Drapes are one of those things that it just make sense to make yourself. Essentially all they are is just fabric. Yet they cost much more than the fabric alone would cost. It may sound intimidating to sew your own, but it’s actually quite easy. Follow these 7 steps to make your own custom drapery.
Step 1: Determine What Your Needs Are
Are your drapes intended to provide privacy, or are they more decorative? Do you need them to help retain heat in the winter? Will they serve to darken the entertainment room for watching movies? Ask yourself these questions to get a realistic idea of what type of fabric you should buy.
Step 2: Write Down Your Window Dimensions
Don’t trust your memory on this one. There is nothing worse than not buying enough fabric to cover your windows. The unwritten rule for measuring windows for curtains is to measure 1.5 to 3 times the width of your windows. Be generous if you want to provide more folds for your drapes. For length, plan on the drapes to fall just below the window trim, but don’t forget to leave at least enough fabric to make a 3 to 5 inch seam.
Step 3: Purchase Your Fabric
This is the fun part. You’ll literally spend hours sorting through all the cute patterns that you’ll find at the fabric store. Just be careful. It’s easy to lose track of your original goals, and purchase a fabric just because it is so appealing to you. Reference your questions from Step 1 often, to keep your focus straight.
Step 4: Gather The Tools Of The Trade
If you don’t own all of these, chances are you know someone you can borrow them from. To make your own drapes you’ll need: sewing machine, fabric, thread, pins, measuring tape, pencil, large table to work on, iron, ironing board, and a washer and dryer.
Step 5: Prepare Your Fabric
If you’ve purchased a 100% cotton or cotton blend fabric, you’ll need to pre-shrink it. You can do this by washing and drying your fabric before you get started. This will prevent it from shrinking or puckering if you wash it again later. Iron to remove wrinkles. It is helpful to prevent unraveling if you run a quick stitch along the cut ends before washing.
Step 6: Cut And Sew Your Fabric
Spread your fabric over your work table, and using your measurements, carefully cut the fabric to size. Use a fabric marker to mark the location of the seams to aid in making a straight seam.
Step 7: Sew Your Hems
Fold and iron the side seams. Using minimal pressure on the pressure foot, sew along the lines that you drew earlier. Use care not to push or pull the fabric through, or you could end up with bunching. Fold the top hem 1/2″, iron, and pin. Fold again at 1 1/2″, iron, pin and sew. Use the same process for the bottom hem, but change the folds to 1/2″ followed by 3″.
That’s all there is to it. Making custom drapery couldn’t be easier. Follow these 7 easy steps to make custom drapes for your living space that reflects your personal tastes, and saves money too!