New Draperies for the Studio

New Draperies for the Studio

For the draperies in my new studio I chose this bright print with a touch of blue to match the walls. (P.Kaufmann, Pattern: Summer Breeze, Color: Grenadine)  My favorite color is red and I love the hand-blocked look of the design so I was naturally drawn to this fabric. It makes me smile every time I walk in the room.


Like with most drapery projects, I start with them hem.  When making draperies you have two choices: bottom-up or top-down.  Bottom-up means you start with the hem, at the bottom of the drapery.  Top-Down means you start with the heading, at the top of the drapery.  I usually make draperies bottom-up but there are times when top-down works best, like with pleated sheers.

Even though I started working at the bottom on this project, I had to pre-plan the top first because there are two windows that will have the same style and installed the same distance from the ceiling but will be sill length and not floor length.  In order for the draperies to all match at the top, I needed to mark and measure the top first, before adding the hems at the bottom.

The hems are sewn by hand using a John James hand sewing needle and Coats and Clark hand quilting thread.  It is a simple stitch with a small stitch to the front and a longer stitch running into the fold of the hem on the back.


This room is very sunny and bright!  It is a wonderful space to work but when filming videos outside light can be a problem so I chose to line these panels with blackout lining.  The sides are also sewn by hand to help eliminate the pin holes of light that can be a problem when blackout lining is machine sewn.


Because the pattern was so busy I decided to keep the heading simple and use inverted pleats.  This also required less fullness so I could use one width on each side of the window to save on the cost.  For this style of pleat I used a low-bulk heading (instead of a double 4″ fold) with buckram, and stitched the pleats on the reverse using 4″ pleats and 5″ spaces.  After the pleat is sewn-in, it is flattened on the back and stitched from the front aka “stitch-in-the-ditch”, to hold the pleat flat for a neat finish.  The drapery pins are inserted into the stitching on the back for installation.



The finished draperies are installed on white painted pole rods.  The drapery pin is inserted into the eyelet on the ring with the outer return edges fastened to the wall with a tenter hook.





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  1. Vivian Dibrell at Jan 29, 2015 12:54:49

    susan, I have never tried this style of pleat and after seeing the discussion on WoMen of the workroom, you were so generous to provide this link! Love the fabric for your workroom! I just want to thank you for sharing your knowledge. It’s wonderful that the people in our industry are so generous that way.

  2. janarose at Jul 16, 2015 03:23:56

    Hi these are beautiful I lovevyour detailed info I didi want to ask why choose a smaller pleat than space I thought the pleat size was supposed to be bigger than the space size help me to understand

  3. Susan Woodcock at Jul 16, 2015 04:41:53

    Hello Jana,

    That is a great question! You are correct that most often the pleat sizes are larger than the spaces. On this drapery, it is the opposite. Here is the reason why…
    When the fullness goes to the reverse AND you want the drapery to open and close, less fullness to the back makes this easier to achieve. For example, if the spaces were 4″ and the pleats were 6″ then it would get pretty crowded on the back, and not stack back as tightly. For stationary draperies made with inverted pleats I will often have very generous fullness in the reverse pleat, so that the drapery looks very full and since it isn’t operable, then it doesn’t matter that there is extra fabric to the back. For example; a 6″ pleat and a 4″ space would be typical on a stationary panel. I hope this helps to answer your question!
    Best Wishes,
    Susan AKA HomeDecGal

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