DIY How to make pinch pleat drapes
The “junk room” in our house was supposed to be my office! I was sewing and working around piles that didn’t have a place to belong. This is Part 2 of the journey from junk room to peaceful tropical home office with Kathleen Mapson & Co. [See part 1 here!]
I was overcome when Kathleen first said, “You have to take down the closet doors.” She convinced me that drapes would give softness and allow more room in the office. It helped a lot that she found this gorgeous print with flowers and peacocks (Waverly Peaceful Perch Sherbert)! Today I’m sharing what I came up with for covering the closet while also being the accent wall.
First I had to order the fabric. I took measurements of the width of the opening (from molding to molding) and the height. You have to decide where you will be hanging your rod. For the most elegance, go all the way to the ceiling. I decided to make the top of the curtain be at the same height as the windows on the other side of the room. This ended up being about halfway between the top molding and the ceiling.
Next, I had to find the repeat on the fabric. Fabric with a print will repeat the pattern. Choose one item in the print, then measure straight down to where that item appears again. For this fabric, the repeat is 25 inches. If you are ordering the fabric online like I was, you need to find the repeat before you figure out the yardage. It will be listed in the details on the website. This repeat will figure in the height of drapes.
My closet opening is 67 inches wide and I wanted the finished drapes to be 94 inches high (from floor to the top of the rod). The fabric was 58 inches wide, so I decided to make two curtains, each 54 inches wide with 2 inch hems on the sides. So, how to calculate how much to buy? I wanted a finished length of 94 inches, and I added 5 inches for the top hem and 3 1/2 inches for the bottom hem for a total of 102 ½ inches. With a 25 inch repeat, I had to buy 4.1 repeats for each curtain, for a total of 9 repeats or 6 ¼ yards. If you decide to line your drapes, you would need 5 ¼ yards of fabric at least 54 inches wide.
The next step was to gather supplies. I found the curtain rod at Target. I also got multipleater white tape, 4-finger pleater hooks (10, plus 4 end hooks), 2 large spools of thread to match fabric color, new size-18 needle, and 14 curtain eyelet rings (they have to fit over the rod and match the rod color).
I laid out the fabric and used a tape measure and fabric-marking pen to mark the repeats and hems, making sure I labeled the top and bottom of each. I wanted to make sure my peacocks would be head –side up! Check and recheck before you cut. I cut each panel to 102 ½ inches, making sure the exact same flower was at the top of each panel in the same position.
- Use your iron and ironing board to fold under two inches on each side. Then go back and fold one inch under. This gives a one-inch hem on the sides with clean edges on the inside. [If you plan to line the curtain, this is when you would cut the lining to the finished dimensions of the curtain. Insert the lining piece into the two side hems. All 4 hems when sewn should capture the lining piece.] Sew with a straight stitch along the two hems.
- Press 3 ½ inches up for the bottom hem. Fold under ½ inch and press again. Sew with a straight stitch.
- Press 5 inches along the top for the top hem. Press under ½ inch and press again. Now you will have a 4 ½ inch hem with a clean edge. Pin the pleater tape on the inside of the curtain onto this hem. The pockets on the tape are 1 ¾ inch apart. My curtain is 54 inches wide, so I cut the tape 55 ½ inches wide, trying to cut the two edges halfway between two pockets. Press the two side edges to the back of the tape, to fit the width of the curtain.
- Make sure the pocket openings are facing down towards the bottom of the curtain. Stitch around all edges of the pleater tape, making sure not to close the pocket openings.
- Hang the curtain rod on the wall. Put 14 rings on the rod. Put the end hooks into the ends of the curtains. Use 5 of the 4-finger pleater hooks per curtain to make the pleats. Space them out evenly (some of the pockets will not be used). Put the hooks in the eyelets on the rings and you are done!
I’ll look for questions in Comments or lisa[at]thecasabouquet[dot]com. If you have a sewing machine and would like to try making fabric items for your home, check out my “Home-making”posts here!
Stay tuned for the reveal and one more DIY post using sewing skills for this project. Kathleen will be posting over on her blog Kathleen Mapson & Co. You don’t want to miss it!
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