How do you ensure that the seam is not at the front of the pleat? Do you do a pleat over the seam and work back calculating the pleats? It seems no matter which way I space pleats I always have the seam in the middle which would be at front of pleat when finished. Have I calculated spacing wrong?
Normally if you have 6 double pleats or 4 triple pleats per width you shouldn't have a pleat on a seam. If you do end up with one on a pleat you just have to work with it.
I am making double pinch pleat curtains in very heavy fabric with interlining. My machine was struggling to cope with the pleats and the needle kept breaking. I found a suggestion on line to sew from the bottom up. This worked. I based to and bottom and also pinned the pleats in place to ensure the tops of the pleats match up. Just a suggestion for those who may come across a similar problem. My curtains are almost finished. Fantastic tutorials on line. Couldn't have done this without them. Thank you.
When making interlined curtains with a thick fabric, it can be a real problem for the machine to get through all the layers. I frequently change needles on my machine for this reason - a thicker one for heavier fabrics and a fine one for sheers/silks etc. So a combination of the correct needle and having a machine with a strong enough engine to power through thick layers are key when facing thick fabrics. Another issue is getting the pressure foot high enough to get the bulky layers under. All these things should be considered before choosing fabrics/ interlining and making a mock up is very helpful before committing to a sewing project that your machine can’t cope with.
Thank you for your very clear instructions. I would like to make a suggestion about the number of pleats per width. You recommend 4 per width/drop, which is good. And I would like to suggest that when TWO drops are used and the width of the curtain becomes Double because TWO width are sewn together, then an extra pleat is needed. So 8 becomes 9. In my experience this looks very good, better than simply 8.
Excellent tutorials, thank you.
i have a thick fabric, interlining and lining which once folded to sew the pleats in place is too thick to go in my sewing machine. Is it possible to hand stitch the pleats and if so how is best to stitch these?
I have never hand stitched a pleat as I have a sewing machine that will deal with the thickness. I cannot comment on hand stitching - it will be very hard going if your machine can’t cope.
Hi, loving your incredibly helpful tutorial.
I'm making quite heavy interlined curtains for a draughty bay window. Because of the sheer weight of the total fabric, the price and the work involved, i've gone for quite a low fullness ratio - it'll be 1.6 or 1.7 ish. I'm wondering what kind of pleat would be best under these circumstances. Or would it be best to use heading tape? Have you got any advice? Thanks!
With a Tab top or eyelet heading you can get away with a less fullness, but this wont work in a bay.
Pencil pleat (heading tape) does not look good if the fullness ratio is less than 2.2.
Hand pleated -the pleats will be small and the gaps large with that fullness ratio. Interlined curtains due to their bulk do not make up well with small dainty pleats.
We would not make up with those fullness ratios. We think you need more fabric. When cost is an issue we always recommend going for a cheaper fabric but making up well. We never skimp on the fullness of fabric.
Should the return and the leading edge always be the same amount?
My pole length is 360cm do you still recommend 8 cm for this length of pole?
That’s how we do it , you can vary it but the longer you make them the flappier they get.
(obviously if you are returning your curtain to the wall the return may be different)
Please can you clarify..does my first pleat start at 8cm (LE) in from the edge of the curtain panel or at my calculated space size (14.4cm)? Thank you
Yes the there will be the LE then a pleat, gap, pleat, gap, pleat etc to the last pleat, then the RETURN.
When you are making a pair make sure you get your LE and RETURN on the correct side of each curtain if the are not the same figure.