I finally got the first new drapery panel done for my living room. It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to do the edge trim, and then my first attempt turned out awful, so then I had to spend about an hour yesterday ripping out 9.5 yards of tiny little stitches. But I finally figured things out, and got this first panel done aroun 11:00 last night. I hate that my pictures always seem to be at night, but since that’s when I finish working on my projects, night pictures are what you get. 🙂 I’ll get better, brighter pictures of the whole room when it’s finished.
Anyway, here’s how the drapery panel turned out. (And again you’ll have to ignore my multi-colored walls. I’m still deciding on wall color. 🙂 )
I wish the Greek key trim showed up better in pictures. In person, you can see that it’s a Greek key trim as soon as you walk in the front door, but pictures are so small that it’s hard to see the detail. I really love how it turned out, though. And I really like the combo of the two edge trims.
EDIT: The sun finally came out (as much as it’s going to on this rainy, dreary day), so I snapped a couple of daylight pictures. Of course, now you get the beautiful view out the window — the Tyvek-wrapped front of the breakfast room. 😀 Oh well, this is life in a fixer upper…
To make this drapery panel, I started with my main fabric (i.e., the patterned fabric), and sewed a band of dark blue linen to the edge. That band was 5.675″ wide. Once I sewed them together, I pressed the seam open on back, and pressed the seam flat on front. This is how that looked…
And then I used Aleene’s Quick Dry Fabric Fusion permanent fabric adhesive to attach the Greek key trim.
When that was completely adhered, the panel looked like this…
This Greek key trim is where I messed up the first time. The first go ’round, I tried to sew it on. I was so careful, and sewed very carefully and slowly, making sure not to pull the fabric, and I still wound up with puckered fabric on either side of the Greek key trim. So I had to rip all of that stitching out, and come up with another way to attach it so that it could be attached while the panel was lying perfectly flat on the work table. Fabric glue was really the only option.
So at this point, I had a piece of drapery fabric with raw edges all around, with an accent band sewed to the edge (also with raw edges on top, bottom, and right side), and with the Greek key trim glued to the face. At that point, I treated it as if it were just one solid piece of fabric, and proceeded to begin making my drapery panel in the usual way, beginning with hemming the fabric panel.
I have a very thorough tutorial on how to make lined, pinch-pleated draperies. You can find Part 1 of that tutorial here.
So regardless of what kind of draperies you’re making, whether you’re adding edge banding to the leading edge, adding an accent band at the bottom, piecing together two or more fabrics to make a custom design, like my striped draperies that I made using two colors of solid linen…
…the key is always to prepare your face fabric first, allowing for seam allowances, top header allowances, and bottom hem allowances. Once you have all of the trims, bands, and pieced together designs that you want, then you just treat the whole thing as one solid piece of face fabric, and begin sewing the drapery panel as usual, starting by hemming the face fabric.
I made those for someone else, and she wanted a accent band at the top, plus a contrast edge banding along the leading edge and at the bottom. So I pieced together three different fabrics (four different pieces) to make the face fabric of the drapery panels. Once I had all of the pieces sewn together to make a complete front panel, then I made the drapery panel as usual, starting by hemming the face fabric. (I’m sounding a bit repetitive here, I know. 🙂 I’m trying to stress that even though it sounds counterintuitive, the first step in making drapery panels really is to hem the face fabric.)
Anyway, back to my current drapery panel…
I also did the pleats a little differently than usual. I generally do a standard pinch pleat (triple pleat) where the pleat is sewn together about three inches from the top. This time I decided to do a Parisian pleat, which done the same way except that the pleat is sewn together close to the top of the fabric.
I also didn’t “train” my pleats/folds in this panel. I think I’m going to try out the more relaxed look for now. If I get them all done and decide that I need more structure in the look, then I’ll go back and train the pleats/folds so that they look more tailored.
So that’s one down and three to go. And this time, I’m also doing wider panels for the big window at the front. A single width of fabric on such a big window (which is what I did with the black and white striped panels) just never looked right to me.
Now I can also really start looking at wall colors. I hate the green. It goes with the drapery panel a bit too well. It just all kind of blends together too much. But now I’m thinking that the light blue (Iceberg) may not be right either. Perhaps a slightly darker blue will work better. I’ll get the rest of the panels made and installed before I decide for sure, though.