Monday, 14 January 2013

How to line your curtains

In our last blog we talked about the different types of curtain lining available, and the benefits each one has to  offer.
  In this blog I want to show you two simple methods to line your curtains. The first is VERY quick and does not involve sewing or unpicking seams in your existing  curtains. This method will provide thermal insulation, light proofing if a lightproof lining is used and help protect your curtains. As you do not have to alter your existing curtains this method is also useful if you are not confident enough  to take a seam unpicker to your drapes. It is however not suitable for adding body and depth to your curtains.

A few points for both methods. At no time do you need to unpick the hem at the bottom of a curtain. As a result you don't have to worry about blind hemming (the type of hem that is normally used in curtain making), you can just use a regular hem for the lining.

When we refer to the right side of the lining we mean the side you well see when you look at the back of your finished curtain.

Curtain sewing is actually pretty simple, BUT there is a LOT of fabric involved. Take your time and double check you are  not sewing the side of the curtain to the top of the lining (or the other way round). And yes, I've made that mistake a few times.

You will need;
Sewing needles and thread
Curtain header tape
Tape measure
Curtain Lining 
Measure  your curtains, taking the width measurement from the bottom of your curtains (taking the width from the top can be difficult as your header tape has probably caused the fabric to become pleated or gathered).

The first method, leaving your curtains intact. 
For the width of lining required take the width measurement and remove 2 cm, then add a hemming allowance for either side. For the length take the length measurement and subtract the height of the hem of the curtains, then add an allowance for the hem you wish to use on the lining), Thus your lining will be slightly narrower and slightly shorter than your curtain.

 Hem the sides of your lining and the bottom of your lining.

If you are in a rush and your lining fabric is non fraying (like a lot of light proof fabrics) you can skip the hemming (and just cut the lining smaller) However hemming adds very little time indeed.

Along the top of the lining fold 1 cm of the fabric from the right side to the wrong side.

Pin the hemming tape just below the start of this fold and sew along the top edge.

Then sew along the bottom  of the hemming tape

Tie one end of the hemming taps cords together, then gently pull on the other and spread the gathers out until the width of your lining matches that of your curtain.

Using curtain hooks attach your lining to either the header tape of your curtain, or to the sliders attached to your curtain.

This method will help insulate your home or block out light, it's very quick and easy to do and a perfect way to protect your home from the cold and drafts in the winter months.

The Second Method

If  you want to use an interlining to give your curtains a more luxurious look, or if you want your lining to be more securely attached to your curtains then you will need to use the following method.

Unpick the side seams of your curtains and the curtain header tape. It's possible the header tape's cord has been cut short once the gathers have been pulled into the curtains so this will need replacing. There is no need to unpick the bottom hem!

The sides of the curtains wrap around to the wrong side by a few cementers. So measure the width of lining you need from this edge to the edge of the fabric on the other side and add your seam allowance  For the length of lining required measure from the top of the curtain to the start of the hem of the curtain, then add a hem allowance.

Hem the bottom of your lining.

Check the length of your lining by placing the bottom of your lining next to the top of the hell of the curtain. The top of the lining should now meet up with the top of the curtain.

Open up the side hems of the curtains. With right sides together sew the sides of the curtains and lining together.

Pull the curtain right side out. The curtain fabric should be wider than the lining,  so the back of the curtain looks much like it did before, with the curtain fabric wrapping around to the back as in the picture.

Fold over the top of the curtain and lining along the fold line originally in the curtain. Pin the new header tape just below the top of the fold. Sew along the top edge of the header tape and again along the lower end.

Tie one side of the header cords into a knot and then gently pull the cords on the other side to gather the now lined curtain to the desired width.
If you are using an interlining tack the lining to the interlining and use as if it's one piece of fabric.

This may seem long winded but once you get going you will develop a feel for this sort of work. Even if you just use the first method to quickly back your curtains you will feel the benefit of your labors straight away.


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