bespoke drapes: French pinch pleats

draperyThis was the hardest part so far of this project.  Of course I made it REALLY hard by choosing striped fabric.  And stripes/patterns are not always my friends.  I’ve wadded more projects over mismatched patterns or poor pattern placement than for any other reason.

Now, if I were a professional drapemaker and knew what I was doing, I would have measured, marked, stitched and these would have been done by now.  But I’m not a professional.  So I measured, calculated, clipped them into place, tried it out over the width of the window, took it out and repeated the process until I was ready to kill someone.  Eventually it all came together in a way that I thought was pleasing.  (Maybe I just got sick of it and gave up.  We’ll see what the final product looks like before I hand in my verdict on that).  There is a repeat to the stripes – a 4 inch repeat – but I just couldn’t make it work.  So I threw it out the window and did as best I could by eyeballing it and approximation to within a couple of millimetres.

Once I was happy with the pleat placement, I folded the fabric and stitched the pleats by machine through all thicknesses, the full depth of the heading (3 inches).  Here’s what it looks like from the inside.headingThe pleats are then flattened down the centres and pinched into smaller pleats, hence the term “pinch pleats”.  Usually there’s three little pleats per pleat, but this fabric is thick, and I didn’t order enough fabric for a 2 1/2 times the width fullness.  So mine only have two little pleats.  But I like them.  They look pretty custom, no?  How many sets of drapes have you seen with little pinch pleats like this?

pinch pleatsTomorrow, the last of the hand sewing.  Well, tacking, actually.


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