One of our most popular window covering projects is our Classic Grommeted Curtain Panel. This sleek modern look works with a wide variety of decorating themes, but if you prefer a more traditional style, this Traditional Hook & Ring Curtain Panel may be right up your alley. Simple curtain panels are a fast and easy undertaking. There does tend to be a lot of fabric involved, but they are not complicated at all. We show the standard method to attach the hooks, but you'll also find a link to some of the innovative Drapery Tapes by Dritz that can make the job even faster.
We attached our drapery hooks to decorative rings, which allows the panel to slip over a standard curtain rod. If you are looking for pinch-pleat drapes to hang on a traverse rod, this is not the project for you. This is a simplified tutorial anyone can do to create a lovely set of curtains. The panel(s) will fold and gather beautifully (and easily) along the rod.
Our panel finishes at 84" long x 50" wide, which is a pretty standard full-length curtain size and perfect for a 54" width of fabric – the most common width for home décor fabrics. Because we are using drapery hooks that run right along the top edge, the actual hang length is true.
We wanted a trendy "puddling" look for our panel, which worked well for our shorter sample window. This means there will be an amount of extra length that is spilled or "puddled" on the floor. This style is best for panels that will not be opened and closed frequently as the bottom of the drapes would quickly get dirty with the constant movement across the floor. However, for static panels, it has a opulent feel. When determining the length for a puddling effect, figure on an extra 1" - 8". An extra 2" - 4" is most common. Our sample photographs show a true 6" - 8" puddle, which allows the fabric to fan out onto the floor.
One panel like this would be enough for a smaller 30" - 36" wide window; add matching panels as needed for windows of greater width.
We originally used a striking home décor print from Waverly Fabrics, and although you can certainly make a curtain panel from any fabric, home décor fabrics are usually the go-to thanks to their generous widths (usually 54"+) as well as their heavier weights. Plus, the options for big, bold graphics are wide and varied. Check out some of the current Waverly prints available from Joann Fabrics.
As mentioned above, if you like this curtain panel, you may also like our Classic Grommeted Curtain Panel, which is done to the same 84" long x 50" wide specifications. Plus, don't forget to check out our full article on the time-saving Dritz Drapery Tapes.
Sewing Tools You Need
Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
Fabric and Other Supplies
The supplies shown are for ONE 50" x 84" curtain panel; the main yardage includes a bit extra to accommodate fussy cutting for a large motif.
- 3 yards of 54"+ wide home decor weight fabric for each panel of similar size to ours (50" x 84")
- 2¾ yards of 54"+ medium weight drapery lining: we used 54" 65% Polyester/35% Cotton Drapery Lining in White by Roc-Lon
- 1½ yards of 3" drapery tape; we used 3" Non-Woven Drapery Tape
- EIGHT standard drapery pin-on drapery hooks
NOTE: Make sure you get the standard size where the pin is approximately the same length as the hook, not the kind with extra-long pins.
- EIGHT curtain rings with eyelets
NOTE: There are many options of this style of curtain ring. You could also use the type of rings that come with a small clip below the eyelet; you'd simply need to remove the clips.
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Tape measure
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
In general, you need the finished width plus a minimum of 2" on each side (4" total) for the side hem plus the side seam allowances to attach the exterior fabric to the lining. We used the minimum measurements in order to yield the widest panel possible with our 54" fabric: a ½" seam allowance plus a 1½" visible hem, as shown in the drawing above. You could certainly use a deeper hem (3" or greater), if you are working with a 60" width of fabric or greater.
For the length, add 6½" for the top panel into which the drapery hooks will be pinned and 7½" for a bottom hem (14" total). These are traditional measurements. You could certainly use a smaller hem, but it looks less professional, and along the top edge, your soft gathers between the hooks will not be as smooth and crisp. And remember, our panel was designed to "puddle."
In our sample, these calculations translated to: 50" finished width plus 4" – utilizing the complete 54" width of fabric; and 84" finished height plus 14" for a 98" cut height.
For the lining, the length is a standard 3" shorter than the cut length of the main fabric: 95" in our sample. The width takes a bit more math. Start with the finished width, subtract the visible side hem on each side (1½" on our sample or 3" total). Then add back in 1" for a ½" seam allowance on each side. For our panel the equation was: 50" - 3" + 1" = 48".
