Please Look at These Draperies I had made I need some Help!

avidinternetFebruary 5, 2013

These are inverted pleat drapes that are lined with blackout lining. When I went to hang these they were a mess at the top, they seem to have been sewn wrong after I started looking at other examples of inverted pleat draperies online.

All the drapes I see don't show any seams as mine have (3 of them you can see horizontally at the top) and 1 large seam placed on the outside of the pleat panel vertically (It was not hidden in the inside pleat like it should have been.)

What has this person done wrong when sewing these drapes to make them look this way as opposed to all the correct panels I see online??

Thanks for any help you can give me as I have to speak to the person who made these soon and I really need some input on this subject.

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avidinternet

Here is an example of correctly sewn draperies...what is the difference between the 2 pictures?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 6:30PM
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jomuir

it looks like the final fit is off, too wide & they just installed & tried to smush it in place? The pleats do appear to be inverted, just the whole treatment is too big. I'm not crazy about the two lines of stitching up there either, maybe they did that to control it a bit. Is there buckram or any stiffener used in the top 3-4 inches? You'll feel it if you touch the top, will be stiffer there. If no buckram was used, the top will stay floppy even after it's re-sized. Hope you can get it fitted better.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 8:58PM
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avidinternet

Hi Jomuir, There is buckram on the top but instead of the inverted pleats being sewn on one side with the back pleat sticking out of the back, the whole thing fron and back is sewn to the buckram in 3 long running stitched runs. As you can see from the picture those 3 horizontal lines of stitching go through from front to back.

Also look at the vertical stitching down the front middle of the pleats instead of it being hidden in the seams...

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:47PM
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shadylady2u

No, there shouldn't be any horizontal stitching or seams showing. Looks like they used a pleater tape, which would explain the double stitching at the bottom, to help them make the pleats, so the seam ended up being where it may. It would also explain the puckers. Ironing or steaming will not get them out at this point.
Pleats, spaces and seam placement should be figured out ahead of time, and they should be sewn individually, not with pleater tape.
Silk should be interlined and a double heading used. I rarely use buckram, but if used, it should just be placed in the double fold, not sewn thru all layers at the top!
They should be blind hemmed by machine or by hand.
The half width at the end, should have 2 pleats, not one.
Also looks like the pleat was sewn down too long?
I'm going to guess these were not made by a professional curtainmaker? Can I ask about how much she charged you? Sometimes you get what you pay for.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 1:55PM
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avidinternet

Hi shadylady2u, I bought these from a lady in India who has been making draperies for 25 years and has no negative feedback on ebay...

I did have the draperies interlined as well. Here is a picture of what they used on the back side. Is that pleater tape or buckram?

I paid $1475.00 for 6, 38 inch wide panels so I don't think that was cheap???

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 2:18PM
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avidinternet

Here is a picture of the seam running down the middle of each drapery panel too.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 2:20PM
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shadylady2u

Yeah, that's some sort of pleater tape she used.
If that's what her draperies look like after 25 years, then she needs more education. Perhaps that's how they're made in India. Standards here are much different, I guess.
While her price included fabric, it seems too high for the workmanship. A professional job would show no stitching or seams and pleats would never be made using pleater tape. How are the side and bottom hems done?
Could be other people just didn't know any better, so they gave her good feedback.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:17PM
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avidinternet

See how they looked closed and the seam in front of the left panel on the front side of the pleat instead of hidden on the inverted side of the pleat? I will post pictures of how the tops look while opening them in the next few posts...

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:24PM
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avidinternet

Here's the seam...

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:28PM
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avidinternet

And this and the next picture are how they look being opened up on the rod...

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:29PM
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avidinternet

opened....

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:30PM
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shadylady2u

I just noticed you have another thread going in Home Dec, and I see these are 12ft high panels. I have to say, if I made them, at that length, I would've charged about $3,000 and that would NOT have included the fabric, so in that respect, her price is not that expensive.
However, there still should be no stitching lines or seams showing.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:37PM
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shadylady2u

Another thing, since they are to be opened and closed, the back of the pleats should look like butterfly wings, not stitched down flat, to allow for stackback.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:39PM
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avidinternet

So shadylady2, Are you saying the pleats should look like this picture right here so that they would stack back correctly and not have been sewn all down to that tape? What about the width of the pleats does that play any part in why they look a mess?

When I ordered them I told her I was using a traverse rod specifically about 4 times...

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:50PM
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shadylady2u

Yes, like that, only they should be stitched in the ditch down the center. When I make them, the face fabric is double folded to the back, with the lining and interlining underneath.
I can't really tell from the pics what size pleats and spaces she used.
I think it's a combination of the pleating tape, topstitching, and the flattened pleats that's causing the problem. These were not made with stackback in mind.
I just noticed she topstitched the side hems also. Uggh!
My silk panels are all handstitched. Top, bottom and sides.
They were pretty much made like a Walmart readymade.
Problem is, you won't find someone else that will make them correctly, at that size, for that price.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 4:04PM
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avidinternet

Shadylady2u, So how much should these have cost to have been made correctly?

Also what would you tell her to do to get them to look better if she makes me other panels?

Thanks so much for all of your help thus far :)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 4:19PM
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dee42

Being a drapery workroom for many years, this type of sewing is NOT acceptable -- and why, may I ask, are you having someone from out of the country do a drapery job that you're paying so much for which ends up totally unacceptable -- there are drapery seamstresses right here in the USA who would love to do the job correctly to your specifications. Fabrics can also be found in the USA. Just my 2 cents worth, but it is instances like this that brings to mind "you get what you pay for" -- buy USA, support USA, get better products!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:41PM
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avidinternet

dee42, Honestly it was because they had so much good feedback on Ebay, not one bad feedback. That's what made me feel comfortable using them.

If I knew of anyone that would have made these I would have done just that. However I might still be able to get someone here to do them if I cannot resolve my problems with the seller.

Unfortunately I now know way more than I need to know about the construction and making of drapes :(

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:10PM
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shadylady2u

Pricing's all over the board, so I can't tell you what they should cost if someone else makes them. Some will charge more or less than me. In a previous post, I guesstimated (and it is a guess without knowing all the specifics), I said I would charge aprox. $3,000 for labor and linings. Add to that probably around another $1,000 for fabric, so maybe around $4,000 (plus tax where I live).
So, the $1,475 really is cheap for this and the reason they look the way they look.
You've gotten a lot of tips thru all these posts telling you how they show have been made.
I don't think there's any mills left in the US that make fabric, however, you would have been better to use someone here to make them. But as in my guesstimate, you would have paid a lot more.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 7:32AM
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evaf555

*Also what would you tell her to do to get them to look better if she makes me other panels?*

If you reward her with more work, she has every right to assume you are happy with her product. If this is what she cranks out with 25 year of experience, this is what she'll do the next time you hire her, too.

I seriously doubt you will be able to overcome the language barrier and teach her how to do something correctly, long distance.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 8:20PM
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kathi_mdgd

I for one would not give her another chance,YOU probably could have done a better job yourself..

If you sew there are a lot of tutorials on the net,and also singer has some very nice books on making draperies as does sunset.

I make my own,it's time consuming and you have to have a large work surface,but it can be done.Would I make them for someone else??? No way.
Kathi

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 6:12PM
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