How to make Drapes and Curtains–estimating fabric yardage

How to make drapes and curtains—estimating fabric yardage

New drapes and curtains are simple ways to make a boring room feel fresh and interesting. It is easy to learn how to make drapes and curtains; self-styling tapes make it easy to sew drapes and curtains with pleated headings. Self-styling tapes come in both pleated and smocked styles. You will need more fabric when making the smocked style.

The first step to making either drapes or curtains is estimating how much fabric you will need. This requires several calculations; the procedure may seem complex at first, but it isn’t.

1. Measure the width of the curtain or drape rod. If the rod has returns make sure you include them in this measurement (rod returns are the part of the rod that turn towards the wall and fasten in the brackets).
2. Decide if you want a pleated or a smocked heading. Multiply the rod width (including returns) by 2 ½ if you will be using pleating tape and by 2 ½ to 3 if you are using shirring or smocking tape.
3. Add a seam allowance for double side hems to the measurement obtained in step two.
4. To find the number of widths (panels) needed, divide the total figured in step three by the width of the fabric you are using. For example, divide the total by sixty if you are using sixty’’ wide fabric.
5. Now measure the finished length of the curtain or drape. To this add 6” if you want a 3” bottom hem. Now add between 1” and 5” for the top hem. A simple rod and simple top hem require only 1”. A larger rod or more elaborate heading require up to 5”. If you are using a sheer fabric, you will want a double top hem; add an additional 2” to the length.
6. Multiple the length by the number of widths needed (you found this number in step four). Now divide by 36 to find the number of yards of fabric required.