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A Peek At My New Living Room Draperies

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.

How to make double-width lined pinch-pleated draperies - part 1


And Part 2 of that tutorial is here.

How to make double-width lined pinch-pleated draperies - part 2

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

DIY black and white horizontal stripe drperies - lined nd pinch pleted - finished

…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.

Here’s another tutorial I have that demonstrates very thing.

DIY pinch-pleated lined draperies with two accent fabrics

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.

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  1. There’s something off about the blue accent to me. Maybe it looks too wide in photos? I do love the greek key with the draperies.

    Though I really miss those striped curtains, I’m a sucker for stripes and thought they looked great in the room.

  2. The green wall is throwing me off! I like the light blue, but can’t tell if a slightly darker blue would be better. I think you should get more panels done and take some pictures in the daylight. 🙂 Love the drapes, though. I love the navy accent, along with the greek key.

    1. Well, after looking at it more, I think you’re right. 🙁 I guess I have more stitch ripping to do today. Makes me want to cry, but I pinned it and looked at it, and the thinner blue border looks much better. *Sigh* I’ll go have a good cry, and then get to work.

      1. I agree that the blue’s too wide and I also feel like placing the key trim on the seam “wastes” some floral, while leaving too much blue exposed. (At least it looks like you didn’t place the key trim entirely on the blue?) Also, what if you move the key trim to the lead edge of the blue? It will get more attention there and be set off by the navy behind it as that separates the floral and key. – Beautiful sewing! The panel hangs perfectly and the fabric is gorgeous. You’ll get the detail figured out!

        1. That was actually my initial plan, and I even tried varied widths of blue with the Greek key centered on it, took pictures, sent them to my mom for input, etc. In the end, it just looked too harsh. Doing it this way seemed to add a softness to the look that I liked.

      2. I was thinking the same kind of thing but didn’t want to say so! But I wish you were my seamstress because you do lovely work. And the colors are beautiful and I’m going to have to try that leading edge somewhere in my house because it’s so striking. You’re doing great Kristi- and your ups and downs make me feel better about my own. It’s not a ‘misery loves company ‘ kind of thing- it’s having a little grace for the learning and creative process instead of self recrimination. So, I thank you.

      3. Maybe before ripping out the first panel, you could start your second panel and do it the revised way so you can be sure you love it.

    2. I think so too. I wonder if the drapes would be simpler with no blue stripe at all and just trimming the edges in the greek key design and leaving it at that. Either that or sounds as if the consensus it a thinner blue stripe. I think the colors in the drapes match with the green walls and the blue walls, they go well with either color. But I guess with the gray fireplace, you gotta go with the blue?

  3. For what it’s worth, I really like the combination of the green wall colour and the new drapes 🙂 So at least you know that there is not the one right look for everyone, but a multitude of opinions – and the only one that counts is your own!!
    I really like the way the drapes look and particurlarly the fact that it is a bit less tailored and more relaxed-looking. And your border just reminded me to get out my dark red velvet cushion covers with the (red) greek key accent which look perfect in winter (and Christmas) time on my sofa, so thanks for that 🙂

    1. I agree with all this. BUT, it is your home and you need to do what makes you happy. I do like the idea (above a few posts), where the poster suggesting before you do all the work of ripping out the key stripe. Try another curtain the other way to see which you like.

  4. oh, and a question just popping up when looking at your pictures again: did you only glue the border to the fabric or did you then sew it to the other fabric as well?

  5. Just love how the drapes turned out with the navy blue and greek key trim! Ties everything together beautifully I think but where did you find the greek key trim?

  6. Just when I was thinking about commenting that I liked the green walls with the drapes, I read that you didn’t like it – jokes on me??? Anyway, I get why you feel the way you do. I was so surprised at how well it complimented it, but to the point of being “matchy – match!” Love the fabric and the fireplace.

  7. Love ’em. You’re inspiring me to try my hand at drapery making, ‘specially with that “glue on trim” trick. Beautiful job, Kristi!

    Question: So, these are unlined, correct? Using drapery weight fabrics? They seem to hang beautifully.

  8. I actually like the green walls. It makes a nice contrast with all the blue you’ve got going on in the rest of the room, as well as the kitchen. Each to her own, eh? Good job on the drapery, you’re on a roll now!

