An hourglass curtain is one that is fitted to a door - flowing sheer curtains covering doors can be a nuisance as they tend to get caught when the door is used.  An hourglass curtain solves this problem by adding a second rod at the lower edge and when it is tied in the centre with a bow of ribbon you can create a focal point from an ordinary door. Hourglass curtains are also ideal for covering French or patio doors and windows. However, if the door or window is very wide, we would suggest making more than one curtain across the width.

To achieve the best results allow 2 – 2.5 times the width of the rod and cut the top and bottom of the fabric on a curve. If using a lace fabric with shaped or scalloped selvedges, adjust the fullness ratio to accommodate the width of the fabric.




  • Sheer, net or lightweight fabric.
  • 2 net rods or wires.
  • Matching thread.
  • Ribbon, approximately 5cm (2") wide and long enough to tie in a bow around the waist of the curtain, approximately 1 metre.


  1. Attach the rods/wires to the door or window, approximately 2.5cm (1") above and below the glass.
  2. Measure the vertical length between the rods. Call this CL (centre length).
  3. Mark the glass half way between the rods.
  4. Determine the width of the "waist" and mark the glass.
  5. To calculate the outer length of the curtain measure the curve from the end of the top rod to the end of the bottom rod curving the tape in to meet the "waist". Call this OL (outside length).
  6. To calculate the cut length for the outside length (OL) add 20cm (8”) for hem allowances.
  7. To calculate the number of widths required, measure the length of the rod or wire and multiply by the fullness ratio. Divide this figure by the width of the fabric to be used and round up to the next whole number.
  8. To calculate the amount of fabric required, multiply the cut length by the number of widths.


  1. Cut the fabric to OL with added 20cm (8”) hem allowance, this includes a 2.5cm (1") frill at the top and the bottom edges.  If you don't want the frill, simply deduct 5cm (2") from the added 20cm.
  2. If more than one width is required, join widths together with a French seam. Position a full width in the centre with equal part widths added at each side.
  3. To neaten the sides, if necessary, turn under a double 12mm (0.5") hem and stitch.
  4. Fold the curtain in half width ways right sides together.
  5. Measure a distance equal to OL minus CL divided by 2, down from the top along the folded edge and mark.
  6. Draw a curve from this mark to the outer top corner.
  7. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the lower edge. The distance between the marks should equal CL plus 20cm (8”).
  8. Cut along the curves at the top and the lower edges.
  9. To sew the casings turn under 2.5cm (1") and then another 5cm (2") at the top and the lower curves and pin.
  10. Work a first row of stitches 2.5cm (1") in from the fold and another row of stitches 5cm (2") from the fold, following the curve. Do this at both the top and the lower edges. Press.
  11. Thread the net rods/wires between the rows of stitches and adjust the pleats evenly.
  12. Tie a ribbon bow around the centre of the curtain to form the "waist".



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