Curtains – Adding Interlining To Ready Mades

Since the beginning of June I’ve not had much chance to do much sewing of any kind. Work and just life in general have got in the way of my plans!

One job that I really wanted to get done was to decorate the dining room. There had been lots of thinking but very little action. But I’m glad to say it’s now finished apart from a bit of touching up the woodwork.

Finished interlined curtains

Finished interlined curtains

For the new curtains I’d found a fabric in John Lewis which I really liked, Seedhead in Citrine but when I totted up the cost of making a pair, just over 10mts of fabric at £20, 10mts of lining and 10mts of interlining plus heading tape I was looking at nearly £300.

I took a look at their ready made range and even though Citrine wasn’t available they had the same design in steel which I also liked. So I bought the biggest pair for £140 and planned to take them apart and add interlining.

Me and curtains go back a long way……. When I finished studying way back in the early 90’s I graduated in to a recession and couldn’t get a job in my chosen field. So I took myself off to the job centre in Liverpool near to where I was living at the time and saw an advert for an interior design shop looking for a sales assistant. The wages were terrible but it was a job! I used to serve the customers so I learnt how to work out meterage for curtains along with allowing for pattern matching then I would be upstairs in the workroom sewing up the orders. I did this for nearly 3 years before I got a break and found a technical job in a clothing firm.

And because of this I always make my own curtains from scratch so buying ready made was strange and then taking apart something you’ve just paid £140 didn’t feel right! But luckily it all went as planned.

I bought the interlining from Roomserve on e-Bay for £32.95 for 10mts. I think interlining curtains makes them really special, I just love the weight it gives them and the way they hang and it definitely does help with keeping the cold out in the winter.

I took the header tape off the top edges and then undid the hems. The hems were sewn with a blind hem stitch which if you pull the thread in the right direction it will just easily unravel. I did think I’d have to unpick one of the side seams to add the interlining but I thought I’d have a go at cutting the interlining to the right width and sliding it in.

laying out the interlining under the curtain before cutting to the correct width

laying out the interlining under the curtain before cutting to the correct width

It didn’t quite slide in as it took a bit of wrestling to get flat but I got there in the end. I was able to do this in the garden on the hottest day of the year a few weeks back and was able to stay out till 10pm hand stitching the hems. I also added a stitch every 6 inches up the side returns to keep the interlining in place.

hand stitching the hems after adding the interlining - just catch the stitches to the interlining so they don't show on the front

hand stitching the hems after adding the interlining – just catch the stitches to the interlining so they don’t show on the front

I then cut the curtains to the length I needed and re-applied the header tape. I cut the interlining to the exact length to avoid folding over and adding any unnecessary bulk.

The lining used in the ready made curtains was a polycotton and the 3″ pencil pleat tape was definitely budget. Even though I wouldn’t have bought that quality of lining or tape they were fine to re-use. I suppose it is what was needed to get these to retail at £140.

The whole job probably took me the same amount of time it would have done to start from scratch but I got the look I wanted for over £100 less.

So now these are out of the way I’m going to start on McCalls M6696 shirtwaister dress using the Hemingway Designs fabric I bought earlier this year. Then before long it’ll be time to start planning for Autum makes.

McCalls M6696 with Hemingway Designs fabric

McCalls M6696 with Hemingway Designs fabric




18 thoughts on “Curtains – Adding Interlining To Ready Mades

  1. That was a good trick! I don’t think I could ever sew another curtain after years of home decorating. Luckily we have shutters now…

    And I can’t wait to see the dress. It is going to be great.

    • I traced the pattern off for the dress last night, can’t sew this evening as I have a birthday cake to make but hope to make progress next week. Hopefully there’ll still be some summer weather left when I have finished.

  2. These are lovely! I loved reading about your history with curtains. I’m never very good at sewing household items so I admire other people who do it. And your dress fabric is great!

  3. I’ve sewn my share of curtains, never my favourite project! I’ve also used that pattern (for my dress made from shirts) .The back has a lot of fullness – so in a crisp cotton might puff out. I folded some of it out before cutting 🙂

    • I remembered you mentioned about the dress back, I’ll take a look at your dress again. I’m thinking of just using the fullness as an inverted pleat. I’ve traced the pattern off so just need to measure how much fullness there is. I had originally planned to make a toile of the top but thinking of skipping and just getting on with the real thing.

  4. Bravo! Those will keep the house nice and cosy come winter. I hate sewing ‘domestic’ things, I have fabric, wadding, lining and trim waiting to be fashioned into a pelmet to match the bedroom curtains I had made (for me, by someone else) months ago… Somehow, I just can’t work up the enthusiasm.

  5. Absolutely great idea to interline ready made curtains when you can not find the color you want interlined. Love it!!!

    • I find here that you can buy ready mades much cheaper than you could make – but then they do look cheaper too but by adding interlining it gives them a quality look and feel. It’s a strange feeling taking apart something you have just bought but it’s well worth the effort.

  6. A very old post, but perfect for what I’m looking for! Just a quick question, which direction does one lay the interlining?,

    • Hello, thanks for getting in touch. I lay the interlining in the same direction as the curtains, with the seam vertical. I think I may have mentioned in the post that to be careful with interlining shrinking back if it hasn’t had chance to relax properly. I made a pair of curtains with interlining from scratch once and the interlining had been on a roll, after cutting my pieces must have shrunk about 4 inches. I had to add extra pieces to the top! Good luck with your project.

      • Thank you so much, that is really helpful. Wow, lol that must have been a bit of a shock!
        I will bare that in mind and buy a little bit extra just incase. x

  7. Thank you so much for sharing how to interlink a curtain, your post gave me the confidence and knowledge to do it. I’d been meaning, but failing to do it for a pair of windows in a draughty window of years and thanks to you, I’ve done it at last. I can’t now think why I put it off for so long.
    One additional tip is that if you turn the curtains inside out to attach the interlining it avoids wriggling around inside the curtain trying to get it in place. I tacked the interlining in and then turned them the right way round to re-fix the curtain tape.
    Thanks again. Mary

    • Hello Mary, thanks for taking time to read my post and comment on it. I’m glad you found it so useful. Good comment about turning the curtains inside out as well!

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