the curtain over again so that the lining side is up and manouver it so that the area is as flat as possible, for wide curtains you will need to do this in stages. You’ll see a row of pins marking the finished drop line and the pins used to hold the lining and interlining together. Re-pin the latter, through all layers, to approximately 20cm below the finished drop line to hold everything together while you work. Mark a line 5cm above the remaining row of pins and then cut through all the layers to remove the excess. (Fig.10)
Turn over the hem and press into place ensuring that you can see the pins along the folded edge. (Fig.11)
Carefully remove each pin along the folded edge and re-pin in exactly the same place but just through the fabric. Pull back the lining out of the way and trim only the interlining along the fold line. (Fig.12)
Take the buckram and fold back approximately 7cm. (Fig.13)
Insert the buckram into the side hem so that the folded edge is tight up against inside edge and level with the pins marking the drop. (Fig.14)
Fold over the corner to make a false mitre. (Fig. 15)
Fold the fabric over the buckram, with the pin line along the edge, and tack it into place across the width of the curtain. Finish off the second corner in the same way. (Fig.16 & 17) Full marks if you’ve noticed the change of fabric.
Bring the lining up and turn under a small 1cm hem. Slip stitch into place. Press along each side and across the top, removing the remaining pins as you go. (Fig.18)
The curtain panel is now finished and ready for pleating into your chosen heading.
What if you wanted to use pencil pleat heading tape instead?
The method is the same up until the buckram is inserted.
Measure the finished drop and press along the pin line. Trim the interlining to the fold line then turn over the fabric and lining to the inside. Pin to hold in place until you’re ready to attach the pencil pleat tape, which is sewn onto the curtain as normal.