On Friday, I gave y’all a peek at my new DIY Greek key trim curtains in my living room (or curtain, rather, since I still only have one completely finished 😀 ), but I wanted to share more details about how I made them, including a video of how to create the Greek key design using twill tape or ribbon.
I’ve done several tutorials on various types of curtains and draperies — both lined and unlined. You can click here to see all of my window treatment tutorials.
My best tutorial for lined, pleated draperies is the one I did for the original living room draperies I made back in 2014. You can click the links just below to find that detailed, step-by-step tutorial. The tutorial is for double-width (i.e., two widths of fabric) drapery panels, but if you want single width panels, simply start with the “hem the fabric” step in Part 1.
- Part 1 – How to make double-width, lined, pinch-pleated draperies
- Part 2 – How to make double-width, lined, pinch-pleated draperies
I’m giving you those links because I’m not going to repeat the basic steps for making a lined drapery panel in this post. But I think it’s helpful to be familiar with the basic steps so that you can understand how the basic process changes when you want to attach a trim around the edge of the panel.
So for these Greek key drapery panels, the first thing I did is sew the two widths of fabric together (this one is actually 1.5 widths of fabric), and then I folded in the bottom hem, pinned it into place, and set the creases with my steam iron. But I did not actually sew the hem yet.
Then on the leading edge of the drapery panel (that’s the inside edge, i.e., the edge that would meet the other drapery panel in the center of the window if you pull your draperies closed), I folded the fabric three inches, pinned, and ironed the crease in place.
And then I measured from the bottom hem to the top of the panel, marked my finished length (my finished length is 89 inches on these draperies), and folded, pinned, and ironed the crease in place.
With those three sides folded, pinned and ironed in place, I turned the panel so that it was right side up. Then I prepared my twill tape by attaching the Heat ‘N Bond Ultrahold iron-on adhesive to the back of the twill tape. The twill tape I used is 3/4″ wide (I bought it here — this is the best price I found for large quantities), and the Heat ‘N Bond adhesive tape is 5/8″ wide (click here to find it on Amazon).
After attaching the Heat ‘N Bond to the twill tape, I removed the paper backing and then attached it to the drapery panel according to the directions on the package. I placed it two inches from the edge of the drapery panel on the bottom, leading edge, and top.
Then I placed painters tape just inside the first border of twill tape to give me an even spacer between the two stripes of twill tape.
And then I added the inner twill tape along the edge of the painters tape, creating a Greek key design in the top and bottom corners of the leading edge of the drapery panel.
I made the following video to show you the full step-by-step process of creating that Greek key design with twill tape or ribbon.
On the outside edge of the drapery panel (i.e., the edge opposite the leading edge), I attached the twill tape all the way to the raw edge of the fabric and trimmed away any excess. This ensures that the raw ends of the twill tape will be securely tucked inside the folded fabric on the edge and there wont’ be any raw twill tape edges exposed on the finished drapery panel.
And with the twill tape design completely ironed on, I then used my sewing machine to topstitch the twill tape all the way around the panel. This was the most time-consuming part of the process. I sewed both edges of the tape as close to the edge as possible, and it gave it a very nice finished look.
With the twill tape design completely finished, I then went back and sewed the drapery panel as usual, which is described in full in the other drapery tutorial links I gave at the beginning of this post. I started by sewing in the bottom hem. Then I attached the lining and sewed in the side hems. And then I added the buckram header tape to the top and finished the header with pleats. Again, all of those details are here and here.
So I anticipate that the main question will be, “Why all of the folding and pinning and ironing before attaching the twill tape? Can’t you just measure the flat fabric and allow for those hems?”
The answer is yes. You can certainly do it that way. The reason I go ahead and fold and iron in the hems on the bottom, leading edge, and top header before attaching the trim is because I find it more accurate to measure from the folded edge rather than a raw edge that hasn’t been folded. I also find that it’s harder to make mistakes or accidentally overlook a measurement (like getting in a hurry and accidentally allowing only four inches for a bottom hem rather than a double four-inch fold). If all of the folds are in place and ironed in, then you can be pretty sure that the placement of the twill tape is just right.
I’m pretty sure that these are the most time-consuming drapery panels I’ve ever made. That border certainly isn’t a quick and easy detail (not that it’s difficult, but it’s certainly not quick, especially with all of that topstitching), so I’m still not finished with my living room draperies. But I think it will be worth the effort when they’re all finished.
I love that the Greek key design is simple, and yet it adds a professional and custom look to the panels.