Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A simple method for making pinch pleat curtains

I love the softness that drapery panels add to a room. I made panels for both my bedroom, and most recently for the breakfast nook. They were so quick and easy, and really complete these rooms.

This is a very simple method for sewing pinch pleat drapes. In my previous home, I had drapery panels professionally made. They did look fabulous, but they were pricey and you really can't tell the difference with the ones I sewed unless you were to look at the back of the panel.

I'll give you a step by step of how I sewed these panels.

Items needed:

*drapery fabric. Measure length needed and add approximately 6 inches for seams and hem. If using dummy panels (ie that don't close), one width of 54" fabric is fine. If you have very wide windows, use 1.5-2 widths together for a fuller look.

*drapery liner. I always line my panels as it is simple and inexpensive to do. I bought my liner online for $2/yard, but many people have blogged about using a cheap bed sheet which would be fine also. The dimensions need to match your drapery fabric.

*pleater tape. I bought mine at Walmart, but any fabric store should carry it.

*pleater hooks.

*drapery weights (optional depending on thickness/weight of fabric)

Step 1

With right sides of one length of drapery fabric and one length of liner together, sew around the top and two sides, leaving a 1/4 " seam allowance. Leave the 4th side (the bottom) open.

Step 2

Turn right side out and press well.

Step 3

-Cut a length of pleater tape to match the width of your fabric (should be 54" if using a single width of fabric)

-pin the pleater tape to the top of the back side of your panel. Make sure that you have positioned the tape correctly with the 'pouch' opening for the hooks along the bottom.

-sew the tape in place, ensuring that you follow the lines so as not to sew the hook pouches shut.

Step 4

-place a tong of each hook into the pleater tape pouch. Skip one pouch between hooks. I used 7 hooks each panel.

It should now look like this on the back

And this on the front

Step 5

-hang your panels

Step 6

-I prefer a hand sewn hem, so the stitching isn't visible on the front. I brought my iron to my window and hemmed them in place.

-turn under approximately 1/2" and iron, then turn under again, to your desired length. Hand stitch, ensuring that you only catch the liner with your needle and thread. If using weights, place one in each corner before sewing the hem closed.

Voila!  Told you it was quick and simple!!

{ps, do you know how hard it is to take pictures of a window with southern exposure, that is always bright and sunny??}

Linking to my Favorite Parties!


Kelly said...[Reply to comment]

Wow! How gorgeous. I love how those look. I'm a huge fan of simple draperies like that. I don't particularly care for the kinds with lots of swags and fancy trims. Yours are simple and elegant and are just enough to add style to your rooms. I wish I could sew and try your tutorial, but I don't even own a sewing machine. I'm more of a stitchwitch and fabric glue girl. Ha! Maybe one day I'll treat myself to learning the ropes of sewing. I love the outcome!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...[Reply to comment]

Your drapes are gorgeous, Andrea! I love the fabrics you chose, too.

Windlost said...[Reply to comment]

You're brilliant. That doesn't look quick and simple. That looks confusing and painstaking. haha. I don't have a sewing machine either. I just get mine pleated by my favorite upholstery store for $36/panel, but I think she only does it because I am a friend.
Good to be able to do it yourself.

xo Terri

Daniela @Frugal Aint Cheap said...[Reply to comment]

nice job! great look. I might just have to try on future draperies!!

Hartwood Roses said...[Reply to comment]

I really love this! These are just like they would be if you had them custom made ... which they are. Hopefully everyone will see this and realize that sewing your own drapes is easy, and the result is so beautiful.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...[Reply to comment]

Beautiful drapes! Great work!

Eclectically Vintage said...[Reply to comment]

Why oh why can't I sew?! Not even a button! So sad - that's why my windows are all naked! Love the pinch pleats - wish I could whip up my own.

Mama Sue said...[Reply to comment]

So nice! I am not only impressed with your work but also the fact that you have the energy to do these projects.

Tricia said...[Reply to comment]

Good heavens, that was easy! I didn't even realize there was such a thing as pleater tape. Your draperies turned out beautiful!

Ticking and Toile said...[Reply to comment]

Your drapes are beautiful!! Awesome tutorial! Thanks so much!

Wendy@Once upon a rose haven said...[Reply to comment]

Your draperies are beautiful! Thank you so much for the tutorial!
Your newest follower,

thistlewoodfarm said...[Reply to comment]


I love this tutorial! You are so much better than me at the tutorial.....I need you to write an e-book for me :)

I am totally pinning this!


Debra @ Common Ground said...[Reply to comment]

ohmygoodness, these are so gorgeous!!

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...[Reply to comment]

So gorgeous and they sound so simple to make too!! Love them!! Sharing at the party tonight- thanks for linking up at Feathered Nest Friday!

Dear Lillie said...[Reply to comment]

Gorgeous, Andrea!

Alison @ The Polohouse said...[Reply to comment]

You are so talented!!!!
I love how these turned out and oh how I wish I could sew. You have made it look so easy, when I know that it really can't be!!!

I LOVE the fabric you selected too.
Looks fantastic in there.


P.S. Hallie was just diagnosed with Lymes Disease but they think they caught it very early. She is on a month of meds. Hope she is ok. Worried sick... my sweet little golden.

Roxie Tenner said...[Reply to comment]

Oh wow! Those are absolutely beautiful, Andrea! I particularly love the drape panels in your bedroom; it looks very elegant and classy, yet simple and stylish. You are so talented with mad sewing skills! Now, it depresses me that I can’t sew a handkerchief or even a button! Just kidding! Haha!

Roxie Tenner