Pencil Pleat Curtain Project



  • Fabric of your choice
  • Thread to match
  • Pencil Pleat Curtain Tape (Width of tape dependent on drop of the window)
  • Pins
  • Dress making square
  • Tailors Chalk or Pencil

Before heading into your Spotlight store, take a moment to look at your windows to decide the overall purpose of your curtains.

  • Do you need curtains that give you privacy? Blockout, Triple Weave and Thermal fabrics will provide privacy.
  • Do you need them to insulate your home and assist with savings on cooling and heating bills? Blockout and Triple Weave Fabrics will provide the most insulation.
  • Do you need room-darkening curtains? Blockout and Triple Weave Curtains will darken your rooms.
  • Do you need a curtain that is easy care, machine washable & mould resistant? Triple
    Weave Fabrics are ideal for this.


Step 1. Firstly, measure the width and drop of your window. A general rule of thumb for the fullness required for Pencil Pleat curtains is 2.2 x the width of your window. You will need to add at least a 20cm allowance to each drop for bottom and top hems.

Curtain Fabric Meterage Equation

Step 1. Width of window X Required fullness = ________
Step 2. ________ ÷ Fabric width = Number of drops required
Step 3. Drop of window + 30cm (seam allowance) =
Step 4. ________ X ________ = Total fabric required
Step 5. ________X Fabric Width = Curtain tape required

If you need assistance calculating the meterage you will need, provide your width and drop measurements in store and our team members will be able to calculate the quantities of fabric and curtain tape you will require.

Step 2. Once you have picked and purchased your fabric, lay the entire uncut piece of fabric on a flat surface. Trim the starting edge to ensure it is square. A dress making square can help you achieve this.

Step 3. Based on the measurements calculated previously, you can begin cutting your drops.

Note: For printed fabrics, the drops should be cut in the same place on each pattern repeat. This will give a more professional finish.

Step 4. Cut across the width of the fabric. You may wish to use a chalk line to ensure a straight edge.

Step 5. Continue measuring and cutting the remaining drops.

Step 6. Before sewing the curtains together, it is best to remove 5-10mm of the selvedge edge. Cut all the selvedge's from each drop.

Step 7.

Plain Fabrics

With right sides facing, fold back the top edge to match the pattern. Pin into place, and then sew seams where the pattern joins. Remember to remove the pins as you sew. Repeat for all drops.

Printed Fabrics

With right sides facing, fold back the top edge to match the pattern. Pin into place then sew seams where the pattern joins. Remember to remove pins as you sew. Repeat for all drops.

Note: If the curtains are to open in the centre, sew an even amount of drops together for each side. If there is an odd number of drops, one drop may need to be split in half lengthways. Sew the half width to the outside of each side for a neater finish.

Step 8. Sew the side seams by turning over the sides twice 3cm. Pin and stitch in place 2mm from the inside edge, remembering to remove the pins as you sew.

Step 9. Fold back the top edge (top the curtain) of the fabric 10cm and press.

Step 10. Next you will need to attach the pencil pleat tape. Place the pencil pleat tape over the top edge seam that you have pressed, 0.5cm from the top fold.

Step 11. Stitch the tape to the curtain by sewing both along the top and bottom edge. You will need to do a continuous stitch along the length of the tape keeping 2mm in from the edge. Stitch along outside edges ensuring strings are not caught in the stitch line.

Step 12. To finish the hem, lay the curtain on a large flat surface. Measure the drop from the top of the curtain and mark with chalk or pins.

Step 13. The excess should be around 20cm. If there is additional excess due to pattern matching, trim back to 20cm. Fold excess over twice 10cm to form a double hem.

Step 14. Stitch the hem in place 2mm in from the top edge. Stitch the sides of the hem to close.

Step 15. Finally, you will then need to attach your hooks to your pencil pleat tape to hang your curtains. 28mm Gather Hooks are ideal for curtain tracks and 32mm Gather Hooks are suitable for Rod Sets with Rings. Once hooks are attached, you will be able to hang your new set of curtains!



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