If you can sew a straight stitch – you can make these Pinch Pleat Curtains. Even if you’ve never sewn a straight stitch – you can make these curtains (just practice sewing a straight stitch first). I spent more time than I’d like to admit trying to find curtains for my living room. Either retailers we offering styles that I didn’t like or curtain panels were way too expensive. So that’s when I said, “Mom, will you help me make curtains?” Some hemming (and hawing) later – I have homemade Pinch Pleat Curtains.
Roll fabric out on the floor. Determine how long you want your “finished” curtain to be and add 9 inches for the top and bottom hems.
Our desired “finished” curtain was 90 inches. So we cut the length of each panel to 99 inches.
The width of our fabric was 54 inches. We wanted each window panel to be 81 inches wide. That may seem like a very large panel – remember we are adding pleater tape to these panel to help construct our pinch pleats. At the end of construction each panel will be around 20″ wide when hanging from the rod.
Trim sides with scissors to remove the fringe.
Since we need each panel to be 81 inches wide – we have to add 27 inches of fabric to our 54 inch wide panel. Before you cut a 27 inch x 99 inch panel you have to find the repeat in the fabric (if your fabric as a pattern). The repeat is where the pattern matches. It may take you up to 18 inches extra inches (see left panel in the picture below) to find the repeat. Once you find it cut off the top excess and measure 99 inches for the 27 inch panel.
Pin fabric panels together at the pattern repeat then sew down the length of the fabric 1/4″ from the edge.
To hem both sides of the panel first fold the edge over 1.25 inches and iron. Then fold 1/4″ under the fold and press again.
If you’re adding lining, lay the curtain panel on the floor and place lining on top.
Trim and slip it under each side and pin before sewing.
Sew down the length of the panel with a 5/8” seam allowance. Back stitch at the beginning and end to secure the stitches. Repeat this for the other side of the panel.
For the bottom, fold the fabric 1 inch and iron. Then fold another 3 inches and press again. Sew with a ¼” seam allowance along the sides and across. Or you can sew the bottom hem at the end if you want to hang the panel first to better judge how much to hem.
For the top, fold the fabric 1 inch and iron. Then fold another 4 inches and press again. Sew with a ¼ inch seam allowance along the sides and across.
Lay the pleater tape on the back of the top and pin. Make sure the open pockets are on the bottom of the tape and facing out. Sew around the edges of the tape and under the brown lines to ensure you do not close up the pockets.
We mentioned before the the “finished” panel width would be about 20 inches. That is because we have to take into account for the amount of fabric the pleats will take up and the amount of space in between the pleats. We recommend laying out the panel and marking with tape how many pleats your panel will have. For our 78 inch panel we needed 8 pleats (plus the ends) – so 10 hooks in total would be used per panel. The number below are the number of pockets in between each “pleat”.
Bend fabric to create a loop at each “pleat” and pin.
At each pin sew down 4 inch to make a pleat loop.
At each seam you will now have a sewn “pleat” loop.
Fold fabric into a 3 fold fan.
Pinch the base of the pleat with your fingers and hand stitch to tack together to give the pleat a more defined look.
The top of the pleats will also be given a more defined look by sewing a stitch or two into each fold independently. These pleats are not sewn together.
Insert the ends of the pleat hook prongs into the pockets of the pleater tape. Repeat for the rest of the pleats. You should use 2 end hooks and 8 prong hooks per 78 inch panel. Slip hooks onto curtain rings.
Hang curtains (and curtain rings) on rods. Stand back and admire.