Every now and then I am asked for some instructions on how to make interlined curtains. So as I was planning to make a pair of interlined curtains for one of my own rooms I saw an opportunity to take some photos. Generally the technique is similar to making non-interlined curtains but at the beginning when the interlining is added there are a few more steps. These instructions are not meant to be a tutorial but just to give you an idea of what’s involved. This is the method I use when making interlined curtains, it maybe different to other makers as we all have our own methods.
I will be making a triple pleat curtain out of Harlequin’s Delphinia Fabric in Grey/Coral/Lime/Neutral with domett interlining and a sateen lining.
Preparation for interlined curtains
The track I want the curtains to hang from is a total length of 170cm, including overlaps, so I will need three drops (or widths of fabric) for the correct fullness for my triple pleat heading. Each drop of fabric, interlining and lining was cut to the correct length and seamed together. A note about interlining, use a single lapped seam to join the widths and if possible let the interlining rest after cutting and before making the curtains as sometimes it is stretched on the roll and needs a chance to bounce back.
Step 1 – Attaching the interlining to the fabric
Using pins mark the hem line, 15cm from the bottom, and placement line of the interlining, 7.5cm from the bottom across the full width of the curtain. Place the pins approximately 20cm apart. (Fig.1)
Open out the fabric on the table right side down, then place the interlining on top, matching seams, so that the bottom of the interlining is on the lower row of pins (Fig.2). Smooth out the interlining so that both layers are flat. (Fig.3)
Once everything is smooth carefully peel back one width of the interlining to expose the seam (Fig.4). Join the seam of the fabric and interlining together using a lock stitch along the whole length of the seam. Only stitch through the seam allowances. (Fig.5)
Replace the interlining and lift back one width of the interlining so that the selvedge’s are together, creating a fold down the middle of the width (Fig.6) Join the fabric and interlining with a lock stitch along the fold, taking small stitches in the fabric. (Fig.7)
Replace the interlining and smooth down. Repeat the process across the width of the curtain until you have all the seams and half widths joined.
Step 2 – Side hems
Trim any excess interlining from the sides, if possible trim the interlining to about 1cm in from the edge of the fabric to allow for movement between the layers when they’re folded over (Fig.8)
Fold over the side hems the required amount. When bringing the fabric over use a ruler or something similar to push the interlining into the fold of the fabric (Fig.9) Here the fold is 3.5cm from the edge of the pattern giving a total hem of 5.5cm including the selvedge. Pin in place through all the layers. (Fig.10)
Using a herringbone stitch attach the side hem to the interlining. Ensure that the stitch goes through all the layers except for the face fabric on the underside (Fig.11) Repeat down both sides of the curtain panel leaving approximately 30cm from the pinned hem line to give room for manoeuvring the fabric to make the hem.
Press side hems and place pins through the pressed fold to mark the 15cm hem position (Fig.12)
Step 3 – Bottom hem
Open the curtain so the hem area is as flat as possible, for wide curtains you will need to do this in stages. Fold up the interlining along the pinned hem line, press in place and remove all of the pins (Fig.13).
Join the fabric and interlining with a lock stitch along the fold, taking small stitches in the fabric. (Fig.14).
Bring up the fabric over the folded interlining, keeping it taught but not distorting the interlining. Pin in place and stitch a covered lead weight to the bottom of each seam. (Fig.15)
Press the fabric along the bottom edge and pin through the pressed fold to make the hem position. (Fig.16)
Now for the mitred corner.
Open out the corner and there should be a cross pressed into the fabric and interlining. (Fig.17)
Diagonally fold the corner so that a pressed line matches the opposite line, this will be side hem to bottom hem and bottom hem to side hem. You should see the two pins marking the hem lines poking out from the folded hems. (Fig.18)
Open out the corner again and you should have a diagonal line passing through the middle of the cross. (Fig.19) Cut along the fold through just the interlining. (Fig.20)
Bring up the fabric over the cut interlining, pin in place and sew a covered lead weight into the corner made by the folds. (Fig.21)
Re-position both side and bottom hem so that the layers lay flat together. If the mitre is accurate the folded edges should neatly match but sometimes you may need to make some adjustments. Stitch the folded edges together with a ladder stitch (Fig.22). Repeat for the other corner.
Tuck the excess fabric into the folded interlining keeping the fabric taught and pin in place. This can be tricky, particularly on wide curtains, so take time to ensure all the layers are sitting well together. (Fig.23)
Hem the fabric onto the interlining using a slip stitch, and finish off the herringbone stitches on the side hems. (Fig.24)
You now have a completed interlined curtain panel ready for lining. (Fig.25)
You can now go to my new blog post, How to make interlined curtains – part 2, for the second half of the instructions