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How to Sew Euro Pleat Curtains

Today I’m going to show you how to sew Euro pleat curtains – they’re actually pretty easy to sew, but look very custom and sophisticated.  The beautiful linen fabric (along with the linen fabric I used for the throw pillows – sewing tutorial soon!) was provided by Tonic Living.  I used Tuscany Linen in white for the curtains, which is a medium weight fabric that has a slightly textured slub – exactly what I was looking for to create some breezy, coastal-inspired drapery.

What is a Euro Pleat?

A Euro pleat is pinched and sewn at the top, but open on the bottom, which allows the fabric to softly wave.

What Does a Euro Pleat Look Like?

What is a Euro Pleat Curtain?

A Euro pleat curtain has pleats that are pinched at the top, but open on the bottom.  Like with a pinch pleat, you can have a double or triple Euro pleat (I wanted a triple Euro pleat).  Euro pleat curtains are a bit looser and less structured than a pinch pleat, so I consider it a slightly more contemporary spin on a pinch pleat.

How to Sew Pleated Curtains

I chose Euro pleats because I wanted something tailored looking, but still a bit relaxed and modern.  My curtain style has definitely changed, from just using curtain rings clips to sewing back tab drapes.  Euro pleat curtains are my new favorite!

DIY Euro Pleat Curtains

One thing to note: these curtains don’t close – we made them to just fit perfectly on either side of the window.  I have custom window shades in all of the bedrooms and bathrooms, which have a light blocking bottom half and then a sheer top half for filtered light during the day, so I can control the light and privacy very easily with those.  I just wanted some drapes to add a little softness to the space (here’s the bedroom without curtains) – these ones are purely aesthetic but, of course, you can create curtains that will close, using this same tutorial.  They will look and work exactly the same, you just need to factor in enough width for the fabric to cover the entire window.

DIY Linen Drapes

Supplies for Sewing Euro Pleat Curtains:

  • Fabric
  • Buckram Tape (we used 3 1/2″ wide)
  • Button thread
  • Needle
  • Sewing machine
  • Olfa mat (optional)
  • Olfa cutter (optional) or scissors
  • Iron
  • Measuring tape
  • Straight pins (two different styles/colors work best)
  • Curtain rings
  • Drapery hooks (we used 3″ hooks)

Determining the Width & Sewing Together Panels of Fabric:

Because I have such a long wall and wanted really full drapes, the first thing we did was sew two lengths of fabric together to create a wider panel for each side of the window.  I bet you can’t even tell from photos, because we worked it out so that the seam was in the recess of a fold – not front and center – so it is completely obscured by the softly gathered fabric.

To help you determine the fabric you require for your own drapes, here are my measurements: to create these Euro pleats we used two whole widths of fabric per finished panel, and this linen has a width of 57″.  We made a 3/4″ seam to sew the two panels together, and also hemmed the edges.  So in total, once sewn together, the each curtain panel is now 109.5″ wide.

The pleats we constructed are 1 1/2″ deep. Each pleat needs 3″ of fabric to make, therefore a triple like this requires 9″ of fabric.  Then we spaced 5 1/4″ between each pleat.  We made a total of 8 pleats per panel.

You can adjust these measurements to your liking, if you’d like the pleats deeper or more farther apart.  That’s the beauty of sewing curtains yourself: you can make exactly the size and style you want, but sometimes you have to do a little figuring first, to get it to fit to your window/wall exactly.

How to Sew in the Buckram:

With the fabric panels sewed together, we prepared to sew the buckram into the top of each curtain panel.  Buckram is a stiff cotton used in everything from making curtains to hats and book covers.  We chose it because the linen is a really substantial weight, so it warranted a heavier and stiffer layer to help create more structured pleats.  You can also use pleater tape, especially if you’re trying to create more traditional pleated curtains, but it’s a softer material.  We folded over and ironed the top edge of the fabric over the buckram, then pinned the buckram into place, before sewing the top edge of the fabric down:

How to Sew Euro Pleat CurtainsUsing Buckram Tape Instead of Pleater Tape How to Use Buckram Tape

Then we sewed along the bottom of the buckram as well, so it is secured to the fabric:

Using Buckram Tape for Curtains Sewing Buckram Tape into Curtain Panels

Here’s what it looked like when we were done sewing it in place (you can also see where we sewed the two fabric panels together in this photo):

How to Use Buckram Tape

Next, we turned over the sides of the fabric twice and and ironed, before sewing the sides of the curtain panels. My Mom hand stitched the sides to prevent any machine stitching from showing on the front, but you can also just sew with a machine and coordinating thread.

