July 12, 2010

It’s About Time!!

DSC02624It’s taken far longer then I care to admit, but I’ve finally finished our !$%! dining room drapes! I wish I could say that the delay was simply a case of life getting in the way of projects, but I’d be fibbing.DSC02622

For months I thought about HOW I’d make them; the fabric, all my notions and supplies sat tucked away on a shelf where they gathered dust. I talked and planned but didn’t take DSCF0250scissors and thread to anything.

Finally I got down to work!!

I’ve made drapes before, but never pleated drapery. My procrastination didn’t come from a concern that I couldn’t do the job; I’m a skilled seamstress and was confident in my abilities. BUT, I’ve always been really good at visualizing any project I undertake from start to finish…and I KNEW, even before I started, that I’d have challenges.

Perhaps my largest challenge – one that haunted me DSC02628each step of the way – was the fact that I had to do so much on the floor. I mean… if I had a room that was large enough to spread my fabric out maybe it DSC02629wouldn’t have been so difficult. But my living room is pretty small, meaning I had to work with sections at a time. That made it so very hard to ensure that the lining AND the drapery fabric lined up.


But I kept at it… one part of the project at a time.

Brian created a make-shift sewing table for me so that I could watch TV and sew at the same time… I liked that! I also set up the ironing board so that I could sit down in the living room and do all the necessary pressing for the hems and pleats. It was perfect! And so much better then a sore back from standing!!


Next came the pleats!

DSCF0427I had purchased a special tape with pull-strings that, when sewn into the header of the drape and the strings pulled, was supposed to easily create triple pleats.


So with a little problem-solving, I devised a way to make double-pleats on my own… well… with some math help from Brian (how far apart the pleats should be) ;-)

What did I do? I measured out each pleat to 3” (note: this is not the spacing between pleats – that depends on the width of your drapes and, as I mentioned, that’s what Brian helped me with). Pulling the 0” & 3” marks together, I sewed from the top of the header to the header’s visible stitching, making a cone (see below).


Next I pressed the cone flat – equally distributing the fabric on either side of the stitching.


From here I could easily pinch the two sides together to make my pleat!!


With needle and thread, I sewed the pleat together along the visible stitching of the panel’s header… right where you see my fingers above.

Pleats done!!


As you can imagine, I was very very happy with the way they turned out!!

I’d overcome the challenge of working on the floor… and I’d overcome the challenge of making drapery pleats. Life was good!!   

And here’s how they look hung in our dining room…


Look at that fantastic paint-cut line… no tape used, just a steady hand. I’m good. Wanna hire me? ;-) HaHaHa!!! Hey! You’re supposed to be looking at my drapery!!


I love Shasta Daisies! Before I picked them this morning though, I should have remembered that they don’t SMELL very good! HaHa! Now that my reveal photos are done and posted my lovely daisies are beautifying my front deck!!




So how long did it take me to make our lovely new drapes? Six months!!! But here’s another truth… the fabric sat on a shelf in my dining room for a whole year before I even got started!! HaHa! I’m bad ;-)

gitterdone-1 I’m sharing this project with Donna and her readers over at Funky Junk Interiors… I can’t believe it, but I conquered the “Gitter Done” challenge!! One project down, a gazillion to go ;-)


P.S. Somewhere in this post is a sneak peak at a FAB project that I plan to share next week… can you see it?!


Nouveau Stitch said...

You did it! Aren't you so happy this project is behind you? They turned out wonderfully and finish off the room just right. Kudos to on to the next project!


Kat said...

I knew it! They are gorgeous Victoria, and well worth the wait. You did a beautiful job on these. The perfect finishing touch to one of my favorite rooms. And I love those daisies :) Kat

Christy said...

Gorgeous - great job Victoria! Do you know the color of your paint? I just love that too!

Razmataz said...

You did a fantastic job. I hate to sew partly because I don't have the space to spread the fabric out. They look fabulous in your dining room. A very professional looking job.

Carolyn said...

Great job and they look perfect hanging in your dining room!


Unknown said...

Well done you! And pleats too! Very impressive!

Michelle said...

Another talent we didn't know about Victoria! Love the print...modern and playfull, and the tones are great for that room :)


~CC Catherine said...

Victoria, what patience you have...and I totally hear ya on how long the fabric layed at your place! I think "some of us", "moi" in particular, can relate quite well! From one seamstress to another, do you notice the word spells "seam" and "stress"., I never knew that till now when I typed it. Well, there you have it! You're just living up to your name! haha! But you took the stress, shared it with your husband...and he gave you the solution you needed to end up with a totally FABULOUS end result! The design, color, and appearance of the drapes hanging in the dining room are chic! Love them! I've missed visiting your blog., sorry, it's been a long time due to having grandbabies and my job has been crazy this past year. Hugs~ ~CC Catherine

Unknown said...

