bespoke drapes: dressing the drapes

haute decorWell, here is one full panel of my pinch pleat bespoke drapes.  Now they need to be hung and “dressed”, which translates into this:dressingThe panels get hung and shaped into the pleats in which they will hang, tied loosely together, and then they cure, much like we cure bias before sewing it up. I’ve read varying pieces of advice. Some books say 72 hours, others say 48. I’ll be curing mine during the day, since I really want to move out of my living room and back into the bedroom. dressing drapesThat’s the valance hanging on the closet door.  I had originally hoped there would be enough fabric to make the drapes ceiling to floor length, but, as you can see, there wasn’t.  So the valance and curtain rod will be hung about 4 inches lower tomorrow.

bespoke drapes: pleat details

hand sewn pinch pleatsOnce the pleats were marked and stitched by machine into place, I pinched them into two pleats and tacked them at the bottom of the heading.pinch pleats insideThis is the inside of the heading.  Once the lining was stitched to the bottoms and sides of the panels, the heading is folded over and catch stitched or herringboned into place.  I didn’t use any buckram or other stiffening in the heading because this fabric has a coating of some sort that makes it extraordinarily stiff.

I enjoyed all this hand stitching.  It was so relaxing sitting in my room, listening to music, hand sewing yards and yards of fabric.  Some of you love to knit.  I like to stitch.

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.