How to make Interlined Curtains – part 1

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


How to make Interlined Curtains – part 1 — 16 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for all this description, i did an advanced curtain making course at the beginning of the year but ….being someone who needs to see the method done several times to get it into my head….i am a bit dyslexic i couldnt remember everything from my notes so these pictures and description have really helped. Thank you. I have added your notes to my favourites as i expect i will need to remind myself often.

  2. Like Martha, I also did an advanced curtain making course, but this was just what I needed to pull it all together and make sense of it. Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing this extremely lucid explanation.

  3. At Fig 13 and 14 I’ve just found that the vertical joins prevented me from turning up the hem of the interlining. Should I have stopped short as it says to do with the side hem?

    • Do you mean the stitching attaching the interlining to the fabric? If so, then yes the stitching should begin more than 15cm above the bottom edge of the fabric to allow the interlining to be turned up.

  4. Thank you so much for this. My fabric extra wide and is much wider than my interlining. Once I’ve joined my widths of interlining should I still sew together the fabric and lining at the seem and half widths? As obviously I don’t have a seen allowance on my fabric as it’s only one width.

    • Yes, you still need to join the layers together even though there isn’t a seam in the fabric. I’ve recently made a pair of interlined curtains using a double width fabric and did just this.

  5. I am making a scalloped valance and would like to use interlining to give the valance more body and prevent the sun from shining through. Do I just connect the interlining to the fashion fabric at the header? The scallop is at the bottom of the valance and will be piped in a contrasting fabric with a contrasting inverted box pleat. Do I incorporate the interlining into the piping and the box pleat?

    • If I was making this valance I would first sew the bottom scalloped edge by sewing through all the layers; the interlining, the piping(and box pleat) and the fashion fabric. You can trim the interlining seam allowance close to the stitching to prevent a bulky seam afterwards. Then, after finishing the bottom and getting everything flat I’d do the heading.

  6. I want to attach pinch pleat header tape to interlined curtain, what is the best way to do this please.
    Instructions for interlining are very good and clear. I very much like to know how you deal with interlining when using triple pinch pleats tape. Many thanks Kim

    • It’s difficult explaining how to deal with the heading without full instructions and photos. Basically after measuring the finished drop of the curtain and marking with a line of pins I trim the excess above the pin line to 5cm and the press along the pin line. To maintain the correct length I then remove each pin from all three layers and re-pin in exactly the same position just through the fabric. To reduce bulk trim the interlining to the pressed line.

      If you’re using a heading tape fold over the fabric and lining to the lining side and attach the tape as normal.

      If using Buckram, I usually use the double sided fusible and sandwich it between the interlining and lining. To start, pull back the lining slightly so that it’s out of the way then lay the top of the buckram level with the line of pins and on top of the interlining . Bring the excess fabric over the top and tack in place along the full width of the panel through all layers. Then return the lining to it’s position, turn under the excess and slip stitch in place along the top edge of the panel. When everything is in place give it a good press to release the glue in the fusible buckram.

      I hope that helps, there are plans for the second part of the instructions but at the moment I’m too busy making curtains. Kate

  7. Hi! I have been following your instructions, step by step, and am extremely pleased with how the curtains are looking, using your very detailed instructions. These are the first ever curtains I have attempted and it has made my life so much easier. Thank you.
    However, I am now stuck! I have still to complete the header of my interlined curtains. I have 5” buckram that I want to use and will be sending the curtains away to have metal eyelets inserted.
    How much hem should fold over at the top? I am planning to allow 3cm of fabric above the top of each eyelet. Should the hem come below where the eyelet is to be fitted? ie. 3cm + 5cm for eyelet + 2cm extra = 10cm hem. OR
    3cm hem and eyelets fitted below that?
    Also, I still have to fit the lining onto the interlined curtains – where should the lining start at the top header for eyelet curtains please? Below where the eyelets are to be inserted, or above the top line of the eyelets – about 2cms from the very top? I cannot visualise what is best.
    Many thanks for any advice you can give me on this please.

    I don’t seem to be able to find any information on this on the internet.

    • Sorry for not getting back sooner. I have to admit that I don’t make eyelet curtains very often so I’m not too sure if I can help that much. My feeling is that there should be as few layers in the eyelet ring as possible, so any hems should be less than the distance to the ring.

      I have made an interlined panel for eyeletting once in the past and I used a different technique to my normal one for attaching the heading buckram. Once you have the top of the curtains marked and trimmed, machine sew the edge of the buckram to the hem along the top line on the inside. You can also sew through the interlining to hold it on place but I’d advise trimming it close to the stitching afterwards to reduce bulk. When finished fold the buckram into position and then you can bring up the lining and stitch into place close to the top edge which will also hide the stitching line.

      I realise this may be confusing with out photos but hopefully it has been some sort of help.

  8. Hi. Thank you for your detailed instructions. I have made a few interlined curtains, patio covers and cushions etc but I’d like to make my finished look more professional. I have never been on a course but do have a few good books to help me.
    I have just mitred my curtains and pinned the hem in place.
    Please can you clarify something for me. In fig 24 above I think you Sew the hem just to the interlining and not Right through to the front of the fabric. Is that correct? If so won’t the interlined fabric relax when hung and lower them hem line?
    In the past I have a attached the hem through the interlining and to the Front of the curtain (fine stitches) but can see some puckering/stitch creases…
    Can you tell me where I’m going wrong please.
    Any advise is really appreciated.
    Thank you

    • I’ve always only sewn the hem to the interlining and not through to the fabric. From experience, the interlining tends to move upwards and away from the lower hem which is why I sew the row of lock stiches between the interlining and fabric along the hem line as in fig.14.

      I also ensure that all the layers are smoothed out from the hem before marking the finished length. You can feel the different fabric layers when smoothing and if there are any bumps or ridges they can be worked out by gently pulling on each layer.

      In my opinion, one of the things that make interlined curtains so lovely is their smooth flat surface without stitches showing. I would therefore recommend having as few stitches into the fabric as possible.

    • Interlining should be attached to the main fabric with an interlocking stitch down the seams and middle of each width. When you come to add the lining, either blackout or not, this should also be attached down the seams of the interlining and the middle of each width. At the bottom the interlining is enclosed in the double hem and the lining hangs loose.

      Hope this helps. Kate

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