How to make unlined curtains

You will need:

  • Curtain fabric
  • Standard curtain tape
  • Curtain hooks
  • Scissors and sewing equipment
  • Matching thread

These attractive and simple gathered curtains are made with standard curtain tape that draws up the top of the curtains into full gathers.

Time to complete job: Approximately two hours.
Approximate budget: Under £40, depending on the cost of the fabric.

When you're choosing your fabric, remember that a heavier fabric will need less gathers to look full but may not drape as easily.

Tip: These curtains are unlined - ideal for kitchens or bathrooms because they're easy to clean - but you could always make or buy some detachable linings if you want less light coming in.

  • Step 1: Measuring & cutting out

    Step 1: Measuring & cutting out

    Measure the window for the desired width and length of the curtains. For the finished curtain width, measure from one end of the curtain track to the other (adding the length of the overlap arm if necessary). The overall fabric width will be the final curtain width multiplied by 2 (the amount of fabric required for the gathers).
    Add 6in (15cm) to the curtain length to allow for hemming.
    Cut out the fabric.

    Tip: Always be generous with your curtain fabric to avoid cheap-looking gathers. If necessary, buy more of a less expensive fabric.

  • Step 2: Finishing the edges

    Step 2: Finishing the edges

    Place material wrong side up. Fold over the long edges 3/8in (10mm) to the wrong side and press. Then fold another 5/8in (15mm) and stitch in place.

    Hem the bottom edge by folding over 3in (7.5cm) to the wrong side, then another 3 inches. Press and hand stitch in place.
    Finish the top edge by turning under 1/4in (6mm) to the wrong side. Press and stitch in place.

    Repeat for the second curtain.

    Tip: Use a slip stitch to make an invisible hem.

  • Step 3: Preparing the curtain tape

    Step 3: Preparing the curtain tape

    Cut a piece of standard curtain heading to the width of each finished curtain plus 4in (10cm).

    Pull a 1.5in (4cm) piece of cord through the end of each piece of tape and tie. Trim the tape to 5/8in (15mm) beyond the knot. Fold the tape by the knot and press to the wrong side.

    Position the knotted ends of the tape at the centre edges of the curtains 1/8in (3mm) below the top edge. Pin.

    Pull the cords through to the front at the outer edges. Trim the tape to 5/8in (15mm) beyond the edge and fold under.

    Tack, then stitch in place along both edges. Stitch across the short folded edges.

    Tip: Make sure the cords are left free when you are stitching the edges.

  • Step 4: Finishing

    Step 4: Finishing

    Gather the curtains evenly by drawing up the cords from the outer edges. Pull until the curtains are the desired width.

    Tie the cords together and wrap around a cord tidy.