Inverted pleats on drapes

susanilz5November 18, 2005

I've been looking everywhere for instructions on how to sew inverted pleated drapereis like the ones at Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware. I've been to every fabric store in the area trying to find a book with detailed instructions, I've googeled and yahooed until I'm blue and still no information on how to make INVERTED Pleats. Any information would be great. I've got the fabric and lining and I'm ready to go.



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As I understand it an inverted pleat is a box pleat. The link has instruction on your basic box pleat. Is this what you're talking about?

Here is a link that might be useful: box pleat

    Bookmark   November 18, 2005 at 8:12PM
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I don't think it's the same. Heres a link that may help.

Here is a link that might be useful: inverted pleat silk drape

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 12:52PM
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Susan, do you know how to or have you ever made a pinch pleat drapery? It's basically a reverse pinch pleat.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 3:53PM
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Now that you mention it, I've never made pinch pleated drapes. I've made lined rod pocket drapes, but I've never pleated. I know that the inverted pleat dosen't use pleating tape, at least on the ones I've seen in the stores.

I guess I'll just have to muddle through.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 11:11AM
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First, get yourself a good book, such as the Singer Sewing reference books (More Sewing for the Home or Windows with Style: DIY Window Treatments come to mind). Good, basic instructions with easy to follow pics. You need to know how to make pinch pleats before you can make inverted pleats. Then you sew the pleat section to the back, instead of the front, and instead of making the fingers, press it flat and stitch in the ditch from the front, on the seam line. Now you've got your inverted pleat.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 12:40PM
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Thanks shadylady, I've pulled out my singer books and have the sections on pleated drapes. Combined with your instructiions I now understand what needs to be done. Thanks, I'll let you know if they turn out OK!


    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 1:18PM
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Susan, I too am looking to make the exact drapes you were speaking of and can not find any clear instructions. How did yours turn out? Did you find a book or site that was helpful? Thanks for any info you could pass along. I want to make panels from silk for my living room and am nervous about the expense if I don't know how to do it...

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 8:06AM
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My drapes turned out great. I did not find any instructions, I just started with a piece of old material, kept measuring and pinning until I got it right. Then once I understood the concept, I did the same with my drapes. I sewed all four sides before I began pleating. Shadyladys instructions helped clairfy exactly what had to be done. I experimented with the size of the the pleat (very close together or farther apart) and I ended up with about a 4 or 5 inch space between pleats, that's what looked the best on my window. It was a lot of work, but well worth it. Good luck

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 9:03AM
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So Susan,where are the pictures??? Glad they turned out well for you.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 1:39PM
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Hi Susan,

I'm now in the same position you were apparently in, about 2 years ago! I absolutely ADORE the look of the wildly expensive reverse pleated draperies sold thru Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware, but really can't afford them. I've sewn a little in my 52 years.....was this hard to do for you? Have you found ONLINE instructions on this??

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 1:01PM
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Yes you can sew inverted pleat drapes with very little sewing experience. I have not found instructions.

Mine turned out great. (Since the fabric is doubled, and they are lined, they are very heavy, keep that in mind when choosing material, lining & hardware!)You'll also need a lot of fabric, I believe it was 2 1/2 times the width of the window.

Again I just went to the store and looked at a pair of unlined drapes to see how they fit together, then I went home and started pinning a decent length of fabric until I got it right. I pinned the fabric the same way I thought it should be sewed, using a lot of pins so when I flipped it over to look I could tell if it looked like the sewed drapes in the store. After some trial & error, I understood the concept.

Just make sure once you figure out the size of your pleats, you measure from the middle out so your pleats all end up the same size, and the last one isn't uneven.

After the first set was successful. I actually pulled some older curtains out of the back of a closet and proceeded to french pleat them, giving them a brand new up to date look.

I was 49 when I started this project!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 8:33PM
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I am starting an inverted pleat drape for a slider door. How do you determine the pleat size? My finished size is 83". Do I start with my fullness (2.5x) and determine the # of pleats, then figure the pleat size from that? Or do I determine pleat size by eye, then determine yardage requirements? Not sure where to start.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 8:11PM
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Please tell me how you dealt with the inverted pleat at the far left or right side of the drapery rod where the return goes back to the wall. Did you put a pleat at the 3 inch location?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 5:58PM
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It's been a long time so my memory is fuzzy, but I first used a very long old piece of fabric and pinned it to see how I wanted the pleats to look. Because of the large size of my window, I prefered the look of larger pleats, I think they were 4 or 5 inches. If your return is only a few inches I would think you could just start the pleat a few inches away from the edge to go around the return. I just started pleating since I didn't have a return. Also keep in mind the weight of the fabric, especially if you use lining, these can be extremely heavy. I can't take a picture since the drapes have moved to my daughters house!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 7:51PM
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Are you sure your return is only 3"? A standard bracket is usually 3.75". Any rate, you'll need to add an extra space next to the return to allow for the "wing" in the back. You should also have a space at the leading edge. Try making your pleats more like 5 to 6", if possible.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 9:38AM
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