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Thermal Lined Curtains Project

How to sew thermally lined curtains

The National Trust have teamed up with Great British Sewing Bee finalist Lauren Guthrie to show you how to make thermal lined curtains as part of their energy saving campaign.   They have also filmed a 5 part video tutorial for the curtains too to accompany the written instructions below. Find the videos at the bottom of this page.

Lauren, owner of Guthrie & Ghani haberdashery in Birmingham, said: “It’s surprising how much difference thermally lined curtains can make in keeping the warmth inside your home.

“You don’t need to be an advanced sewer to have a go at this project – all you need is some spare time and a sewing machine.”

Learn how to sew thermal lined curtains with Lauren Guthrie

Step 1 – Sizing up your curtains

Work out what you want the finished size of the curtain to be then calculate fabric requirements.  Do see our guide to measuring your windows and calculating how much fabric is needed here.

Main fabric

–        should be 23cm longer that finished length of curtain

–        should be 10cm wider that finished width of curtain

Cotton bump interlining 

-10cm narrower than width of main fabric (same as the finished width of the curtain)

-30cm shorter than length of main fabric (should be 7cm shorter than length of finished curtain)

Thermal lining 

-14cm less than width of main fabric

10.5cm less than length of main fabric

You can find a range of affordable soft furnishing fabrics and curtain making accessories at Terry’s Fabrics. 


Step 2 – Cut out fabric and sew together to get the correct width of main fabric

This process will need to be repeated for the cotton bump and thermal lining too

Top tips:

–        fabric must be cut square and straight to the grain line of the fabric.

–        fabric sewn together using the sewing machine, with right sides of the fabric facing with a 1.5cm seam allowance.


Step 3 – Attach cotton bump to main fabric

Bespoke fabric printing
Jersey fabric stockist
Craft fabrics
Sewing pattern printing

 Hand-tack the cotton bump to the main fabric. This should be measured 10cm down from the top edge and 5cm in from the side edge of the main fabric.

Catch stitch (by hand) the cotton bump to the main fabric along each side of the curtain.

Step 4 – Hem the bottom edge of the main fabric

Fold then press 20cm towards the wrong side of the fabric along the bottom edge of the main fabric. Open out this fold and then fold and press the bottom edge towards the crease that you just made. This will hide all the raw edges along the bottom edge of the curtain and enclose the bottom edge of the bump.

Catch stitch in place by hand through the bump, catching the main fabric.

How to hem curtains

Step 5 – Hem bottom edge of thermal lining

Fold and press 14cm towards the wrong side of the fabric.

Open out and fold and press again to just before the crease line. This hides the raw edges along the bottom edge of the curtain. Sew hem in place using the sewing machine.

Top tip: Because you won’t see the bottom of the lining it’s fine to use the machine for this bit as it’s much quicker.

Step 6 – Join thermal lining to main fabric

With right sides facing sew the thermal lining to the main fabric, starting with the thermal lining 3cm down from the top edge of the main fabric. Sew with a 1.5cm seam allowance using the sewing machine. You will now have formed a tube of fabric.


Step 7 – Press lining in place

Turn the tube of fabric the right way out and press the side edge flat. You should be able to see about 3.5cm of the main fabric on the back of the curtain along each side edge of the curtain.

Step 8 – Tack lining in place along the top edge of the curtain and press in place

Hand-tack the lining in place along the top edge of the curtain – this should be 3cm from the top edge of the main fabric. Once the lining is secure, fold and press 3cm of the main fabric towards the back of the curtain along the top edge then tuck the corner in to hide the raw edges.


Attaching curtain tape to curtains

Step 10 – Hang your curtains up and finish off the bottom corners

At the bottom corner of the curtain, turn the main fabric under to hide the raw edges and hand sew in place using a ladder stitch.

The National Trust would love for you to share your winter warmer creations with them on Twitter using #winterwarmers and @nationaltrust.

Images © National Trust/Brian Cleckner 


If you’d like to see Lauren make the curtains do check out this 5 part video guide from The National Trust and Good Energy.