How to measure for a country curtain

To make Country Curtains see my prepared instructions.  Use these instructions and your measurements to purchase fabrics and threads.

 I will offer 2- 3 hour classes to sew one pair of country curtains for one window. We will cut and prepare the ruffle and panels, then apply the ruffle to one pair of curtains. You can do tie backs, ruffled tie backs or bows. I have bolded all the yardages and supplies. I can supply a serger while you are in class but you must supply all threads. If you attend class please be prepared with your fabrics and threads. You will have some homework.

Bows and tiebacks can match the curtain or be a contrast. I have seen burgandy, dark green, blue and brown on the ruffle edges. If you would like to make a contrast color bow you may want to narrow roll serge the ruffles on your country curtains to match the contrast. I use wooly nylon to make the contrast. Please purchase the wooly nylon by the cone for your serger along with 3 spools to serger thread to match curtain fabric.

Here is how to make the tie backs. You will need 4 – 1 inch bone rings and 1/2 yard of fabric to match bow for tie back. Cut the 1/2 yard into 2 – 8″ strips. Fold each 45″ X 8″ strip in half and serge or sew the raw edges together lengthwise. Turn and press seam to center of the backside to form tie back. Turn in 1/2″ on the open ends and close the end with a top stitch. Sew  a bone rings to each end to hook the tie to the window frame.

If you are considering bows, you should allow 1 yd of fabric for each pair of curtains.  3 strips cut 10″ by 45″ will be enough length to make the bows. Allow 10″ strips X 68″ for each bow.  Form a tube by folding each 10″ strip in half and sew the long edge with a 1/4″ seam. Press 2 diagonal ends after you turn the strip and top stitch the ends closed. Permanently tie the bows. Attach each bow to a tie back when the curtain is in place at the window with a safety pin.

If you want a ruffled tie back allow about 45″ of finished 6″ ruffle per panel. You will need  at least 45″ of extra fabric for the ruffle tie backs.

Things you need to know! If you plan to make country ruffled curtains please read this page completely. You can email me at for more information on classes or click on this link.

  1. How much sunlight will hit the finished curtain. Sunlight will fade curtains so consider placing a shade or blinds under the curtain to block heavy sunlight during peak hours.  I almost always use a white or unbleached muslin color. These colors will not be effected by the sun as much. I use tremode brand poly cotton blend for my country curtains.  Since the fabric is a 35 / 65 poly/cotton blend it will not require ironing when washed if you remove the curtain and hang them immediately. You will probably have to order the tremode by the bolt since you will have to consider dye lot when buying and matching fabrics. One window will probably take about 6 to 7 yards as a rough guess. Add another 1 1/4 yards for tie back.
  2. How wide is the fabric. Most fabric for curtains is 45″ wide.  Measure your window width and length by the chart below. I figure about 3 – 45″ lengths for the right amount of fullness.
  3. How full do you want the curtain. Country curtains are very expensive but you can make them yourself for a lot less. The beauty of the curtain is it’s fullness.  3 X the width of the window is how I figure the panels finished width after I measure the window.  If you want more fullness you can add it by adding more panels
  4. Once the panels are pieced together for each side of the curtain, ( usually 1 1/2 panels lengths per side) the ruffle will take 3X the measured length of each completed side panel and the panel width. Our curtains have a 6 ” ruffle. The ruffle header is about 1″ after I put the strip through the ruffler. ( you can order a ruffler and a narrow roll hemmer foot from our on-line cart). I top stitch the ruffles to the finished curtain panel center and bottom edge.  If you consider the ruffle will add about 4 1/2″ to the length of the panel you can figure the length of the finished panel. on your window.
  5. A serger will really ease you work load. I use a 3 thread narrow to finish panel exposed edges and sew panels together. I use the narrow roll edge to finish the ruffles. If you do not have a serger you can narrow hem the ruffle with a foot. You can turn it and press by hand but that will take a lot of hours. It really depends on how many windows you are doing. The impact of country curtains on your windows as viewed from the street view is huge for curb appeal.
  6. Always consider measurements from the rod and make sure you know how wide the rod pocket or casing needs to be. 2″ to 3″ is a quick guess for the width of the rod pocket. Measure your rod width to make sure. Remember you also need to measure the return to the wall on each side in the width measurements.
  7. Allow at least 1 1/2 to 3″ for a header above the rod. Use your tape measure to check out what size header you like. If you are making a 3″ header and a 2″ rod pocket you will need to add an additional 10″ to the length of the curtain panel for a casing and header at the top.  It is easier for me to consider the extra fabric for the rod pocket casing by starting at the bottom of the rod. Take your measuring tape and fold it over to the allowance you are giving to view how it will look.  Do not forget to figure in your casing return on the panel length.
  8. Make sure you buy plenty of thread.

Measuring Your Window

Multiply your measured window width by 3!


Measure the length of the window or area you want to cover from top to bottom. Overall curtain length, anywhere from the sill to the apron or to the floor is a personal preference and need not be exact. By moving your rod up or down a little you can adjust the position of the curtain at your window.

If sill length is desired, just below the bottom of the sill is correct.

Note all measurements. From the formulas above and the knowledge that the fabric is 45″ wide and a yard is 36″ use your calculator to figure yardage. A rough guess is 6 to 7  yards a window plus the tie backs for sill length.

(Please note some of the pictures used are from retail country curtain dealers and only used to show examples to contrast edges and not intended to illustrate a classroom finished project)


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