Measuring to make window curtains
and drapes

Window curtains and drapes can be made for any size or shape of window and there are many different types of tracks or poles that suit many types of windows. Knowing the window to make curtains for can sometimes determine the style of the curtain heading. Some different shapes of windows may need some extra calculations such as bay windows which will use much more material than straight forward flat windows.

One of the main steps to sewing curtains is to calculate the amount of material you will need. To work this out the window width and length will have to be measured to give the finished width and the finished length.

Measuring for window curtains and drapes.

Measure the window height - With the track or pole in place measure from the top of the track as the curtain material usually covers the track completely in a pencil pleat curtain for example or if a pole is going to be used measure from the bottom of rings to the length you require. If tab top or eyelet curtains are going to be made then measure from the top of the pole.

For small windows this would be just past window sill level enough to allow for hemming and for full windows it is best to measure to floor length. When hemmed the curtain will be slightly above the floor. If the carpet is not in place at the time the measurement is taken then allow for this in the calculations.  This is the length wanted or otherwise known as the finished length.

Measure the window width - The track or pole should already be in place as once measured this will give the finished width of the curtain.

For example if the window is 40 ins wide (100cms)  and the track or pole is 4 ins (10cms) longer either side the finished width would be 48 ins (122cms) .40 + 4 + 4 = 48 ins  ( 100 + 10 + 10 = 120cms).

Giving extra at each side will allow the curtain to sit well when opened without obscuring the light. Thicker material may need extra width at each side.

Once the finished width and the length wanted or finished length are determined the next step would be to calculate the amount of fabric that would be needed to make the different styles of curtains.

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