Drapery Details

Are you ready for a lot of pictures?  Once again, this was what I was starting with:
I had made floor length drapes before, but they were with a basic rod-pocket, like the next picture (see the white drapes to the right?  The top is just a "pocket" and the rod slides through):
But I wanted a more sophisticated look that had lovely folds, either like grommet-top drapes or like pleated drapes that are hung with rings.  
Thrifty Decor Chick
 The problem with those is that I either had to put in my own grommets or buy rings and hooks and sew pleats, both of which cost money and take more time.  So I did my own thing.  I am nearly certain that I have seen this somewhere on a blog before, but after looking through them, I can't seem to find it.  So if you can tell me the source, please help me out. 
For the skeleton of the drape, I hemmed all 4 sides, then doubled over the top hem to make a pocket for a rod.  (If I was making a rod-pocket drape, I could have stopped here).
The day of sewing (and loving an open floor space to lay this out on):
I made the top pocket about 4" deep to make sure I had enough room for my rod.  For my "trick" I then measured (on the BACK of the drape) 2" sections with 4" in between each section.  Le me show you what I mean:

Then I used my seam-ripper to cut each slit and create a slot for the rod to pass through:

 Keep reading, this will all make sense soon...

I now had lots of little openings in the top of my drape (NOTE: only cute through the BACK layer of fabric, not through the entire drape).
Then I tested the rod to make sure I had cut the slits long enough.  The rod goes into the 2" sections of fabric, not the 4" section:
And we were good to go!
It was time to see them on the real rods:
 I put 'em on and hung 'em up:
Pretty nice, except for the fact that they puffed out as they hung and looked rather unkempt!  What to do??!!  
More tricks.... time to train your drapes.  (I first saw this idea here).  I wanted to make uniform folds that went from top to bottom.  It was time for these drapes to learn who was boss:
 I used clothespins and followed the top fold all the way down the length of the drape (it REALLY helped that my fabric had a pattern that was geometric and I could follow the same line of squares all the way down).  
After I got the folds pinned, I used ribbons to pull in the entire drape and train it to stay together.

I wasn't really sure if the clothespins were a good idea or not, I thought they might leave a permanent crease.  So after one night, I took the clothespins off but left the ribbons around them:
Yes, there were some creases from the clothespins, but they have pretty much disappeared by now.
I only left the ribbons on for 2 days.  In afterthought, I probably should have left them on for a few more days to have the most impact, but we had company coming and I got antsy.  Here's what they looked like after I took them off:
 (see those clothespin marks?  eek! but they are gone now)
 Isn't that so much better?!?!  
Okay, this next picture is really good at showing the end result of cutting all those slots in the back of the drape.  You get the nice folds without having any grommets or rings!  But beware, if you ever plan to do this, make sure its a drape you won't be sliding back and forth.  It won't slide! (unless maybe you used super-high-gloss spray paint and some slippery light-weight fabric?).

I was so happy with how these turned out.  The most amazing part was how much bigger the entire room felt after they were up!  That wall seemed to expand and visually widened the room.  I will be curious to see if my trained folds slowly expand. If so, a retraining may be required.
Also of note: the roman shades were purchased from a bargain store called Ollie's.  They were originally from Home Depot.  I got the wide one for $20, the small ones for $14.  Can't find them cheaper than that!

If you have any other questions that I need to clarify, send them my way, I'd love to help you get the perfect drapes for your windows too!


Team Tonagel said...

umm yes. come over and help me, please!

a.tonagel said...

very cool! Love the look. thanks for the instruction.
If you haven't seen "Evolution of Style" blog yet you should check it out. Right up your alley. I just put a link on my neglected blog.

Lindsey Lange said...

You are so good! I am very impressed. Your house looks beautiful :)

Lindsey Lange said...

You are so good! I am very impressed. Your house looks beautiful :)

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