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Interlined Triple Pleat Curtain Tutorial

Interlined curtains project

This interlined triple pleat curtain tutorial is part of a soft furnishing series written by Pippa Blacker.

Type her name in the search box on the top right to find the other soft furnishing posts. 


Face fabric

Lining fabric


Heading Buckram.

Curtain weights

Curtain pin hooks

Basic sewing equipment

Knowledge of Mitred corners.

Once you have gained a little experience you can progress to interlined curtains.  A layer of interlining is sewn between the face fabric and the lining.  The extra weight ensures that the curtain drapes we

  • First measure the window and calculate how much fabric you need (see our guide here).
  • Cut out the finished number of widths required.  Remember to add extra for pattern repeats if necessary.
  • Carefully matching any pattern, machine the necessary widths together for each curtain.  (If your window is small you may only require one width or less in each curtain.)  Press the seams open.
  • Now repeat the steps above for the lining and the interlining fabric.  Press over a double 5cm hem at the base of the lining and machine into place.
  • Lay the main fabric flat, wrong side up.  Lay the interlining onto the face fabric matching any seams and making sure the side edges are together. Smooth out the interlining so that it is completely flat. 
  • Fold back the interlining lengthways and interlock to the fabric every quarter width, half width, and then 10cm in from the side edges.
  • Press over a double 5cm hem at the base of the fabric (press the face fabric and interlining together as one).   Open out the fabric again revealing 2 pressed lines along the bottom edge of the curtain.
  • Press over the two side edges of the curtain with a 5cm single hem and open out again.
  • Using the pressed lines as a guide, mitre the corners, fixing a weight into each corner before slip stitching.
Sew interlined curtains
  • Herringbone stitch the hem line and two side hems into place.
  • Measure the finished length up from the hem.  Mark the top line with tailors chalk on the interlining.  Trim the interlining to this line.
  • Place the seamed lining, right side uppermost, on top of the curtain, matching the hems together and any seams so that the lining is positioned well.
  • Fold back the lining and interlock to the interlining as before, every quarter, half quarter and 10cm in from the side edges.
  • Trim the lining level with the side edges of the curtain, turn under the raw edge within 2cm of the edge, making sure the hem of the lining matches the mitres and slip stitch.  Continue around the corner for about 10cm.
  • The opening hem should then be secured at 50 cm intervals with chain stitch
How to make soft furnishings
  • The Heading – Measure the finished length of the curtain up from the hem and mark with a row of pins on the right side of the curtain.
  • Fold over and press along this pin line, creating the top line of the curtain.
  • Cut a piece of curtain buckram the exact finished width of the curtain.
  • Carefully fit the buckram into position along the top of the curtain.  It should sit between the lining and interlining.  Secure the sides, trim away any excess, and fold over the edges as neatly as you can. Iron the buckram securely into place.
  • Slip-stitch the raw edges of the lining to the fabric, press again, the buckram should now be securely in place along the top of the curtain.

Pleating the Curtain

– Subtract the finished width of the heading from the flat width.  This will give the fullness to be pleated.

– Divide the fullness by the number of pleats to work out their size. There should be roughly 5 pleats per width.  Each pleat should be approximately 15-20cm and each space should be 10-15cm. 

– For the size of the spaces, take the finished width of the heading.  Subtract 5cm each for the first and last flat space at each end.  Divide by the remaining number of spaces, between the pleats, giving you the size of each space.

Interlined curtains project
  • Mark the pleat and space measurement with pins across the top of the curtain.
  • Pin the pleats together, making sure they are level, sew down to the bottom of the buckram.  This can either be done on your sewing machine, if it is capable of taking thick weights of fabric, or hand sewn, using strong thread.
  • The pleats are now ready to be made into either double or triple pleats.  Spot tack the base and then secure each section of the pleat at the top with neat, barely visible stitches.
  • Be careful when pleating patterned fabric as it can be difficult to display the pattern properly, especially if using a stripe.  For your first attempt, use a plain fabric so that you understand how the pleats and spaces work.
Pleated curtains skills

Happy decorating!

Contact: Pippa Blacker 07790 81 31 91

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