If you can sew a straight line, you can sew drapes. Here's the end result and a quick walk thru of how I made them:
Don't you love the Kansas sunset in the background?
Just so you know ... I am not a professional seamstress or tailor. I'm not claiming that these drapes are fabulously perfect. They are quick, cheap, easy, and did I say quick? Please email me or post a comment if anything is confusing or needs a more detailed explanation.
Buying Drapery Fabric and Lining
When choosing drapery fabric and lining, it is ideal for them to be the same width. Most drapery or home decorator fabric is 54” wide. You should be able to find drapery lining that is the same width or at least close. If you choose to use quilting fabric for your drapes (which is usually 44 or 45” wide), make sure your lining is a similar width. If you go with quilting fabric for your drapes, broadcloth is an inexpensive alternative for a lining.
Also, when choosing drapery fabric, make sure you buy more than you think you will need. There is nothing worse than finishing a drapery panel, only to find out they are too short. My windows measured (from drapery rod to floor) 104” long--which would be about 2.9 yards of fabric. I bought 3.5 yards of fabric, just to be on the safe side. I knew I wanted to hang my curtain rod high and would need the extra yardage. I would buy an additional 10 - 12” more than your drapery rod to floor measurement. And if you plan on making these drapes with a rod pocket, you will need to allow for another 3 - 4". Also, if you do not have the rod mounted yet, keep in mind that there might be several inches between the rod and the window frame.
I used 54" wide drapery fabric and Roc-Lon insulated lining. I bought the lining at Hancock's for $3.99/yard.
Be sure to wash your fabric if it is recommended by the manufacturer. Both fabrics I used were dry clean only, so I just pressed them before sewing.
Cutting Your Fabric
When fabric is cut in the store or online, it's not always completely straight. Make sure the cut edge of your drapery fabric and lining is straight.
The cut at the bottom of the drapes does not have to be perfect. You can even it up later when you hem the drapes.
Attaching the Lining
Lay your drapery fabric wrong side up on an ironing board. Place the lining fabric right side up (wrong side drapery fabric to wrong side of lining fabric).
Then line up the side seams.
Fold your drapery fabric over your lining 1/2" and press. You will be folding the right side of the drapery fabric over the right side of the drapery lining fabric.
Then fold over again 1" of fabric, press and pin.
Continue to do this down the length of your panel.
Once you have pinned one side of the panel, sew the length of the panel in place.
Now repeat on the other side of the panel. This is where it helps to have your drapery fabric and lining fabric the same width. Ideally, it should line up perfectly and you should be able to straighten out any wrinkles in the center fairly easily.
If you are having trouble with your lining wrinkling up, you might have to lay the drapes out on the floor so they are completely straight. You can iron, fold, and pin them on the floor straightened out if you have the space. Just make sure you have a hard surface that will not melt or burn under the part you are ironing.
Securing the Top of the Drapes
You should now have both sides of the drapery panels sewn to the lining. Now we're going to press and sew the top of the panel.
Rod Pocket Top - If you want to make a rod pocket panel, take the top of your drapery panel and fold it over 1/2" and iron. Then fold it over the width of your curtain rod plus one to two inches, press and pin. Then sew across to secure in place.
Drapery Rings - If you plan on using drapery rings, take the top of your drapery panel and fold it over 1/2" and press. Then fold it over another 2", press and pin. Then sew across to secure in place.
Hem the Drapes
To properly hem your drapes, you will need to hang them on your curtain rod. Do not automatically make two panels the same length unless both sides of your curtain rod are the same size. If you bought a long curtain rod that folds up into itself, chances are that both sides are not the same size--and this will impact the length of your drapes.
Once you have your drapes on the rod, decide what length is appropriate and pin them in place. This is where buying a patterned fabric is helpful. The chevron print was great because I could see exactly where I needed to pin them.
As far as I know, there's no hard and fast rule on how long drapes should be. I like mine to hang a little long.
Once you have both panels pinned all the way across, take them down and return to your iron. Fold the fabric up 1/2" and press, then fold the hem to your desired length, press, and pin. I had plenty of fabric to play with, so my hem line is 5" from the bottom of the drapes.
Then hang them up again and that's it!