You may remember photos of my empty living room from past posts. I posted about my carpet and new furniture, but my living room was very bright because I hadn't yet put up the drapes. I loved the brightness in the daytime, but there was no privacy at night, so I began my hunt for drapes that would coordinate with my carpet and furniture.
Tip # 1: Carry your couch pillow with you in a bag to get the perfect color that you are looking for.
That is what I did! And, guess what? Nothing that I could afford gave me the look that I wanted. I was trying to avoid making my own drapes because of the time it would take me. But, when I had no luck, I went to the fabric store. The store was having a 50% off sale on their decorator fabrics, and I found the perfect color! But, I figured I needed about 11 yards or so of fabric and even at $10 per yard, that was going to be over $110! So, I decided, to try to cut costs even more, I would go to SAS, our discount fabric warehouse and see if I could get lucky finding the same color that I had fallen in love with at the regular fabric store. Jackpot! I found the same color drapery fabric in the clearance section of the SAS for $3.99 per yard! Plus, one spool of the perfect match of thread. After tax, the cost of my drapes came to just under $50!
Tip #2: Measure, measure, measure! Measure your windows before you shop and figure out how much fabric you will need, and add a little just to be safe. I ended up getting 11 3/4 yards of fabric because I had to use two different bolts because one didn't have enough on it. So, I didn't want a seam suddenly in the middle of my drapery panel, so I had to buy enough for 3 panels and then buy enough for the fourth panel from a different bolt. Now that I am finished, I wish I had figured the panel length a little longer because in retrospect I would have made a deeper hem.
Tip #3: Make french seams! No raveling allowed and you want the back of the panels to look as good as the front! I have taught french seams before on my pillowcase post, but I will go over it again.
Tip #4: Finish the edges of your panels very neatly, because they will show and be noticeable and no one wants to see puckering! I used my sewing machine's hem stitch to make a nice edge finish that looks great, if I do say so myself.
Tip #5: Decide how you want to hang your curtain in advance so that you will have measured for the correct amount of fabric and you will know what to measure for. I decided to have a casing with a 2"piece above it that would shirr onto the rod.
Remember that through all of these steps, your iron is your friend! Press down your seams, press down your hem lines. This will help you end up with a beautiful finished look.
Tip #6: Hang your drapes up to hem them to the right length. I feel bad that I forgot to take pictures of my husband putting up my drapery rod. He didn't even complain when I made him take out one end and put it up 3/16 of an inch higher because it didn't look even. Our house is old and not everything is square anymore. That is one reason why I felt I needed to hang the drapes to hem them. If I had only measured, they would have surely looked crooked.
Once I finished the pinning, I took the drapes back down and sewed in a nice finished hem. Then, I pressed the drapes and we hung them up! I am so pleased with the results and with the cost! Next, I am going to make tie-backs, but that will be a topic for another post!
Sewing your own drapes really isn't very difficult. It is all straight stitching. I think that the most difficult part is just the length and volume of fabric. It took me 3 days (a few hours per day) to finish these. I did one side each day for 2 days and then the hem on the third day. It was time well spent for me! Now I have money left over to spend on other parts of my house. Let me know if you think you will give this a try!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!