Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Window Dressing

Literally, window dressing......

I was perfectly happy with no window treatments other than my fabric shades until I was just browsing for fabric in general and came across this Waverly fabric for $3 a yard. Needless to say, it couldn't stay there! It's a beautiful cotton, that has a sheen and slubs that make it look like silk. And the background sage/grey color was a perfect match for my bedroom. They only had 5+ yards, so I bought it all.

So, what to make? There were two things that I have been wanting to learn so this was a great opportunity. First up, I wanted to learn how to make a simple rod pocket lined drape with a header. And, second, I wanted to experiment with a banner treatment, done by covering a valance board and then attaching fabric with a staple gun and decorating.

I couldn't find everything I was looking for by way of instruction for the lined drape in one place so I compiled it from several. I'll caution that this is far from the only way to do it, and that my method has some short cuts in terms of machine vs hand sewing that would be a no-no to many. But, it made the job easier and in this particular case, didn't affect the final product.

First, I put up my rod, in this case a small metal circular rod with finials at either end. Measuring from the bottom of the rod to where I wanted the drape to end, I then added 6 inches for a 3 inch hem to be turned up twice. When measuring, consider that the tie backs will pull the fabric up so be generous. Additionally, I wanted a header over the rod pocket so I added another 10 1/2 inches and then cut my drapery fabric. My lining fabric was cut 4 inches narrower and 3 inches shorter than my drapery fabric. I turned up a 2 inch hem once and then again on the lining fabric and machine stitched. I then turned up a 3 inch hem twice on my drapery fabric and pinned. This would be hand stitched at the end. You can miter the corners on this -- it will be an uneven miter. I chose not to do that. I bound the small piece of fabric at the side edge with fabric.

I then put my drapery fabric down, right side up and my lining on top of it, right side down, lining up the top of the the lining hem with the top of the drape hem and matching the center of each. Pin the sides. Since the lining is 3 inches narrower, you will need to lift the drape fabric slightly to pin. Stitch at 1/2 inch and then turn right side out. Because of the narrow cut, the drapery fabric will pull to the inside in a nice edge on each side. Don't press, but just finger press to make the turn-in even on each side. Measure from the bottom of the drape and draw a pencil line on the lining where you want the rod to fall. Then, treating the lining and drapery fabric as one, fold over 1/2 inch for a clean edge and then fold over to meet the pencil line you just drew. Stitch very close to that line and then stitch again above it to accommodate the size rod you have chosen. Be generous when you do this so it will fall nicely and not be too tight.

Hand stitch your hem, hang and there you have it. You can make tie backs or use something else. I used a braiding that had all of the colors of the drapery fabric in it. An easy afternoon's work.

I only had 2 yards left for the window in the bath, but I had some beautiful silk that matched and I've been wanting to try a treatment affixed to a valance board. I wish I had taken pictures along the way, but it was quite simple. First, I had a 1 x 4 board cut to the width of window. I needed the 4" clearance but 3" may be fine in many cases. I then covered the board with my lining fabric as if I were wrapping a present, stapling it as I went along. For my banners I cut 1 triangle from my print fabric and 2 from my silk fabric, all cut on the fold. I then cut 3 more out of my lining fabric. Sew each of these right sides together, turn, and finger press. Machine baste lining and fabric together at the top edge. Position the triangles up on your valance board until they look good and staple gun neatly so nothing shows. Install with L brackets either into your wall or window.

Decorate with whatever you want. The fabric on these was so lush that I kept it simple -- covered buttons and tassles. If you were using cording or some other treatment, you would want to think ahead. Some may need to be incorporated prior to sewing the lining and fabric together. Instant gratification!

Since this was my first time, there were bound to be some errors. Next time, I will remember to keep in mind what is underneath my treatment. In this case, I should have made them a bit longer -- if you look to the right, you will see that part of the header on my shade is showing. Live and Learn!


  1. Still, that is very pretty. If there is anything I dislike to sew, it is window treatments! I have a window in my sewing room in bad need of a curtain. And it waits. And waits.

  2. Those curtains look lovely. I especially like the ones with the "jewelled" weights on them, beautiful effect.