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    A guide to choosing your curtain fabric from our sewing project fabric guide series.

    If you want to avoid making an expensive and time consuming mistake, take some time to think about the practicalities of your curtain fabric choice before making a purchase.

    Although colour and pattern are key elements in choosing curtain fabric it’s important to remember that your curtains have a practical purpose.

    Do you want your curtains to exclude light or draughts? If so, choose heavier weight fabrics or add a suitable lining fabric. You can also buy ready made curtain liners to add to your handmade curtains. These are a great way to combine practicality with the fun of making your own curtains.

    Consider the width of your fabric. As a general rule the combined width of your curtains should be 2 to 2½ times the width of the window. Will you need to have a seam in the middle of the curtain? This isn’t a problem, but with patterned curtain fabric you will need to factor in the length of the pattern repeat to make sure you have enough fabric to match the pattern up along the seam. A useful tip is if you position the curtain tape so the curtain hooks will be either side of a seam then it will make the seam disappear into the inside of the pleat.

    Remember that you will also want to have the pattern lined up horizontally across both curtains, so don’t skimp on quantity when buying your fabric.

    Pencil pleat curtains are one of the easiest styles to make. To calculate what length of fabric to buy use this guide:

    For EACH curtain you will need at least:

    Curtain length + 5cm for heading seam + 20cm for bottom hem+ length of pattern repeat in cm + 5cm

    Remember to multiply this up if you need more than one width of fabric per curtain.

    Cottons, poly cottons and linen blends are all easy fabrics for beginners to use. They are robust enough to cope if you need to undo a wonky seam. They also easy to sew with a sewing machine because they don’t stretch or slip about.


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