Tutorial to Make Country Style Ruffled Curtains

by Linda Erlam Google

A country-styled ruffled curtain can find a home in many decor styles. If you make it in lace, it fits into a Victorian home; make it in pastels for a girl’s room or in plaid for a country kitchen. It adapts to a shower curtain or to a sheer cross-draped ”Priscilla” curtain. Use your intermediate sewing skills to make your own ruffle or, if you are a beginner, use a premade ruffle to the same effect.

Items you will need

  • Curtain fabric
  • Premade ruffle, if applicable
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • sewing machine
  • Matching thread
  • Serger (optional)
Step 1

Cut your curtain panels. For a center-split curtain tied back to each side, calculate the cut width for each of the two panels. Multiply the width of the area to cover by 2 and divide the result in half for the cut width of each panel. For example, if your curtains must cover a 40-inch area, cut each of two panels 40 inches wide. Join panels together if necessary.

Step 2

Calculate the cut panel length as the length of the finished curtains less the width of the ruffle, plus 1/2 inch for bottom seam allowance and 10 inches for the top rod casing and top ruffle. For example, if the curtains must be 50 inches long, and the ruffle is 5 inches wide, cut the panels 55 1/2 inches long.

Step 3

Cut the ruffle as long as the width plus the cut length of the panel. With right sides together, sew the ruffle to the panel. Finish the sewn seam with a serger or zigzag if you wish.

Step 4

Turn the non-ruffled length edge over 1 inch, twice, and press the fold. Sew close to the second fold to hold the side hem in place. Turn the top width edge over 1 inch and press the fold. Turn an additional 4 1/2 inches and press the fold. Pin in place with pins placed perpendicular to the fold. Sew along the bottom fold to create the top casing.

Step 5

Sew across the curtain 2 inches from the top fold to create the top ruffle. This creates a channel 2 1/2 inches wide for the curtain rod. Adjust where you sew this second seam if you need to make the channel wider for a larger curtain rod. Making it wider will make the top ruffle narrower.

Step 1

Cut the ruffle fabric width equal to twice the required finished width plus 1 inch. Cut the ruffle fabric length equal to the amount of finished ruffle required times 3. For example, if you want your finished ruffle to be 4 inches wide, and the distance across the bottom of the curtain and up the middle is 100 inches, cut the fabric 9 inches wide and 300 inches long. Join sections together as necessary.

Step 2

Turn the right side of the short end edges over 1 inch toward the wrong side and press. Fold the ruffle fabric, right sides together, aligning the long length edges, and press the fold.

Step 3

Pin the layers together along the raw edge and sew the two layers together 1/4 inch from the raw edge. Use a long stitch, 6 per inch or less. Sew another row 3/8 inch from the raw edge.

Step 4

Tie all the ends of thread together at one end of the ruffle strip. Gently pull on the bottom-side threads at the other end, gathering the fabric as you go. (The bottom-side threads are the bobbin threads and they tend to be easier to pull for gathering than the top-side threads.) Continue pulling and gathering until the strip measures the correct length. Tie the long threads together and trim them off.

Step 5

Finish the raw edge with a serger, or zigzag stitch.

Step 6

Use the strip as you would a pregathered lace or trim strip.


  • Prewash and dry all the curtain components to prevent shrinkage after construction.

About the Author

Linda Erlam started writing educational manuals in 1979. She also writes a biweekly newspaper column, "Design Dilemmas," in the "Lakeshore News" and has been published in "Design and Drapery Pro" magazine. Erlam is a graduate of the Sheffield School of Interior Design and is a practicing interior decorator and drapery workroom operator.