  9. The curtains look amazing! I wish I could sew. I’m also loving how the curtain rods look with the starburst mirror. I’m glad you don’t like the green. I think it looks awesome with the curtains, but I think its competing way too much with the fireplace. It almost makes the fireplace look brown rather than gray. The green is also a bit too traditional feeling for me. I don’t think you are going for THAT traditional based on some of your other choices. It also doesn’t mesh well with the white, I don’t think. So yay on getting rid of the green.

  10. Just lovely! The Greek key next to the wider dark blue is very attractive and, IMO, the green walls don’t look bad at all next to the drapes either. Can’t wait to see more progress- this room is going to be killer.

  11. Love the drapes just as they are. Great job, beautiful color combo! I also love the green wall color, but then again I’m a green wall color person. Love the way the blues and greens play together. Beautiful!!

  12. I’m curious about your decision to place the greek key in the middle instead of the navy. It seems the pattern would pop better with the solid in the middle. Love the overall look and color scheme!

  13. I’ve never used fabric glue. How exactly do you do it? Do you apply the glue to the trim only? Do you spread it or apply in a zig-zag or dots or some other fashion? Do you have to press the trim to the fabric and wait until the glue is set?

    1. This particular one doesn’t take much. I did a thin bead of glue on each edge, and a little zig zag right down the middle. You just press it own for a couple of seconds, and it’s on there. It takes a while to set (probably an hour…maybe less for the quick dry kind), so it’s repositionable if you do it immediately, but it’s also very messy, sticky, and stringy, so you have to be very careful. It’s best to be sure to get it in the right place on the first attempt.

  14. Shade choice? Did I miss reading about your final section? Please (re)comment ~ what product are we seeing mounted in the window under your new panel? Thanks!

  15. Kristi, One thing quilters do to help hold bindings, etc is use elmers school glue and an iron – put the glue under the binding, trim, or hem and then press with your iron. This eliminates pins, clips, etc and holds it so you can stitch. It is fantastic for keeping things perfectly straight – it does wash out. You may already know this but it can help others that don’t know. I was thrilled when I found out (and I’ve been sewing 60 year

    I think I would like the greek keep trim if it had a small edge of the blue on the side with the decorative fabric – maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch

    1. Thanks for that tip! I had never heard of it.
      I had originally planned to have a 1/4″-1/2″ border of the blue between the fabric and the Greek key. I tried different widths, took pictures, texted my mom for her opinion. But none of them looked right to me. I don’t know how to explain it, but they all felt harsh. Or jarring. Those probably aren’t the right words. But when I removed it and just kept the blue to the right side, it had a much softer appearance to it that I preferred.

  16. well for my 2cents … I prefer the green walls. When I look at them I felt warm, cozy, secure. The fireplace wall which to me has a blue tone to it, feels cold, distant and not welcoming. Watching all your changes is exhausting! How do you have all this energy? I truly appreciate watching and seeing what comes next.
    Happy Holidays

  17. love the drapes. you might want to think of a longer stitch for trim if you decide u need to sew it on. usually the longer the seam the longer u can make your stitch length. Have u thought about a lighter shade of the fireplace? just a thought….I love your work.

  18. Drapes are awesome. Agree that green don’t cut it now. My vote would be the darker blue from the fabric.

  19. Beautiful! I love how it just goes with the green wall. On pictures it’s a gorgeous combination both in daylight and night time. 🙂

  20. How exciting! They look lovely…

    Sometimes, it’s almost as much fun to read the comments here as the post… I think we all like so many of the same things, but its clear we do so in different ways. I’m not trained to know if one thing is “better” than the other, but it’s obvious from the comments, that there are many tweaks possible in things we all like.

    Blue on the inside/outside, green/no green, greek key then blue or blue then greek…. you’ve made all the HARD choices, then we get to tweak like armchair quarterbacks, lol.

    I love your new direction…very inspiring! Hope you’re having fun (except for all that stitch ripping…ugh!) 🙂

    1. AND… by “fun” I guess I mean “interesting” …because sometimes I’m a little horrified by what people say. I get that we all have opinions, but wow… Are we rationing tact these days?

      I hope you decorate and sew and create and make without letting this stuff get under your skin.

