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sewing drapes

Posted by janete (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 11, 09 at 23:05

Has anyone used the Jenifer Thoden book/video about sewing drapes? What books would you recommend?

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RE: sewing drapes

Is there a calculation that I can use to determine the width of the drapery rod for a window treatment of stationary pich pleat panels? I don't want to completely cover the outside mouldings. How far from the exterior moulding side should the rod extend? The window is 34" wide, moulding to moulding. How is the stack back (the width of the pinch pleated panel) using 54' fabric calculated? I don't want the pinch pleats to be crowded.

RE: sewing drapes

See if this pdf may help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Drapery Treatments

RE: sewing drapes

I don't think there is a standard width for any drapery rod. It depends on the size of the window. Are you hanging your drapes with rings--I think you probably are or are you? On any other rod you don't see the rod anyway with pinch pleats.

You said your window was 34 inches wide but you didn't say the length. In any case I wouldn't use an extra wide one. I'd stick to one 1 to 1 1/2 inch diameter. As for the extention it can be what you want it to be. On a small window I would put the finials an inch or so past the molding.

Pinch pleats are relatively easy to make. First you need a drapery tape to back your pleats. Cut off the selvidges. On the wrong side put the tape near the top edge, leave the hem width without the tape, and fold about 1/2 inch of the material over the tape and sew and again leave the hem width--1 inch hem leave 1 1/2 inches. Sew the side hems going over the tape. The tape should now go to the side of the drape, making it stiff all across the top.

Now fold the tape down so it is encased in the material and sew across.

Now comes the figuring part--you need 1 1/2 to 2 inches on each end. Measure the curtain across and subtract the amount left for both ends. This is the amount you have to pleat.

Each pleat will take 1 inch, so if you have 3 pleats it will take 3 inches. 2 pleats take 2 inches, but you won't have the fullness. Then leave up to 3 inches plain and then another pleat. Don't forget you have to add another pleat on the other end.

Fullness comes with how many pleats you make and the distance left between pleats. You may have to fudge the distance between to get all the pleats in.

Once you've figured out how many pleats you need then measure and pin. The pleats will just be a 3 inch--or whatever--hoop. Adjust the space between if you have to, until you have it right.

Now sew the pleat hoop from top to bottom of the tape. Take the hoop and finger press or iron in the 1/2 inch pleats. Sew the three pleats together at the bottom of the tape, and the pinch pleats are done.

I'll check in later if you have any questions


I made a boo boo. I realized it just after I submitted it. I should have said.

Now fold the tape down so it is encased in the material and PRESS. If you sew it down there will be no place to insert hooks

RE: sewing drapes

Thank you Oilpainter and all,
I understand your instructions. I have purchased the fabric, lining and interlining.I have read different versions of sewing the interlining.
One version is to sew the interlining to wrong side of the fabric. The other is to cut the interlining and the lining the same size and treat as one layer.
Using the first version, I could cut the interlining the finished drapery panel length and the finished drapery width. I would lay the interlining bottom up onto the upper hem( of the double hem) secure this, then fold the bottom fabric hem up(of this double hem) Then,miter the corners, fold the base hem and blindstitch. Then lay the lining over and blind stitch the sides.
Using this second method seems easier and I think that there would be less chance that I may may alter the placements of the lining and interlining. (I think that this interlining should be cut the finished drapery panel length and finished width.)
If I do it this way also on the top(header), I could use the buckram on the top for the pleat header. Or, should I omit the buckram and just secure the top interlining with the top (header) fabric? I think this way however may be too bulky. I think that I may have overead different instructions.. I need to get going....and would appreciate any input. Thank you in advance

RE: sewing drapes

What are you using for drapery fabric. Interlining is used on light weight, (flimsy--for want of a better word) fabric to give it body. Like silk or linen.

Most drapery fabric doesn't require it. If it has good body you don't need it. If it will fall nicely that is all you want. Personally I have never used interlining and have always used drapery fabric. Drapery fabric is usually wider than dress fabric. Some of it even comes in widths you can use for the length.

You could use buckram for the header, but why not pleater tape. It is very stiff and stays that way when it is washed or dry cleaned. They do have some that you pull strings to pleat the material or the plain kind that you use for pinch pleats. It saves all the cutting.

If you could give me the size of your windows including how much you want the drapes to go past the windows on top. What material you are making them from and the width, and how full you want them, then I can tell you just how to make them.

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