How to Make Gathered Curtains


A simple gathered curtain makes a window look dressy and finished without being overly formal and dramatic. Basic sewing skills are all it takes to create this style, which looks just as much at home in a condo in the city as it does in a cottage in the country.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Curtain rod
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Iron-on hem tape ½-inch wide
  • Iron
  • Straight pins
  • Threaded sewing machine
  • Use the curtain rod as a guide to determine the width of the curtains. For very full curtains, the overall fabric width should be twice as wide as the length of the curtain rod.

  • Measure the diameter of the curtain rod and add ½ inch to determine how big to make the sleeve for the curtain rod. Divide this measurement in half to determine how wide to fold in the top of the fabric edge for the rod pocket.

  • Decide how long you'd like your curtains to be by measuring from the curtain rod to where you'd like the ends of the curtains to hang. To this measurement add the width for the rod pocket as well as a 1-inch hem. If you've determined you want your curtains to be 30 inches long with a 3-inch rod pocket, with another 1 inch to finish the hem, then cut a length of fabric 34 inches long.

  • Cut your fabric to your measurements and iron hem tape to all the edges. Follow the manufacturer's directions and remove the paper from the hem tape, turn under the hem to the back of the curtain and iron again. This will give your curtains a no-sew finished hem.

  • Make the sleeve or rod pocket for the curtain rod by folding the top of the fabric edge to the back of your curtain the measurement you determined and iron flat. Pin down the edge of the folded fabric to hold the rod pocket in place for sewing.

  • Sew the rod pocket in place along the edge using the pressure foot as a guide. Double stitch for durability.

  • Insert the curtain rod through the rod pocket or sleeve to hang and arrange to desired fullness.

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  • "Instant Impact"; Caroline Atkins; 1999
  • Photo Credit window curtains image by Aaron Kohr from decoration image by DUDUCHE from
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