      Letting the internet make your decorating choices would be the mistake. I suspect you tried the border and key configuration several different ways, then chose what YOU liked…so stay the course and use your seam ripper to poke yourself in the head for thinking you need to redo them just because 10% of your commenters would do it differently.

  21. Thank you so much for sharing not only your wins, but also your trials and tribulations with us. I thought I was the only one who struggled with making decorating decisions, ripping out seams, and re-painting walls when the color wasn’t right. Your sharing gives me inspiration and courage that we should just keep with it until it is right. It is great to see the progress and changes as you do them. 🙂

  22. Beautiful, as usual! Question…when you sew on the border fabric, how do you keep it from looking puckered/wavy along the folded edge? Every time I add either a edge fabric or trim, it looks wavy along the edge and when hanging, that side doesn’t look even. I see the glue trick would definitely work for the trim, but I’m not sure how to attach the two fabrics without the waviness. I use my walking foot and hem weights and still it looks wonky. So frustrating. What’s your secret??

    1. I think it’s a matter of picking out the right fabric. I’ve sewed with so many different types of fabrics, and the ones I like best are thick decorator cottons (the easiest in my opinion) and thick decorator linens. Both of those seems to have enough thickness and body to them that they won’t crawl or pucker when you sew them together. I absolutely love dupionni silk, but after years of trying to make the edges lie flat where the fabrics are seamed together, I now steer clear of it for the most part.

      1. Thanks, maybe that was my problem. I tried adding a pic, unsuccessfully). But, I used lighter weight cotton (quilter cotton) for a nursery (lined and interlined). Maybe I will at least take the trim off (sewn on the seam between the two fabrics) and glue it on.

  23. Perfect. I think the width of the blue is fabulous. I’d leave it as is – it looks awesome on the smaller window so it will look just perfect on the wider panels on the larger window.

  24. Do you plan to keep the acrylic rods? They don’t seem to ‘go’ any longer.
    I agree with the dark blue wide strip opinions. I wonder if you matched a strip to your final wall color between the curtain and the key pattern how that would look? I don’t know if it is because it is next to the green wall (I tried covering the wall while looking at it) or what but when I look at those curtains all I see is green. It isn’t bad, but probably not your intent. Then again, once you get the walls painted and the blinds up things will change. Good luck. You make everything beautiful.

      1. Kristi, I personally have always been a fan of silver tones and haven’t really gotten on board with the newer trend of gold, rose-gold, brass, etc. tones in design, either in clothing or decorating. But I have to say, those acrylic rods and the gold- or brass-toned metal hardware are absolutely *stunning.* They are so sophisticated and look very expensive. They looked great with the black and white drapery panels, and look gorgeous with this new set of floral panels. I’m amazed at how versatile they are. Definitely showpieces!

  25. Hi Kristie,
    Great job on the drapes. I like the blue band size. It will tie in to your kitchen island nicely.

    Also, I want to commend you on plugging away even after some reviews are written without a filter. If you lived closer, I’d send you a plant called the “mother-in-laws tongue”. lol

  26. Wow, so much input, you poor thing. And, it all seems to contradict. Well, mine will be another thorn, sorry. Love the drapes. Like all the drapery edges as they are-navy blue part & greek key. Like the acrylic rods. Agree the green walls are too much. And think the iceberg is just right. But, from my computer, it looks like the fireplace is painted with mud. Now possibly it’s just because of computer screens, I don’t know. But, it doesn’t appear very complimentary from my vantage point.

    1. I’m pretty sure it’s my awful photography. 🙂 In person, it’s just right. I’m either going to have to take a photography class ASAP, or hire a professional to take pictures of my finished rooms, because I can never get the coloring right.

      1. Not sure if this would help, cause I’m not a very good photographer, but you might try setting up a battery of lights[three+], with the color balanced/daylight bulbs, and see if it helps the true colors.

        I like the green wall, myself!

        Drapes, look great!

      2. Different computer screens and other devices show color different too. One of my screens has a blue tint and one has a green tint. So maybe its not your camera.

  27. I like the drapes just as they are, but not the blue wall! The green on the left looks much better with the drapes, but I don’t know how it would look up against the fireplace.

