April 23, 2014

How To | Simple Pinch Pleat Curtains

Thank you for all of the sweet comments about these curtains!  I know I promised the post a few weeks ago... I have been just pure lazy about it!  Kind of like how lazy I was about making these curtains... ha!  Originally I was inspired by Linda's tutorial by taking regular Ikea curtains and turning them into amazing custom pinch pleat drapes.  It was very helpful, but after one I decided to simplify the sewing part... see- lazy!

Supplies Needed: 
Ikea {or any ready made} Panels
Sewing machine
straight pins
4" Buckram
Drapery hooks
{both found in the drapery tool isle in Joann's}

I used the Rivita panels from Ikea.  I love these because they have a great texture are easily painted, and as you can see I decided to use a trellis stencil for these.  Once they were stenciled I started at the bottom.  I measured out the buckram the length of the panel.  Since most pre-made panels are not completely even, I laid out the buckram, pinned it, and then trim the bottom as needed.  Next sew the buckram to the panel online the bottom length.
Fold the 4" over, iron, pin and sew both the top and bottom of the buckram.  Next it is time to measure out the pleats.  I started by measuring the panel width and then divided that by the number of pleats I wanted.  I had 7 rings per panel and using Linda's guide to 4" for each pleat gave me a spacing of 4" between the pleats and 2" on each side.  You can see my pins starting 2" in, 3 pins every 2" and then a 4" gap.
Those pins become the folds of the pleats.  Once you have folded your pleats and removed your pins it is time to sew the pleats together.  I placed the foot of my sewing machine as close to the folded fabric as possible.  Sew the length of the buckram.  Once the 3 pleats have been sewn together, sew the base of the pleat following the same stitch of the buckram.  I found it easier to use my back stitch switch... I have an $100 sewing machine with not a lot of horsepower, so the triple thickness of fabrics was a little hard to get through.  I should upgrade, but it works for me now!

Even if you don't get all three pleats in the first stitch, the stitch at the bottom will secure it completely.
Next it is time to insert the drapery hook.  The placement will be determined by the ring you have and the size of the rod... mine was 2 1/4" at the base of the hook.

I love the look of pinch pleat drapes!  Typically when I do custom pinch pleat I have my workroom do them, and they are lined and heavy.  But since I didn't want to bother with lining I inserted some drapery weights at the corners of the hems.  They are hanging perfectly!