Window panels are in - but not quite right

Janice742October 12, 2013

I posted a while back regarding the bay window in our DR. Found a great fabric and had panels made. I wanted to carry the casual look of the panels in my LR into the DR since they flow into one another.

The fabric is on the heavy side - not a velvet, but the weight of a velvet. The installer hung them (he also made them) but couldn't get the bottoms to keep their pleats. (or whatever that's called) They look great at the top, but then open up and don't keep the pleating from about 2/3 the way down. So then he took some plastic and tied them. They look better - but it's not the look I was going for. They come off looking more formal to me... I'm just not in love with them. He will be making me ties out of the same fabric.

This was my inspiration photo:

Traditional Dining Room by Darien Architects & Designers Last Detail Interior Design

Here are a few shots from different angles - please excuse the plastic ties:

One of the issues with them fanning out is that I don't want too much of the windows covered. If the darn things stayed straight they'd be perfect.

Here is my LR - adjacent to the DR (older photo - the panels are looking a little sloppy - but they really do hang nicely):

Am I being too picky? Is there anything I can do to encourage them to hang straight? Lightly iron the pleating perhaps?

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Janice - years ago when I had draperies from jcpenney there were weights sewn into the hems. Maybe that would help then hang more neatly. Btw they look very pretty from here!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 10:32AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Typically after being made, the curtains will not hang straight. I make my own and I normally use clip type clothespins on the bottom to clip each pleat in place and to weight the bottom of the drape. Then I take yarn and fold the curtains back he's done with the tie and tie them up semi-snug in a couple of places...tight enough to hold the pleats together, but loose enough so they won't dent or crease or mark the fabric at all.

Let them hang this way for about a week. Then undo. They should hang nice and straight for you after that, without any creases or much fanning.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 10:33AM
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Tying them like your installer did is a good start. The idea is to hold the pleats in place till the fabric 'remembers '...the ties then are removed after a couple days (weeks?) depending on the fabric.

Ask him if he thinks that sewing weights in the hem might help.

Pretty room.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 10:35AM
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I will try all of the suggestions above! Thanks so much. Fingers crossed....

Annie -- do you clothespin from behind the panel?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 10:41AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Yes, from behind and on the heaviest part of the hem where the lining don't want to do anything that will make a crease.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 10:58AM
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Annie...I liked your suggestions. Have you ever made room darkening panels? If so, what did you use for the liner & did you attach it to the panel? I need to do something in our bedroom re our drapes. I've made lots of curtain panels, but not too many room darkening.

Thanks....sorry for taking over the thread!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 11:45AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Sorry, lizzie, I've not used room darkening liners....I always do room darkening roller shades underneath for light and temperature control...

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 1:39PM
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Annie - Could you link to the clips that you use and do you leave them on permanently? I have some drapes in my bedroom that are lined and they have never hung correctly.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 3:20PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I use spring loaded clothespins...nothing what gramma used to use to hang laundry on the line.
No you don't leave them on leave them on with the ties for about a week and when you undo it, the pleats should hang pretty straight.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 4:36PM
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The fellow who installed my drapes hand pleated them into the correct position and then wrapped several bands of paper around them - I think he used the same wrappers as the dry cleaner. But he also steamed the drapes lightly to help form the pleats.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 4:42PM
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I had enough clothes pins for half of them -- and they already look 100% better.

Thanks, Annie for the great tip!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 5:40PM
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My drapes were also arranged into pleats and then held in place with the plastic. I was told to leave it on for a week, or longer, to "set" the pleats.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 6:19PM
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If the fabric is all polyester, it may not "have a memory" and go back to flaring. Even fabrics that you might expect to behave can be off-grain and want to twist and turn. I'm linking to a method of keeping your pleats like soldiers---I did try it years ago but it wasn't quite right. I have used another method which is a plastic chain connected with hooks in the hem at even intervals to keep the flare from happening.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stayfold

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 6:34PM
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This is terrific! Thanks, Sallymo.

There's always someone out there who comes up with a great idea and markets it...

I'll see what happens after I unclip and untie -- but I'm fascinated by this Stayfold product.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 8:11PM
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LOL, Annie. I have tons of clothespins. I use them for chip bags, etc. I was hoping for something that stayed in. Was thinking your clips might be tiny. I could probably use those clip-on type metal paper clips.

I like the idea of a plastic chain, also. Is there a link to that. I think that the other linked to method would be too stiff.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 8:58PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Try training may be surprised that you'll not need a permanent fix.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 8:54AM
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newhomebuilder, I found this on ebay, (see the link below). I purchased mine from a to-the-trade company, but I think that is where this seller is getting her cord stabilizer.
As far as training drapery to stay in place, it works fine until the temperature and humidity changes, then all bets are off.

As far as blackout lining, I think it looks fine, not really any different to sew except if you hem by hand going through the latex coating makes the needle drag a little. Also, if you need to remove stitching, you'll see the "holes" left from the needle. There is a slightly softer version that may be called "outblack" in some companies. It doesn't pair as well with a flowy type of fabric, though, If used with silk you would definitely want to interline with a nice flannel.

Here is a link that might be useful: ebay

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 10:15AM
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I use metal hair clips on mine and, after they're hanging better, I move the clip out to the very edge of the back and just leave them there. They're so small they take up no room.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 10:28AM
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Thank you sallymo. I am going to try the training first, and then try the chain if needed.

yayagal - Please give a visual.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 9:07PM
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