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Traditional Hook & Ring Curtain Panel: Waverly World

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We recently showed you how to create a Classic Grommeted Curtain Panel. This sleek modern look works with a wide variety of decorating themes, but if you prefer a more traditional style, you'll enjoy today's Hook & Ring Curtain Panel in gorgeous Waverly fabric. Called Splash of Color in Passion, this 100% cotton twill has a subtle Ikat treatment – where the edges of the motifs appear to bleed into the background as if done with brush strokes. In addition, there are metallic accents throughout the pattern, making it a beautiful choice for a living room or bedroom where softer lighting could catch these shimmering highlights.

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 this 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 - especially when you choose from the amazing selection of Waverly home décor fabrics. 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. 

Our thanks to our friends at Waverly for providing this amazing fabric. They recommend shopping for their many Waverly collections at Jo-Ann Fabric. Not only does Jo-Ann's have one of the best selections, both in-store and online, right now many of their featured Waverly fabrics are on sale at up to 50% off!

Waverly designers are very interested in emerging style and color trends. They do research in Europe, at fashion shows, take into account Pantone's color forecasts, and draw from dozens of other sources. But they're also open to inspiration that strikes from out of the blue. We were told one story of of how, while walking through New York's garment district at lunch, someone spotted something interesting in a window. He snapped a photo with his cell phone and brought the image back to his design team for consideration. 

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. 

Sewing Tools You Need

Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Skyline S5)

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"); we used 54" Splash of Color 100% Cotton Twill in Passion by Waverly  - as mentioned above, Waverly recommends shopping for their many Waverly collections at Jo-Ann Fabric
  • 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 some 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

Getting Started

If you are brand new to measuring and cutting curtains, take a look at our article: How To Measure For Curtains, Drapes & Other Window Coverings

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 a smooth and crisp.

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".

  1. From the main fabric, cut ONE WOF (width of fabric - or 54" in our sample) x 98" panel, centering the motif top to bottom to best feature the design across the center of the panel.  
  2. From the lining fabric, cut ONE 48" wide x 95".
  3. 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.
  4. 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

  1. 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. 
  2. Stitch close to the fold to finish the hem. 
  3. Remember, the lining piece will finish 3" shorter than the panel piece.

Assemble curtain and lining

  1. Lay the curtain panel flat on your work surface, right side up. Place a Lining Panel right side down on top of the Curtain Panel. In other words, right sides are together.
  2. Align the lining and the curtain along ONE side, matching the TOP raw edges and with the hems 3" apart. Pin in place.
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch from the top of the panel to the bottom of the lining.
  4. Press open the seam allowance.
  5. Lay the sewn panels flat again on your work surface.
  6. 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.
  7. Pin and stitch this side with a ½" seam allowance, again lining up the top raw edges and sewing from the top to the bottom of the lining. 
  8. 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. You should have an equal amount of the side curtain panel rolling to the back on each side of the curtain (1½" on each side in our example). Press well. 
  9. Match the raw edges of the front panel and the lining along the top edge, making sure the center point of the lining matches the center point of the front panel. To find your center point, you can either measure from each side or fold the entire unit in half and mark. 
  10. 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 curtain and lining together as one panel during the final steps.

Finish the top and add drapery pins

  1. Fold down the top raw edges of the panel ½" and press. 
  2. Fold down an additional 6" and press again. 
  3. Unfold the hem so the second crease line is visible. 
  4. Find the length of drapery tape. Center it side to side on the lining with the bottom edge of the tape aligned along the second crease line. 
  5. Edgestitch the header tape in place along both sides and through both layers.
  6. Refold the top hem and pin in place. 
  7. Stitch the hem in place across the entire width of the panel, running the seam close to the bottom folded edge of the hem or measuring as we did and topstitching.
  8. 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.
  9. 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. 
  10. 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. 
  11. 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 you pierce through the front of the panel. 
  12. 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.

Finish bottom corners

  1. 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



Comments (15)

Laurie S said:
Laurie S's picture

I am having a problem wth my drapes hanging properly.  Below the drapery tape it seems to 'dimple'.  I wanted to send a picture but couldn't figure out how to.  Help!!  Thank you

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Laurie - You're right - our comments do not support photos at this time but you can send a photo to info@sew4home.com  This is a little hard to troubleshoot long distance. It sounds like maybe the drapery tape is coming away from the fabric if it is appearing to ripple or dimple. If your panels are quite wide you might need to consider an additional line of stitching (not your first choice I'm sure as it could show from the front) or you could try adhering the tape with a fusible seam tape pior to stitching -- double-duty security to insure it stays put.

Vanetta said:
Vanetta 's picture

I am using these instructions to make curtains lined with blackout liner and I'm having a hard time getting a crisp edge along the sides. Would it be appropriate to top stitch along the sides to hold that edge?  Thanks!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Vanetta - When you hem the top, it should do a pretty good job keeping the side hems crisp. But if you are not happy or in this case, perhaps the two layers are super thick, you could certainly try an edgestitch. Make sure your thread is as close a match as possible; stay close to the edge, and try lengthening your stitch.

Vanetta said:
Vanetta's picture

Thank you so much for your response!  I realize that this is an old post and wasn't even sure that someone would see My question. I am a novice sewer and these instructions have been extremely clear and helpful.  Thank you!

Vanetta said:
Vanetta's picture

Thank you so much for your response!  I realize that this is an old post and wasn't even sure that someone would see My question. I am a novice sewer and these instructions have been extremely clear and helpful.  Thank you!

Vanetta said:
Vanetta's picture

Thank you so much for your response!  I realize that this is an old post and wasn't even sure that someone would see My question. I am a novice sewer and these instructions have been extremely clear and helpful.  Thank you!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Vanetta - You're welcome! We see all the comments that come in and try to answer as many as possible as quickly as possible. We're glad to have helped with your project.

Nancy Haas said:
Nancy Haas's picture

What weight of drapery tape do I use?  I'm guessing medium weight.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Nancy - It will depend on the weight of your fabric and the size of your panel. For our sample shown above, yes, we used a standard medium weight. 

jackie lin said:
jackie lin's picture

What a beautiful project. I have a question regarding "Assemble curtain and lining" stated on 10. Once you have the centers lined up, pin the top raw edges together, then sew with a ¼" seam allowance. Does this refer to the top raw edge? I can not seem to find this seam on the subsequent steps as illustrated. Thanks!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ jackie lin - yes, simply stitch across the top raw edge to hold the layers together and keep the side hems in place. For our prototype, we skipped this step. It is optional, but does help make sure everything stays flat and centered. So even though we didn't show it, we always recommend it. Glad you enjoy the project.

jackie lin said:
jackie lin's picture

ok. Thanks. That makes sense. Do I do this inside-out or right-side-out?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ jackie lin -- as shown in the drawing, the curtain panel is wrong sides together. Simply baste along the top edge. All you are doing is just keeping the lining centered while you work on the hem.