- From the main fabric, cut ONE WOF (width of fabric - or 54" in our sample) x 98" high panel, centering the motif top to bottom to best feature the design across the center of the panel.
- From the lining fabric, cut ONE 48" wide x 95" high panel.
NOTE: Cutting wide panels of fabric can be challenging. Its best to fold the fabric in order to cut at a more manageable size. Check out our article: Rotary Cutting Large Panels in One Fell Swoop.
- Cut a 47" length from the drapery tape. You want the same width as the seamed-in-place lining.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Hem both panels
- Create a 7½" double-fold hem along the bottom of the curtain panel and the lining panel. To do this, fold up and press the bottom edge 3½", then fold up an additional 4" and press again.
- Stitch close to the fold to finish the hem.
- Remember, the lining panel will finish 3" shorter than the exterior panel.
Assemble curtain and lining
- Lay the exterior panel flat on your work surface, right side up. Place the lining panel right side down on top of the exterior panel. In other words, right sides are together.
- Align the lining and the curtain along ONE side, matching the TOP raw edges and with the bottom hems 3" apart. Pin in place.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch from the top of the panel to the bottom of the lining.
- Press open the seam allowance.
- Lay the sewn panels flat again on your work surface.
- Pull the lining so it aligns with the opposite side of the curtain panel. This will cause the sewn side to roll towards the back a bit. That's what we want it to do.
- Pin and stitch this second side with a ½" seam allowance, again lining up the top raw edges and sewing from the top to the bottom of the lining.
- Turn the panel (which is now a loop) right side out and lay it out flat again on your work surface. In order to lay flat, both sides of the front panel will curve around to the back. Again... that's just what we want it to do. Make sure you have an equal amount of the exterior panel rolling to the back on each side of the curtain (1½" on each side in our example). Press well.
- Match the raw edges of the exterior panel and the lining along the top edge, making sure the center point of the lining matches the center point of the exterior panel. To find your center point, you can either measure from each side or fold the entire unit in half and mark.
- Once you have the centers lined up, pin the top raw edges together, then sew with a ¼" seam allowance. Stitch ALL the way across, including across each folded side edge. This will keep the exterior and lining together as one panel during the final steps.
Finish the top and add drapery pins
- Fold down the top raw edges of the panel ½" and press.
- Fold down an additional 6" and press again.
- Unfold the hem so the second crease line (the deeper crease) is visible.
- Find the length of drapery tape. Center it side to side on the lining with the bottom edge of the tape aligned along this second crease line.
- Edgestitch the header tape in place along both sides and through both layers.
- Refold the top hem and pin in place.
- Stitch the hem in place across the entire width of the panel, running the seam close to the bottom folded edge of the hem from the lining side or measuring as we did and topstitching.
- Now you need to mark the positions for the eight pin-on hooks. Place the panel right side up and flat on your work surface.
- The first and last hook are each ½" in from the hemmed side edge of the panel. The six interior hooks are each 7" apart. As shown in the drawing above, this evenly spaces the eight hanging points and should work well with any approximate 50" panel. It is best to keep the outermost hooks no more than about ½" in from each side. This prevents any weird "drooping" at the outer ends of the panel.
- To figure the depth of each hook, you will need to experiment with your own combination of hooks and rings. Our hooks measured approximately 1¼" in height. The eyelet on our rings measured approximately ½". We wanted the eyelet to fall behind the top edge of the panel so just the rings showed along the top. This meant the insertion point for our hooks needed to be about 1¾" from the top folded edge.
- Flip the panel so it is now wrong side up. Using a fabric pen or pencil, make a crosshairs mark at each point along the panel. Insert the hook's pin at the crosshairs. Use a bit of pressure to make sure it goes in; you are inserting through the fabric and the header tape. But, don't push so hard that you pierce through the front of the panel.
- Continue pushing the pin up into place, being careful to not push through to the front, until the base of the pin rests against the insertion point.
- Hook onto your rings and you're ready to hang.
Finish bottom corners
- For a professional finish, the optional final step is to thread a hand sewing needle and whipstitch the bottom three 3" of the side hem against the bottom hem.
Project Concept: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild