Annoucement: I recently made a biggggg mistake and managed to delete all of my blog photos. I am working to get them all back up asap. Please bear with me, and if you have any questions on tutorials, please feel free to email me and I will try to help you out as best as I can...Thanks!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tutorial: How to make professional looking lined drapes


Okay, first off I know my pic is kinda funny, but my cousin needed to lower her curtain rod so when I took the pic the curtains where kinda high water, and she made me take it so that you couldn't see the bottom!  lol  That's why the chair is sort of blocking it, but you get the drift...right?  Second, I have been putting off writing this tutorial because lined drapes may sound easy enough...just four straight seams right?  But it took me four tries to get it right!  And so I took four sets of pics, so it has been a pain sorting through them trying to find the ones I needed (did I mention that's how I remember what I did when I write a tutorial...yeah, so it's a little confusing!  lol).  Anyway, here is the tutorial....hope this helps somebody because it sure was difficult to write!  But don't worry, the drapes are super easy to make, even if you are new to sewing, so don't be scared away by all my whining!!! hehe...

 First, you need to determine what size you want the finished drape to be.  I am no expert, so I turned to my Pottery Barn catalog to see what sizes their drapes where, and lucky for me they just happened to explain how to measure for drapes:

"Measure the length of your window, deciding whether you want the drape to fall above the sill, below the sill, or to the floor.  If you'd like longer drapes that pool on the floor in luxurious folds, add 6-8" to the height measurement.  To create the illusion of taller windows, install your drapery rod 6-8" above the window frame rather than the standard 4" ."

You can also check out this quick video on hanging drapes to help you.

For the width of the drape, I just chopped the selvedge off and used the width of the fabric to make it easy on myself.  (If your windows are wider than your fabric, email me or comment and I will write up a quick tutorial on how to piece it together, but this tute will be long enough already.) 

The front of the curtain is called the face, and the lining is, of course, the lining.  Now that you have determined the length and width you want the finished drape to be you need to determine what sizes to cut the face and lining fabrics.

For the FACE fabric, ADD 9" to the length you want the finished drape to be.

For the LINING, SUBTRACT 8" from the finished length, and for the width, SUBTRACT 16" from the width of your FACE fabric. (ex. if your FACE fabric is 54" wide once you cut the selvedge off, you want the lining to be 38" wide)

When cutting your fabric, you need to be sure that the grain of the fabric is straight.  You can tell if it is straight by holding the selvedges together, and holding the fabric up. The fold should look smooth and not have any wrinkles or creases.

This one is correct...see how the fold is nice and smooth in this pic.

And this one has little creases(marked by the x's).  You can also see them on the other side through the fabric.  This is because the grain is not straight.

Btw, you should always make sure your grain is straight before cutting or whatever you are making will not hang correctly.  This will be especially evident after washing, if you did not preshrink your fabric.

Anyway, now that you cut the fabric, fold the FACE fabric and lining both in half (sides of the drapes should be together) to find the center top of each.  Mark the center by finger pressing or with a pin.

With right sides together, match the top centers of the FACE and lining and pin together.  You will start stitching one half inch from the side and stop one half inch before the other end. This is to leave your seam allowance for the sides.  (Seam allowance is .5" btw)  I mark my starting and stopping points with a pin.  

You also want to leave an 8" opening in the center the you will use later to turn the drape right side out.

Measure 8.5" down from the top of the panels on each side of the FACE fabric.  Drop the lining down so that the top of the lining is even with this mark (this is going to form your pole pocket).  Pin the sides together, leaving .5" at the bottom for the bottom seam allowance.  

*There is an 8.5" difference on either side between the FACE and lining, make sure you match the raw edges.  Do NOT pin the the lining to the FACE where it lies...just want to be clear.  ; ) *

 I recommend pinning one side at a time, stitching, then pinning the other side and stitching it because it is likely that you will have to bunch up a lot of the fabric to keep it from falling off your sewing table  because if you don't already know that makes it hard to keep your stitch straight, and most likely a LOT of the pins from the side you aren't sewing will fall out and you will end up just having to repin anyway...and nobody likes to do that...well, unless we're on Pinterest, but that's a whole nother topic! lol

Make sure you start stitching the side seams even with the top seam...

This is what your top corners should look like when you are done.

For the bottom seam, you will do exactly like you did for the top seam only don't leave the 8" opening, and you will have this big wacky piece of FACE fabric sticking out the side...don't worry we're about to fix that! 

*This part is sort of hard to explain, so let me know if you have trouble and I will try to make a video when I do my sisters curtains.* 

 Lift from the point where the side and bottom seam meet.   Then, grab directly below it on the fold it creates and turn the fabric flat...sort of on it's side...

It should look like this, with the fold you created creases or wrinkles just like when you cut the fabric.   Measure in 5" from the edge of the fold you created and mark it with a disappearing fabric marker.  Use a straight edge to make a line from the point where the seams meet and the mark you made.  Pin in place and stitch along that line.

Trim the excess fabric and cut the tip at an angle, as close to stitching as possible.  Repeat on the opposite bottom corner.  Then turn the drape right side out through the opening you left in the top.  Then, use something a push the corners all the way out.

Here's what your bottom corners will look like.  Aren't they pretty?  ;)

The top corners will also look like that so you have to pull some fabric out to get it squared like this.

Pin it in place.  Also pin the lining down to be sure it doesn't shift as you are stitching.  You will start out edge stitching, then when you get to the lining you will need to sort of jump over just a teeny bit to the lining so that you can close up the opening you used to turn the drape.

You will be stitching through six layers of fabric when you start so most likely your sewing machine will not feed the fabric....ugh!  FRUSTRATING!!!  But here's why.....

Oops...sorry! This pic isn't actually relevant to the tutorial, but isn't it pretty...okay maybe I'm just

Okay, so here's want to start stitching at the very edge of the fabric, which leaves the presser foot  way not level, so it is basically blocking your fabric.  How can I fix this you ask?

EASY!  Fold up a piece of scrap fabric so that it is 6 layers thick and now your presser foot is level and you can start sewing!!!

Now, you've made your pole pocket and the opening is closed up.  No all that's left to do is press those babies (not the top of the pole pocket, but all the other edges), hang 'em, and you're done!!  

Now grab a strawberry margarita and sit back and enjoy your hard work!

Let me know if you have any questions!  I would love for you to share your pic if you use this tutorial!  I don't have the linky party anymore, but you can share to my FB page or Flickr!

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Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims said...

looks awesome! i'll have to remember this for when i have a house!

Caroline said...

Lined curtains are so luxurious, and these look very nicely done. Thanks for the tutorial!

Mindie Hilton said...

I love this color. I sew and have been wanting to make new drapes ours are getting a little dull being brown and my leather furniture is brown, I need some color like these.
Thanks again to linking to Bacon Time see you soon I hope.

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