All you awesome seamstresses out there - help please with window

OhMartiApril 23, 2014

I posted earlier and my post may have gotten lost in all the fun everyone has out here! I'll try again and pair down the details.

I am planning on sewing some draperies with a ruched/smocked heading for the windows in my master suite.

The first picture is my inspiration that this CAN BE done - I just have to figure out how. The rest of the pics are the fabric I want to use as well as the lawout of my master suite (Ruched burgundy over tone-on-tone gold stripe). If you hover over the pictures, it will define where the windows are in the space. I may use the vine fabric to make scarfs - but that may be TOO over the top (no pun intended!).

Regarding the piecing of the ruched fabric to the flat fabric, it seems like I should sew between the lines of ruching on the flat part of the fabric, stretching the elastic as I go, and once it is seamed, the ruching will draw up the flat tone-on-tone panels, making them fuller. Would you agree? I think I will have them puddle a tiny bit so if the puckering draws the fabric up, it won't look uneven along the bottom edge.

Regarding the lining (thermal as I have west and south facing windows), I assume I should just let it lie loosely against the puckered fabric - i.e. not stretching it again for the lining? Does this make sense to do it this way?

I think I will use sewn on rings that I will attach to a traverse rod as my windows are quite large. In addition to the lining in the header, do you think I should also use buckram for more body?

Thanks for your help!

Here is a link that might be useful: Master Bedroom Windows

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Annie Deighnaugh

Sorry, I posted an answer this a.m. and I must have forgotten to submit it.

You need to interline the smocked fabric with a stable fabric so it won't stretch under the weight of the drape. There are several places on the internet that discuss interlining, some specific to drapes. Fundamentally, you work with both pieces of fabric as if they were one to stabilize the stretchier fabric.

You might also check out another forum called artisan's's really a sewing forum with lots of talented and frequent sewists as opposed to here which is more decorating oriented. The sewing forum here is pretty quiet.

Here is a link that might be useful: interlining

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 7:15PM
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OK, I'll take a stab at it.
If I owned the workroom you brought this fabric and inspiration pic to, I'd explain to you that
1. Your inspiration picture is not of an operating traverse drapery, but rather a fixed treatment, most likely a ripplefold treatment, that someone fussed with a LOT before the photo shoot. I'm assuming you want a working traverse window treatment, both for privacy and light control.

2. Your smocked slippery silky fabric is not going to pleat in a pleasing manner, no matter how much buckram you use.
3. I'd ask why you want to ruche a smocked fabric. Your inspiration picture started with flat very lightweight silk, not smocked fabric. If you ruche it, it's likely to look like He__.

I would then urge you to consider flipping your idea upside down, and consider putting your burgundy panel at the bottom of your panels, not at the top.

In fact, if I owned the workroom you brought the smocked fabric to and asked it to be pleated, I'd turn down the job because I don't think you'll ever be satisfied with the results. I know the fabric. It works up well as a duvet cover, pillows, items that are meant to lay flat.
If you flip it over and use it at the bottom of the drapery panels, I'd recommend stabilizing the smocked fabric by anchoring the rosettes on fairly frequent intervals, otherwise it might sag after awhile of use.

As to the question of buckram, you plan to use it to pleat whatever fabric you put at the top, correct?

sorry, I know this isn't the advice you're looking for.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 7:31PM
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Thank you for your reply and for the tip about Artisan Square. I'll definitely visit that forum.

Thank you SO MUCH for your response. I'm so glad you replied BEFORE I cut into the fabric!

For the record, I didn't want to ruche a smocked fabric -- I just didn't know what to call the fabric as it came from the store. Is it ruched or is it smocked? Just my ignorance here.

Your answer is what I was looking for. The smocked fabric was the color I needed and was on sale so I bought it, but I was worried that it might not work as I had pictured in my mind's eye. After getting home with the fabric, I googled around and found the ruched headers - which gave me false hope apparently. I guess I will have to figure out something else to do with it.

Thanks again for your in-the-nick-of-time response!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 9:18PM
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Marti mentioned in the sewing forum post that the fabric (60 + yardage total of the gold tone on tone, burgundy & the gold floral vine) has already been purchased.

I agree with mlweaving that the inspiration pic drapery may not open & close easily and was likely meant for looks, only, as a stationary drape. I also agree that the burgundy may work out better at the bottom (especially if you let it puddle on the floor slightly).

However, I still think that you can combine the gold & the burgundy fabric and make a drape that will work for you. As Annie mentioned...stabilize the burgundy by underlining or interlining (attaching fabric to the back to keep it from stretching & make it stronger).

I found some pleated drapes on ebay that look like they are made from burgundy fabric similar to what yours looks like. It's not exactly your fabric, but it gives you an idea of what a drapery can look like with that type of fabric. I don't know what to call it either...smocked? ruched?

For some reason, on my computer, I can only view half of this ebay description. If you scroll down, you will see various pictures that may be helpful

Here is a link that might be useful: Custom Silk Drapes - EBAY

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 12:08AM
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You're a genius, Laurie! The drapery fabric on ebay isn't just similar, it IS the identical fabric as I sit here and compare - rosettes, color, scale, everything. The colors on that and on my pics aren't coming through quite truly, but that 's it. In the description, they call it a deep burgundy which is what mine is as well. (Be still my heart! I may not have to explain a big ol' waste of money to DH after all!)

OK, it still your opinion that, even stabilized, the burgundy should go at the bottom, or do you think it can work at the top? I don't think it looks bad pleated in the you? I can't quite wrap my lil' ol' brain around the fullness being at the bottom - prom dresses still come to mind when I do a mental flip-a-roo, but admittedly, my taste has been known to be a little skewed in the past (those hind-sighted, what-was-I-thinking moments" are no stranger to me) so I'm certainly open to other's ideas...

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 8:46AM
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I thought the ebay fabric was similar...surprised it was exact!!

Based on your photos of the MBR, I think your drapery vision fits beautifully. You may need to alter from your original inspiration pic as that was likely a stationary drape and you want functional (to be able to open & close them often). Follow your heart on using the fabric you bought and when you decide how best to construct your drapery, start out cutting & sewing only one side of one window. (I think you said these will meet in the middle...called center open? correct?).

It's hard for me to say whether or not the burgundy will work at the top. For my sewing skills, it would be a real challenge (I'm a novice). Drapery (especially lined) for large, tall, windows can be heavier than most people realize. On the ebay site, those drapes are all one continuous type of fabric (not a different, heavier fabric, pulling from below). If you can interline/underline (whatever is the correct term) that burgundy to make it stable and strong (as the gold stripe), I think it (the burgundy) can go on the top.

It looks like the ebay drapes may be a euro pleat at the header?
A pinch taken at the very top of the header? I think they look good.

I think you should make one side of one window the way that feels right to you...burgundy top, gold bottom. If it doesn't come out the way you had hoped, you can have a plan B or C.
My plan B would construct a new side of the drapery reversing
the fabrics (burgundy on bottom). Plan C for me would be...take all my fabric & lining to a local professional & say, "Help me, please!".

You already know how I feel about the floor lamp in your MBR....that lamp deserves these drapes (along with the rest of your beautiful space). Some day, I would love to see a larger pic of that lamp : )


    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 12:48PM
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