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I feel quite strongly that curtains need to be lined. It gives your curtains extra body, blocks more light, saves energy and gives your windows a uniform look from the outside. All right, Melissa, this is for you. How do you do it?
I will assume you have measured your drapery fabric already. Let me just say that it’s true, two full fabric widths per window is always better than having to cut a width of fabric into two drapery panels, most especially if the curtains are functional and will be pulled across the rod to close up the window.
1. Lay out one curtain panel cut to the length you need for your window. I usually end up doing this on the floor. (Generally, the length of your curtain needs to be at least 4″ longer than your window, depending on what seam allowances + hem sizes you’ll sew.) Cut the lining fabric to size by cutting the width about 1″ less on both sides than your drapery panel. So your lining should be 2″ less than the width of your curtain fabric. The length should be 2″ less, as well.
2. Next, hem the bottom of both your lining fabric and drapery panels. (Shown above.) I fold up 1/4″ on the lining bottom, then fold up another 1″ so you’ll have a finished hem on the bottom.
For the drapery, I usually use some 1″ natural or white twill tape as a way to get a larger hem without using up valuable much more expensive drapery fabric. That way I can save a few inches of fabric and over several windows save myself the cost of 1/2 yard of fabric or so.
To do this, first sew on the twill tape 1/4″ on the bottom front of the drapery panel. Then fold up the bottom 1″ and sew along the top edge of the twill tape.
After you have hemmed both the lining and drapery panel you will lay the lining on top of the drapery panel so that the lining hem is facing the wrongside of the drapery panel and so that the bottom edge is 1″ above the bottom of the drapery panel.
You will then pin the sides of the panels together by folding over about 3/4″ on each side.
The trickiest part is getting the fabric to lay smooth and flat while you are pinning them together. If you have a large dining room table, you’re in business. But for me, I lay mine across the kitchen table and let the excess hang off the side. I continue to move the curtain panel across the table while I pin the sides. This ensures your panels will be smooth and wrinkle/kink free. (You also get some built in wiggle room by keeping the bottom edges hanging free.)
And when you’ve sewn up the sides, just fold over the top edge about an 1″ or 2″ and finish it off. As for the lining itself, I generally buy it from Ebay or locally if my local fabric store is having a sale. Generally, the white cotton lining is about $2-3 per yard and block out lining (which I use in the bedroom) you can get for about $4 per yard. The fabric I used to make the drapes was from Reprodepot (but it is sold out in this colorway, others here and here).