Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sewing Unlined/Lined Curtain Panels - Part 4

If you've decided to sew your own curtain panels, it is my opinion that you should go ahead and add a lining to them.  It is a little more costly, both in time and lining fabric, but there are some worthwhile benefits from doing this.  (To see Part 1 of this Tutorial, go here.) 

Linings added to curtains 

-help block the sun from your decorator fabric, keeping it from fading and rotting.  At about $3 a yard, this is an effective way to protect your costly fabric.

-make your cover fabric look richer.  Even a cheap fabric will hang much nicer with a lining.

-block light to make a room better for sleeping or watching TV.

-help insulate your home from heat and cold, saving you energy dollars.

Any fabric can be used for a lining, even sheets.  Just be sure to choose a fabric that needs to be washed/cleaned by the same method as your decorator fabric.

Should you choose to purchase actual lining fabric from the fabric store, you actually have some nice options to choose from.  Light and middle-weight basic linings will work for most of your projects, but you can also purchase linings that add thermal warmth, or linings that are made to block out all light.

To cut the lining for your curtains, look at your measurements for the finished size of each panel.

Length - to cut the length of the lining, take the finished length of the panel (including the header and rod pocket) and add 5 inches to that measurement.

Width - cut the lining the exact width of the finished panel.  If you need to piece sections together, the process is the same as with your decorator fabric, with one exception:  if the lining fabric is the same width as the decorator fabric - cut your wide section about 2 inches narrower, and the narrow section 2 inches wider.  The width works out the same, but this keeps the lining seam and the fabric seam from lining up at the same place.  The problem you are trying to avoid is ending up with that is too much bulk in the header.  This helps to offset the seams when you put the lining and the cover fabric together.

To assemble your Lined Panels:

Press your bottom curtain panel hem and then stitch into place.  Refer to Part 3 here for more information on how to do this.

Now, press the side hems and then the top header and rod pocket - BUT DO NOT STITCH INTO PLACE.

Press a 3" double hem into the bottom of your lining.  Stitch the hem in place.  Again, see Part 3 for an illustration.

If your panel and/or lining appear to be wrinkled at this point, go ahead and press them again.

Lay your panel face down on a large surface - like the floor - and smooth it as best you can.  Next, place the lining face up on top of the panel.  Pin the bottom of the lining (where you just hemmed it) 1" above the bottom of the hemmed curtain panel.  You will need to lift the pressed side hems to allow the lining to tuck in.  After you have pinned completely across the bottom, smooth the lining from the bottom to the top.  Continue to lift the sides, tucking the lining under the pressed fold.

I forgot to take a picture at this point.  This is after I 
finished stitching, so it is all wrinkly again.
You get the idea, though.

When you reach the top, lift the pressed header and smooth the lining under it as well.

If you find the lining is too wide or long, trim it right where it meets the outermost fold of the side hems or the top fold of the header.

Pin the lining to the panel all along the side hems and along the top.  Since you will be stitching the side hems in place first, be prepared to remove some of the pins at the top.  Once the side hems are stitched into place, finish the header and rod pocket as described in Part 3.

That's all there is to attaching a lining.  Of course, you may want sheer panels, or may not care about the benefits from adding a lining - but at least you know how doable it is if you ever want to add one.

I hope you'll let me know when you get your curtain panels made - and please send some pics!  I've tried to give you a fair picture of what is involved, but I've also tried to break it down into a series of very manageable steps.  

Thanks for stopping by,


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