How to make scalloped curtains

Follow this guide on how to make pretty curtains, ideal for a kitchen or bedroom.

How to make scalloped curtains

You will need:

  • Fabric (see details right
    for estimating the amount)
  • Matching sewing thread
  • Paper for making a template
  • Dressmaker's chalk
  • Small buttons
  • Sewing machine

Estimating fabric

  • Measure your window from the height you require to the sill to find the finished length of the curtains. Add 5cm to the length for the bottom hem and top seam allowance.
  • To achieve proper fullness, this curtain needs fabric that measures one-and-a quarter to one-and-a-half times the width of your window.
  • The top facing is a strip that measures 23cm deep by the width you have calculated for the curtain.

    Scallop template
  • 10cm is an average size for a scallop, with a 6cm strip in between.
  • Work out the number of scallops and strips that you'd like to fit across your curtain.
  • Draw and cut out a circle the correct size from thin cardboard.
  • Draw a line on a piece of brown paper that is parallel to the top edge, placing it 17.5cm from the top edge.
  • Mark the scallop and strip widths on the top edge of the facing, starting and finishing with a strip at each end.
  • Mark scallop and strip positions on the lower drawn line, then join the two pencil marks with vertical lines.
  • Using the cardboard circle, draw the scallop shapes by placing the circle along the horizontal lower line and between the two vertical scallop lines.
  • Draw around the shape to form a curved edge. Repeat for all scallops and then cut out the template.

    • Step 1

      Step 1

      Cut out the curtain panel and facing to the correct width and length, joining any fabric widths if necessary. Make a template for the scalloped edge (see instructions above). Press a 6mm double-fold hem onto the wrong side along one edge of the facing. Pin and machine stitch in place.

    • Step 2

      Step 2

      With right sides together, place the facing on top of the main panel with the top raw edges level. Position the paper template 1cm from the side and top edges, and pin in place. Using dressmakers' chalk, trace the scallop edges along the top edge and down the sides. Remove the template.

    • Step 3

      Step 3

      Pin and then tack the fabric pieces together around the scalloped lines chalked earlier and down the side edges to the lower edge of the facing.

    • Step 4

      Step 4

      Machine-stitch along the chalked lines, then remove all the tacking stitches. Cut out the scalloped shapes, leaving a 1cm seam allowance around the edges.

    • Step 5

      Step 5

      Cut notches in the seam allowances at the base of each scallop, 3mm from the stitching line. Snip the corners of the seam allowances at the top of the scallops.

    • Step 6

      Step 6

      Turn the top scalloped edge to the right side, gently easing out the corners with the point of a pair of scissors. Press the seamed edges flat.

    • Step 7

      Step 7

      Press a 6mm doublefold hem onto the wrong side down the remaining raw side edges. Pin and machine-stitch the hems in place.

    • Step 8

      Step 8

      Press a 2cm doublefold hem to the wrong side along the bottom edge of the curtain. Then pin and hand stitch the hem in place.

    • Step 9

      Step 9

      Fold down 4cm of the top sections of each scallop onto the wrong side, pin in place, then hand stitch the newly formed loops in place.

    • Step 10

      Step 10

      On the right side of the curtain, sew a decorative button at the base of each loop, roughly 5cm down from the top folded edges.

      Edited book extract taken from So Simple: Window Style by Gail Abbott and Cate Burren, £14.99, Cico Books.