Making your own drapery can save you a lot of money, and it doesn't require extremely advanced sewing skills. After all, drapes and curtains are essentially rectangles with a sleeve at the top for the curtain rod. There are, however, novice mistakes that you should avoid. Here are five common mistakes that many people make the first time they sew their own drapery.
Not Selecting a Heavy Enough Fabric
Most fabric stores carry home decor fabric, which is specifically made for home projects like making drapery. These fabrics are often fairly heavy, and they may cost more than other fabrics because they're heavier and have more threads. In order to save money, some first-time curtain and drape makers opt for less expensive, lighter weight fabrics. You should, however, pay the additional price for the heavier home decor fabrics.
Heavier fabrics, like home decor fabrics, have several advantages when making curtains. Compared to lighter fabrics, heavy ones will do the following:
- fall straighter and hang better
- provide more insulation
- block out more light
Not Lining Drapery
Drapes and curtains should be lined. You don't need as heavy a fabric for the lining as you do for the main piece, and it doesn't need to be as fancy. A plain white fabric will suffice. Once it's sewn into the main piece, the main piece will keep the lining in place and block it from view within the room.
There are several reasons to add a lining to your drapes and curtains. A lining will
- provide a little additional insulation, albeit a lesser amount than the heavier fabric
- keep your home cool on hot summer days by reflecting sunlight
- make all your drapes and curtains appear the same from the outside, giving your home a uniform appearance from the curb
- protect the more expensive home decor fabrics you use from fading caused by sunlight
Making the Drapes and Curtains Wide Enough
When calculating how wide drapes and curtains should be, don't just make them the width of the window they'll be covering. While drapery that's as wide as a window is able to fully cover the window, it won't look very good. It'll just be a flat piece of fabric. To add fullness to your drapes and curtains, make them wider than the window. According to this list, you can multiply the width of a window by
- 2 to achieve a standard fullness
- 2.5 to achieve a deluxe fullness
- 3 to achieve an ultra fullness
Machine Hemming Drapery
While machine hemming might be much faster than hand hemming, especially when you're making multiple sets of drapes and curtains, it doesn't produce as nice a result. Drapery looks best if it's hand hemmed. Hand hemming doesn't cause puckering, which machine hemming can cause, and hand hemming produces less visible stitching than machine hemming.
Not Aligning Patterns on Multiple Windows
If you're using patterned fabric in a room that has multiple windows, make sure that the pattern on all of the room's drapes and curtains lines up. Most people will make sure two drapes or curtains that cover a single window line up properly, but many novice drapery makers forget to line up patterns of drapes and curtains on other windows. The drapery on each window in a room should align perfectly with the other drapery that can be seen from the room.
Even if it's your first time making drapes and curtains, you should be able to create drapery that looks great and costs a fraction of what commercially produced drapery costs. Just keep these common errors in mind so that you don't make a mistake that will detract from your drapery. Talk to a style consultant who specializes in drapery for more about this topic.