  28. I think the Greek Key would look better if it was more centered (or at least not right at the edge) on the blue trim.

  29. I really liked the original patterned curtains for this room. But these are so much more you! I love the more vibrant colors. I don’t like the match your green walls but I am sure you will find the correct wall color! Off topic is the breakfast room drywall taped and mudded?

    1. Yep, it’s taped, mudded, primed, and painted. Ready and waiting to go as soon as my grasscloth wallpaper arrives. It was backordered until the 7th (tomorrow!!) so I need to call and see if it’s going to be on its way tomorrow. I’ll be terribly disappointed if it’s delayed again.

  30. I think it will all be awesome when you get it right in the end! So many iterations, and yet, all so helpful when you explain them. BTW, do you have a “white balance” on your camera that you can manage? I think the incandescent lighting is throwing the whites off which then throw the other colors off a bit. Whites become pinky, the dark gray becomes muddy or greeny in pictures. Just discovered adjusting that on my camera myself.

  31. I like the green walls with your gorgeous drapes. But with all the blurs, I see why you may need to swtchange up to blues 🙂

  32. The panel you have completed looks beautiful. You do an amazing job on draperies and they always look so professional. When they are all complete your room will be filled with warmth and light.

  33. Hi Kristi! I love how you share with us your thought process and, even though your many armchair critics share their personal opinions, I do not. This is your home and totally respect everything you do..right or wrong. I trust your interior decorating experience will prevail and will end up with an awesome result. We, as decorators, do take detours…I had to take one the other day with a blue being too blue. It’s only paint.
    I just finished sewing both double width and single width fully lined drapes. I have struggled in the past but I have followed your directions with much success. However, to help with the puckering and sides not laying flat, I trimmed all my fabric first with pinking shears then sewed. It did help. And yes, pressing the proper way is so important. I like that tip with the Elmers glue…thank you to the quilter with 60 years experience. I do covet that!

    Good luck and have a great weekend.

  34. You certainly have been given a lot of opinions today! I want to tell you about a product I use when sewing window treatments. Called Jo Dees sealah tape. A double sided tape that does not require heat to set, although you can use an iron on it. I LOVE this product. Been using it for years. I especially like it when attaching the lining and face fabric at side seams. No puckering, no time consuming hand stitching! You should try it out!

  35. Interesting to read all the comments, because to me the greek key accent just blends in with the main curtain fabric. And the blue trim looks like ‘oops I made the curtains too small and ran out of fabric, so have filled the gap with some other blue fabric I had spare’. As ever, they’re beautifully made by you, you’re very talented.

    The fireplace colour is lovely, but too much blue always seems cold to me, so I’m really interested to see where you go with your wall colours.

  36. I don’t care for the shade on blue on your wall at all, and now that you mention your dislike of the

    matchy-matchy green, I agree. I probably would have been happy with it though. It just shows me

    I don’t have the designer’s eye that you do. I would also have used the greek key trim on the

    leading edge. Is there any possibility that you would post a picture of the fabric laid out that way

    with a narrower strip of the dark blue showing? I’m sure it will prove me and others wrong, and

    save me hours of work ripping out stitching on my planned drapes. I love everything you’ve done

    since changing courses.

  37. Whoops,I just loved the green wall! But guess you don’t,hmmmmm
    I’m not a fan of the dark blue wide stripe but love the Greek key…….maybe reverse the two,blue on inside and key on outside………don’t know,but it will end up beautiful,I know!
    Love the drapery fabric!

  38. Beautiful curtains and colours. Here’s into the fray (apologies) – I think the greek key pattern gets lost beside the patterned fabric so losing impact. A plain colour between the two patterns such as your dark colour .would perhaps work visually although I agree the plain edge looks very handsome. Forgive one other comment, but I think the greek key pattern doesnt jell with the other patterned fabric – the greek key appears too formal and would perhaps work better against a plain fabric. Commenting only as an admirer of one of the best blogs around. Season’s greetings from New Zealand.

  39. Glad you’ve decided to narrow the blue trim! Love the draperies, and on my monitor, the green wall looks outstanding and the blue looks too pale – wonder what a tad darker green would look like? You are a WHIZ at this stuff, always waiting to hear about your next attempt at the impossible!!