Nicely done! They look great. :)

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Victoria I'm so impressed but expected nothing less from you. I love the fabric & your job is perfect. Dining room looks fabulous! What a great guy your Brian by the way! Enjoy your week ~ Hi to Kelly x

Steph@TheGraniteGurus said...

I love them, they look awesome with your wall color.
Have you seen the tv show Sarah's House on HGTV? I hadn't until this weekend and the episode I watched she used those drapes in a nursery. I wouldn't associate those drapes with a nursery but it really turned out great!
Also, I am the QUEEN of forever-long projects. I am sitting on a year old torn out bath right now. It drives me crazy. I blame it on my husband but realistically I need to take a little blame. :)

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Geeze,Victoria! You're lucky you still liked the fabric! : ) They turned out great! I love them with your wall color {I have a similar color, btw, in my dining room}. However, all the cons you've listed here are the reasons why I usually have done rod pocket or clip rings on the ones I make!

Shannon @ What's Up Whimsy said...

It was definitely worth the wait! They look so great with the walls! And thanks for showing your how-to steps!

Unknown said...

Victoria - it looks really wonderful. I love the colours and the pattern of the curtains. Your little diningroom looks elegant and cozy at the same time. What a lovely place for family diner!!!

Linda @ theLENNOXX said...

It came out gorgeous. Then again, I wouldn't expect anything less =) I am still super in love with the detailing on your ceiling, just like on the windows. It's crazy hoe much a great pair of curtain can really pull the whole room to perfection!

Layers and Layers said...

am so impressed. They look great! Love the Hermes orange!

idesign said...

great fabric! i love the pattern, beautiful job :)


Barbara Matson said...

I thought I was bad at procrastinating! The drapes looks amazing! Doesn't it feel great creating something that saves you $$ because you can do it yourself?
I made some pinch pleat drapes but didn't use the pull-string-tape and then had to figure out every darn pleat by using good ol'high school math! After I finished I realized one drape panel is longer and need to re-hem by un-stitching all the pleats (they are embroidered fabric panels - that have pattern repeats that can't be fixed by hemming the bottom)

That was 15 months ago and they are still hanging, one longer than the other - -gee I am bad! Your post just reminded me that I need to get on that ASAP!

StylishHeather said...

Wow - I love them! They would look awesome in my living room :)

Unknown said...


Hey great job and check that off your list with a happy face! I agree constructing draperies is really a mental resistance game that your skills play on your will.

I had the same situation with fabric layout on the floor and I completed the task for 26 window treatments in my home. There is nothing better than victory Victoria! Good for you.


dining tables said...

I thought that kind of curtain holder can only use in our bathroom. It looks good. I like the curtain that you use. It fits the color of your wall.

One of my Hobby Blogs said...

well it may have taken a long time in the planning and making, but they look fabulous - I really love that fabric, actually, the whole room is gorgeous!

Unknown said...

I am jealous- I have been contemplating making pleated draperies myself. I am inspired. I guess I need to get myself some fabric. Love the fabric you choose.

Funky Junk Interiors said...

Wow... this is one professional job! They are gorgeous! If I took a project like this on, it would take so long the material would be outdated before I got on with it. I guess it helps to enjoy sewing, eh?

Beautifully done and congrats on getting it done already!


The Pennington Point said...

Good job....they look like you had them made. I love the fabric. :) Lisa~

Emma said...

wish I could's a talent i am sadly lacking:(

Marcus Design said...

So pretty!! Your drapes turned out fab! I love the orange on the walls and in the fabric, it looks so good. I know some projects take a long time, but all that matters is you did it! Woo hoo! I have a million that are no where near done. I'd love to have drapes like yours...first step, I need to learn to sew! Lol.

Kolein said...

Oh my! I feel your floor pain. Really I do!!!!

The curtains are so gorgeous! I LOVED reading all about the project! The fabric is beautiful and with those burnt orange walls??? Wow!!! Beautiful!

I stink at painting. Stink. Cutting is done a little better only with scissors or a knife. Don't look at my cut-lines. Please! Yours are gorgeous!

Daisies happen to my favorite too!!! I think I actually smelled them over the computer right after you mentioned it! Isn't that weird???

So nice to meet you! You are very fun to read!!!


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