Don’t you just love the look of a bold patterned fabric on draperies?
I love that look. That’s why I’m so anxious to get started on the draperies for John & Alice’s family room, using this beautiful robin’s egg blue/white damask fabric.
But the key to making draperies out of fabric like this, and ending up with that really polished look, is to have the patterns lined up the same on all of the drapery panels.
Now I know that for some of you, numbers and math just come naturally to you. Yes, I’ve known a few of you in my life. You can be really irritating…especially when you look at me with a shocked look on your face when I have to count on my fingers to do the most basic math.
But for us right-brained, anti-math types, we need a little help. I was so thankful when I finally learned how to confidently figure fabric yardage for this type of fabric, so now I’ll pass this info along to you. And for those of you who tend to get paralyzed at the sight of numbers and math (like I do), I’ll try to make this as painless as possible.
For this example, I’ll use John & Alice’s family room windows.
Thank goodness we’re saying goodbye to that cornice, am I right?!
The first step is to determine the finished length of the draperies. For John and Alice’s family room, I want the draperies to extend just a few inches above the windows, and go all the way to the floor.
The finished length is 92 inches.
To this finished length, I add eight inches for the hem, and ten inches for the header (top edge) of the drapery panel.
So I’ll need a minimum of 110 inches of fabric for each drapery panel.
So far so good? Okay, let’s move on…
Now I need to know the vertical repeat of the pattern on the fabric. Most websites and fabric retailers have this information available.
That means that every 12.5 vertical inches, the pattern on the fabric repeats. That’s pretty self-explanatory.
Because I want the pattern to stop and start at the same place on all eight drapery panels, I need to determine how many repeats I need for each panel. I do this by dividing the minimum inches needed per panel by the vertical repeat.
Then I round that number up to the nearest whole number.
So for each drapery panel, I need 9 vertical repeats. Next I’ll multiply the number of vertical repeats needed by the measurement of the vertical repeat.
So for each drapery panel, I need 112.5 inches of fabric. Multiply this number times the number of panels you need…
Now divide that number by 36 to determine the number of yards needed.
If that number of yards had been a fraction, I would have rounded up to the nearest whole yard.
Now if you’re new at making draperies, you might want to add a couple of vertical repeats just to have extra fabric, you know…just in case.
I know some of you just instinctively knew this information. Others of you didn’t, but you read through this and got it right away.
Then there are those of you who are like me. You saw numbers and math, and your eyes immediately glazed over. You tried to read through it, but you convinced yourself that you wouldn’t get it right from the start, so now you’re frustrated.
Look, I’m probably one of the most numbers-challenged people in the country. When I talk about having to count on my fingers to do the most basic addition, I’m not joking. So if I can get this, I’m confident that you can too.
Now I also know that some of you are saying, “Well, that’s great, Kristi. Now I can order fabric, but what do I do with it after that?!”
No fear. Very soon, I’ll be showing you just how easy it is to make your own lined draperies…the Kristi Linauer Interiors way. :) So stay tuned for that.
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