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Friday, March 9, 2012

For Kathi's Sake.....

I am doing some swags for Kathi at Beautiful Mini Blessings http://beautifulminiblessings.blogspot.com/ . She is about to embark on a new project of a theater and needs to do fancy curtains. This is just the first part.

I am going to try to give you some basics from "The Curtain Maker's handbook".

Pretend that the four part rectangle on the left is your window. I made a mistake in the drawing and didn't notice until I took the photo. The pattern to the right is for the diagonal cut drapery piece....It should be longer than the window in question. Oops. I made it the same length.

That would be OK if I were putting another layer of draperies behind it.

These pieces are going on either side of the swag, also known as a festoon. That is the center piece.

It is cut, at the top, just a hair wider than the window. Keep in mind the side draperies will cover the end pleats. If you are doing a different sized window you can easily adjust the pattern to fit. Simply cut it down the center to widen it and simply follow the lines down the sides to lengthen it and use a gentle curve at the bottom.


I will start with the side pieces. The ones that I cut are 6" long and 4" wide. Using the lines on the graph paper, I did a diagonal from the 6" up to 2" on the opposite side. Remember to cut mirror images. One for each side of the window.

When you do the pleating, there is a half inch pleat at the outer edge then after you pin that in, you put a pin in the top and bottom at the three quarter mark, from the edge of the fold.

Next you pull a half inch back over the pin that is holding the edges.

You will see 1/4" of the outer fabric running the length of the curtain. you should have a 1/2" triangle at the bottom. Do the 3/4" thing again. Now you have two 1/2" triangles traveling up the center front. Your last pleat is 1/2" and 1/2". The edge should just barely cover the last triangular fold. See actual photo of the pinned curtains.

Here you see the folded side draperies.

The bottom center is the start of the festoon.

You will pin each top corner, with the pinheads pointing away from the corner. All pins should have the heads pointing away from the draperies to get a good tight stretch.

Just a quick side note. If you don't have ball headed, quilter's pins, invest on some. As many pins as you push into the ceiling tile when you are using this method, it pays. You will have very sore fingers with plain straight pins. And a plus is being able to see all of the heads to easily pull them out when you are done.

Back to the festoon. After the corners, put a pin in the center of the curtain about 1/2" down from the top. Then put two pins in on either side of the center one a little higher up and about half way in between the center and the edge. This gives you something to base your curve on when you start pleating.

I haven't sprayed these yet and I noticed a mistake....The curtains on the left slant downhill. I need to refold the top and re pin so that they are straight across the top. Easily fixed and important. You will find out why tomorrow.

With the pattern at the top, I got about three good pleats in the festoon( I like that word better than swag. I wonder why they dropped it in favor of swag?)

I try to shape the pleats by pulling up the ends and pinning. Then I pinch the pleats into place and curve them as I pin.

Keep in mind that you are going to glue the top of this part over a pole of a flat board to keep it straight, so you don't want a lot of thickness there.

I forgot to mention earlier, I lined the draperies by using Wonder Under. It is an iron on bonding product. When it is bonded, the fabric can be cut as one unit with little or no raveling.

I am late today, so I will leave you to ponder the process so far. Tomorrow, I will put it all together....

Until then "Rock the Vote!!!". Tessie is watching!

See you tomorrow.

4 comments:

aristacrina said...

I really like the look of this style drapes. Thanks for the instruction. Now for the hard part...to see if I can do it.

dale's dreams said...

Looking good! I love how helpful you always are. :)

Kathi said...

Thanks Casey! I am going to give this a try. First I need to figure out how wide my space will be?
Your tutorial is great! I just might do one for practice. I'm sure I'll need that! LOL

My Wee Life said...

What a lovely tutorial and the drapes look really nice :)