  40. Kristi, I think I am the only one, but I think the drapes would look best with no key or blue trim–no trim at all.

  41. Do you mind sharing the pattern name for the floral fabric? And where you got it from? Very beautiful. I’m loving your new color scheme. Can’t wait to see more. I also love the way you did the draperies.

  42. The panels look fantastic! Love the fabric and Greek key. Have you considered a 1/16 mix of Gentlemen’s Gray for the walls instead?

  43. Have you thought about switching the blue fabric for the greige color in the fabric and maybe placing the greek key fabric on the edge?

  44. Why oh why are we not watching an HGTV show about you and all your incredible talents and accomplishments????? Seriously, I’ve wondered this for years! You are simply amazing.

  45. With such a small patch visible in the photos to go on, I could be off base, but I think the blue is too clear and needs to be a tad darker and a tad grayer. It would give a much more sophisticated look. I also think you might consider using the same neutral on your wall that you did on your upper cabinets. With your colorful draperies, painted fireplace, and the art that will surely go up on the walls you might actually want a more neutral background. I also really liked the whole room painted white.

    Have you considered painting everything out in the same color–walls (upper and lower) and trim? It is a sophisticated look and one that I am seeing more and more often in design magazines and on some of the best design blogs. With the fireplace and all the openings (windows, doors), it would be unifying rather than choppy.

    My thought on the blue leading edge on the drapes is that it is bossy. With it I would expect to see that dark blue as a major color in the room, probably on the sofa or at least on the easy chairs. You are getting ahead of yourself making decisions like that before you have everything else in place.

  46. I think your drapes are beautiful just the way they are. But if you are going to take them apart and start over, have you thought about making some piping out of your blue material and putting it between the main fabric and the Greek key? Whatever you do will be the right thing!

  47. I loved the ine example photo you showed of a similar floral with darker blue walls. I think that may be the answer. It would make your drapes pop, may disguise the leading edge isdue on the drapes. Just as long as tbe blue is not too dark, so then there is not enough contrast with your lovely fireplace color. Love what you are doing.

  48. Kristi,
    You are so incredibly talented and I love your blog. I am in awe of your abilities. I never leave comments but I couldn’t resist complimenting you. Your drapes are gorgeous and in my opinion perfectly configured. Please don’t change them. I also think the green color of the walls just makes the green Greek key trim pop…the trim is the perfect detail. Please keep sharing your diy tips. They are so inspiring

  49. You did an amazing job! If it was my home, I wouldn’t change a thing. This applies to your panel project as well. Great color combo. I’m loving the wall color as well. Can’t wait to see the end result.

  50. I was wondering what the name and manufacturer of your main fabric for this drapes is? It’s beautiful and I’ve been looking for something like this for quite some time!!!

  51. Do you have a recommendation on hardware (rods, etc)? Some high end companies have some scathing reviews on quality. You seem to never a fan of the rings.

    1. I’m a huge fan of drapery rings (as opposed to curtains that are shirred on the rod), but I don’t like clip rings. Those belong in dorm room and first apartments, not in homes of mature adults. I much prefer actual drapery pins used on pleats and rings with eye hooks to put the drapery pins through rather than clip rings. But as far as the hardware in general, I think it’s a big waste of money to go with high end rods and finials since it’s the actual drapery panels that are what people see. Other than a cursory glance, drapery hardware isn’t something that most people are going to even notice. So I almost always get mine at Bed, Bath & Beyond or Lowe’s. I prefer the wood rods, brackets and finials because the rods are more substantial and I just prefer wood over metal. But Lowe’s does have some pretty metal rods. They’re still going to be expensive. I generally end up spending $300+ on an average room just for drapery hardware, but it beats the heck out of the $800+ you’ll spend on those same windows for higher end stuff that no one will notice.

  52. Love your color selection on your drapery panel. However the dark blue seems to get lost due to its darkness. Have you tried switching them around by placing the greek trim band on the outside edge and having the dark blue against the main panel? I think it might make both those accent colors pop more. Since you’ve glued the greek trim band, you’d simply have to remove the dark blue band from the main panel, and flip it top to bottom (do a 180) so that the greek trim is on the outside.

    I don’t know that the dark blue will view any better that way.

    Just a thought.