Sewing Curtain Edges

Then we took the top panel of buckram we’d sewn in and turned it over once more, completely encasing it in the fabric and ironed it in place. We didn’t do any machine stitching at this point, because we didn’t want any stitching on the front of the curtain panels.  You can hand sew it down at this point, or leave it ironed in place – sewing the pleats will secure it.

Using Buckram Tape Instead of Pleater TapeHow to Sew Euro Pleat Curtains

How to Measure for Euro Pleats:

Now we were ready to figure out some Euro pleats!  Our challenge was to figure out a pleat size, and space between, that we liked the look of and would perfectly use up our curtain panel width, while also nicely fitting on either side of window.  It required a little math, but here are my measurements to help you out.

Here are my measurements:

  • PLEATS: 1 1/2″ deep, requiring 9″ of fabric per pleat
  • SPACE BETWEEN PLEATS: 5 1/4″ between the pleats

We used color coded straight pins to help us mark out the parts of the pleat: yellow is the beginning and end of each pleat, and the blue is the spacing for the folds of the pleat itself:

How to Sew Euro Pleat Curtains How to Sew Euro Pleat Curtains How to Space Curtain Pleats How to Figure Out Spacing for Curtains Pleats

We measured and pinned the spacing for the pleats along the entire top of the fabric panels:

How to Space Curtain PleatsHow to Sew Euro Pleat Curtains

After measuring it out, we sewed the pleats together – but let me just quickly show you what we used to hang the curtains, because we sewed the pleats to perfectly fit these 3″ drapery hooks:

3" Drapery Hooks

How to Hand Sew Euro Pleats:

To shape the pleats, we folded the fabric so the yellow pins met up.

How to Hand Stitch Sew Euro Pleats

Then we accordion folded the fabric to form the triple Euro pleat:

How to Hand Stitch Sew Euro PleatsHow to Hand Stitch Sew Euro Pleats

Then we unfolded it again and pulled out the middle loop, which we sewed closed to form a 2 7/8″ by 1/2″ channel:

How to Hand Stitch Sew Euro PleatsHow to Sew Euro Pleats with a Sewing Machine

Here is the finished channel for the hook to slide into:

How to Hand Stitch Sew Euro Pleats

When it was sewed, it looked like this from the back:

How to Hand Stitch Sew Euro Pleats

We slipped the drapery hook into the channel we created from the back:

How to Hand Stitch Sew Euro Pleats

By sewing a 2 7/8″ channel for a 3″ long hook, we buried the hook so it wouldn’t show when the hooks were hung on the rings:

How to Hand Stitch Sew Euro Pleats

To shape the Euro pleats, my Mom actually stitched by hand and she started by sewing the pleat closed at the front of the pleats. We used clothespins to help:

How to Hand Stitch Sew Euro Pleats How to Hand Stitch Sew Euro Pleats How to Hand Stitch Sew Euro Pleats

My Mom used this thicker button thread:

Button ThreadHow to Hand Stitch Sew Euro Pleats How to Hand Stitch Sew Euro Pleats

I could only find curtain rings with clips in the finish I wanted, so I used pliers to remove the clips and was left with a little double loopy ring.  You can, of course, find curtain rings with just a ring, designed to be used with drapery hooks, online, but I wanted to shop local because I was particular about matching the rings to my custom curtain rod.

Brushed Nickel Curtain Ring

Here’s how everything connects – you can see we positioned the drapery hooks so that the only the curtain ring – and not the drapery hook – will be visible:

How to Hand Stitch Sew Euro Pleats

With the curtain ring hooked on, my Mom completed the hand stitching by stitching together the back of each pleat. She sewed each yellow and blue pinned part of the pleat together and then sewed the two blue pinned sections together.  Basically, you want to make sure you anchor the outside of the pleat as you’re stitching it together.

This really secured the ring nicely and kept everything straight and controlled.  We tried just sewing the channel, hand stitching a bit, and then sliding in the drapery hook and ring but we weren’t getting the perfect drape.  By encasing the drapery hook and also the ring right inside the pleat, it just drapes so perfectly.

How to Hand Stitch Sew Euro Pleats

You can see the drapery ring is really coming out of the middle of the pleat, not the back, which keeps it from wanting to drop forward a bit:

How to Make Euro Pleat Curtains Hang Nicely

Here’s a look at the back of the pleat, hand stitched together:

How to Hand Stitch Sew Euro Pleats

And from the side:

How to Sew Pleated Curtains

Once we were finished with hand stitching the Euro pleats, we hung up the curtains, un-hemmed, and let them relax for a few days.  Linen curtains can stretch a bit and I wanted the hem to drop just above the ground – no break.  This linen is a pretty tight weave, so I was told by Tonic Living to expect only a 1/4″ of stretch.  After a few days we ironed and hemmed the bottom, sewing a 9″ hem. My Mom sewed this by hand to prevent any machine stitching from sewing, but this is optional – you can also sew with a machine.

