How to make Smocking Curtains


Quite a few years ago I made some curtains, using the smocking sewing technique. I love those curtains and they already moved with me to three different homes.

Once a year I repare and wash them, and so this will be a good time to show you how I made the curtains.




You will need fabric three times the width of your window or space you want to cover, and for the hem and seams you need to add some extra length, and add a little bit more length for the ruck up of the smocking.

Mark approximately 30 cm or 12 inches above the hem or the underside where you will gather the fabric for the smocking work. 


The marks will be in a raster of 10 cm or 4 inches, as wide as the already prepared and sewed fabric, and 5 marking points high, see pictures below. So the smocking work will be about 50 cm or 20 inches high. You can use pins or little pencil dots to mark the pattern. I used the pencil, because the marks will disappear in the stitches of the smocking work.


Changing the pattern


The pattern can be made bigger or smaller, as long as you keep the markings in a square pattern. Of course you can change the smocking work entirely, it is possible that you will have to change the measurements for the fabric as well.




The marks will be joined to the marks next to them with three little cross-stitches.

The first marks or upper dots or markings will be joined two by two.


This photo shows the dots, which are placed in squares of 10 cm or 4 inches, and the arrows show which dots have to connect with each other. The two different colors are used to show the alternating way of connecting.

The back of the work will show you the folds, just like the paper is folded, see the photo’s.


The next (second) row of dots or markings will be joined in a alternated way, and so on with the thirt, fourth and fifth.  


I love the way the light and fabric make nice shadow patterns through these curtains.

I hope this way of sewing curtains has inspired you.

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