5 Quick and Easy Tips for Making Drapes

Whether you’re looking to brighten up a room or block out the morning sun, making your own drapes is an ideal sewing project. Purchasing window treatments can be pricy but making your own allows you to choose a fabric, length and design to better fit your windows and décor.  Use these five quick tips to tackle your drape-making project!

Tip 1: Consider Your Skill Level When Choosing a Fabric and Style

Upholstery fabrics aren’t the cheap way out of buying drapes. Drapes are an excellent project to take on, but you should always consider your skill level when choosing a style and fabric.

Concerning fabric, you’ll want to decide first if you want the drapes for design or function. For drama, you might find a heavier upholstery fabric or velvet. Airy fabrics may be linen, cotton or voile. Acrylic is thicker like wool and nylon is usually in a blend but can offer an easy to clean and easy to work-with option. Typically, nylon blends are less expensive and can have some remarkable designs.

Finally, we come to style. If you’re a beginner, stick with a simple grommet curtain. Not only are the patterns simple, but they’re classic for interior décor. If you’re feeling more adventurous and confident, take on any of the pleated, or pinched styles.

Tip 2: Panel Folds Require Understanding of the Basics of Sewing

There are a few habits many old hands at sewing know and swear by, but that doesn't stop every beginner from avoiding these steps whenever possible. The key to a quality panel fold is a good press from an iron and a double fold. This means spending a bit of time with your iron.

Tip 3: Grommets Aren’t That Complicated

Grommets are just very large eyelets, and they're pretty simple to use. Metal grommets require a double-folded panel, grommet tape and of course the grommets. To start, lay your grommet tape over the 4-inch double-folded panel and pin it down. Cut an “X” into each hole in the grommet tape, finally, add your metal grommets!

Tip 4: Prepare Your Machine for Upholstery or Home Materials Fabrics

An upholstery sewing machine is your best bet for making drapes, but many standard sewing machines can accomplish the task as well. Upholstery sewing machines typically are faster, have easier settings and carry a more consistent tension. But, if you’re using a standard machine, you’ll want to change your needle, check and adjust your tension and read through your manual for additional concerns when working with upholstery fabric.

Tip 5: Make Sure You Have Enough!

Curtains require a ton of fabric. Before you start cutting or pinning, get 1 yard more than what you think you need. Because there is no one-size-fits-all pattern for drapes, you’ll want to carefully measure your window, adding five inches to the length for the double-folded panel and then an additional two inches to the width as well.

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