DIY Triple Euro Pleat Drapes

Here’s a Look at the Finished Euro Pleat Curtains:

How to Make Pleated Curtains DIY Pleated Linen Drapes

I’m absolutely thrilled with how our first foray into sewing Euro pleat curtains turned out!  I love how the pleats have a bit of structure, but are still loose and more organic than a traditional pinch pleat.  My decor style is mid-century meets coastal, and I think these complements that so well.  They’re a bit tailored and structured, but then also have this wonderful breeziness.  The linen from Tonic Living was an absolute dream because it’s such a nice weight with a tight weave and beautiful slub.  As I mentioned, these curtains don’t open or close so technically the room didn’t need drapes, but they add so much softness and coziness to the space.  Here’s the room without the curtains – it looks naked to me now, haha.  With the green window wall re-painted white, and the airy new wallpaper, the white linen drapes just create a really lovely glow in the bedroom.  I know it’s cliche to say this, but my bedroom feels so dreamy now!  See more of it here.

White Linen Drapes DIY with Fabric from Tonic Living DIY White Linen Drapes Modern Pleated Curtain Tutorial How to Sew Pleated Curtains Euro Pleat Curtain Sewing Tutorial Euro Pleat vs Pinch Pleat

Huge thanks to Tonic Living for partnering with me on this project!  Check out their Tuscany Linen collection here – I used Lake and Ocean for the pillows and I’ll share that tutorial soon!

P.S. Don’t Forget to Pin for Later!

How to Sew Euro Pleats



  1. em
    October 5, 2021 / 6:23 pm

    Looks great! Give your Mom a hug for me. Mine passed away years ago and she would have been stoked to help me out with this kind of stuff. What did you use for the curtain rod? I can’t find anything that long.

    • October 6, 2021 / 11:59 am

      Thank you. And I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t even imagine how difficult it would be to lose a mom. My heart goes out to you.
      The curtain rod is from Budget Blinds. It’s two 8 foot rods that we cut down to the perfect size. Cutting ourselves saved $125, just FYI. And then inside is a connector, the seam is hidden behind the center bracket. I’ll so a video with the process and share to IG because I’ve had a lot of DMs about it.

      • Nicole
        September 6, 2022 / 4:07 pm

        They look great, however, it does look like a double pleat instead of a triple pleat. The white on white on white was kind of difficult to see the process at times. I do have a few questions. I was following along great but during your moms hand stitching of the front of the pleat I never understood exactly where she stitched or how far down she stitched. Where would you put the hook casing on a Euro double pleat? Did you not have any extra spacing on ends? Would this curtain still be functional if moved back and forth constantly with the ring being encased that way? How would you space out 2ea 80″ double pleat using a 1.5″ depth with a 3″ fold? Or should it be deeper with a double pleat? You had some great tips expecially the color coding of your pins. Best article I have found so far.

        • September 7, 2022 / 1:06 pm

          Hi Nicole,

          This is definitely a triple pleat – alternatively called a 3-finger Euro pleat.

          Yes, this curtain would be functional for opening and closing. I can move my curtains panels around, no problem. They’re sewn very securely, especially around the drapery rings.

          Once we embedded the drapery hook and attached the ring, the curtain was hand sewn around that. Once you make yours, it will be obvious where you’ll want to add stitches – it’s just to hold the pleats tightly so they stay crisp and pinched together.

          I have just created a YouTube channel and I plan to do a quick little video of this process, which I’ll embed in this post once its live.

          I think seeing a video would help clarify the process even more.

          I haven’t sewn double pleat drapery, but looking at them online, there are many ways to do it. It looks like sometimes the drapery hook goes behind the whole pleat. I’ve seen people do that with triple pleat too. Embedding it like this, right into the pleat, might not be the “right” way to do it, but we played around with it a LOT and this was the best way to get a nice drape. Otherwise the pleat sort of drooped forward.

          Alternatively, you can also use pinch pleat tape (sewn into the back) and then you have slots for drapery hooks. You could also tuck them into the top hem (seen in a photo here). There’s more methods than what we did – this just worked for us and created a drape that I liked.

  2. Riya Sen
    August 15, 2022 / 9:02 pm

    I love this tutorial! It’s so easy to follow and the results are beautiful.

    • August 22, 2022 / 12:58 pm

      Thank you so much! I was really pleased with how beautifully these curtains turned out.

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