How to make -
Hand Pleated Interlined Curtains
Materials
 Guide
Tools
  •   Sewing Machine
  • - Tape Measure
  • - Needles
  • - Pins
  • - Scissors
  • - Set Square
  • - Straight Edge
  •   Pencil
  • - Vanishing Marker
  • - Clamps
  • Step 9b: Form the Hand Pleats

    FORM THE DOUBLE (PINCH) PLEATS

    • Lay the curtain down, right side facing up.
    • Hold the pleat flap up.
    • Push the centre of the pleat flap down so it touches the sewn in line at the back, causing the sides of the pleat to spread outwards.
    • Bring the two sides up together to meet.
    • Pinch the bottom of the pleat (at the bottom of the buckram)
    • Sew the pinch in place, under the buckram.
    • At the top of the pleat sew the pushed down centre to the back of the pleat.
    • Repeat for each pleat.
    This video shows you
    • How to fold a double pleat
    • How to pinch and stitch the bottom of the pleat
    • How to stitch the top of the pleat
    • How to start and finish your stitches

    FORM THE TRIPLE PLEATS

    • Lay the curtain down, right side facing up.
    • Hold the pleat flap up.
    • Push the centre of the pleat flap down so the sides of the pleat start to spread outwards either side.
    • Continue pushing down until the flaps spreading outwards either side are the same size as the flap you are holding vertically
    • With the vertical flap touching the back of the pleat, pull the 2 sides up along side, so all 3 folds are the same height
    • Stitch all 3 folds together at the base of the buckram.
    • At the top of the pleat either side of the middle fold, stitch the V pinch point to the curtain heading behind.
    • Repeat for each pleat.
    This video shows you
    • How to fold a triple pleat
    • How to pinch and stitch the bottom of the pleat
    • How to stitch the top of the pleat
    • How to start and finish your stitches so you cant see them

    FORM THE GOBLET PLEATS

    • Lay the curtain down, right side facing up.
    • Put a stitch 0.5cm either side of the centre of the pleat at the top of the curtain to help hold the shape of the pleat.
    • At the base of the buckram push the centre of the pleat flap down so it touches the sewn in line at the back, causing the sides of the pleat to spread outwards.
    • Pinch and pull up the middle slightly just below the buckram.
    • Pull the 2 sides up along side, so all 3 folds are the same height
    • Stitch all 3 folds together at the base of the buckram.
    • Roll a length of buckram and insert into the pleat fold to hold it in a cylindrical shape.
    • Stuff the pleat with wadding
    • Make a top cap by ironing a piece of fabric onto some fusible buckram and cutting a disc to insert into the top of the pleat.
    • Repeat for each pleat.
    This video shows you
    • How to fold a goblet pleat
    • How to pinch and stitch the bottom of the pleat
    • How to stitch the top of the pleat
    • How to stuff and shape the goblet pleat
    • How to make a top cap
    • Where to stitch the top
    • How to start and finish your stitches so you cant see them

    FORM THE CARTRIDGE PLEATS

    • Lay the curtain down, right side facing up.
    • Put a stitch 0.5cm either side of the centre of the pleat at the top of the curtain to help hold the shape of the pleat.
    • Roll a length of buckram and insert into the pleat fold to hold it in a cylindrical shape.
    • Stuff the pleat with wadding
    • Make a top cap by ironing a piece of fabric onto some fusible buckram and cutting a disc to insert into the top of the pleat.
    • Repeat for each pleat.
    This video shows you
    • How to form a cartridge pleat
    • How to stitch the top of the cartridge pleat
    • How to stuff and shape the cartridget pleat
    • How to make a top cap
    • Where to stitch the top
    • How to start and finish your stitches

    Questions & Comments

    Irene

    Hi, I have purchased the videos for lined and interlined double pleat curtains and would be very grateful if you could confirm that the space size is usually larger than the pleat size - I have a panel 260cms wide (using double width fabric) and a finished curtain width of 135cm, which I think gives me a fullness ratio of 2.1. I know that you recommend 6 pleats per width but I am worried that the pleat size may be too small. I have used the pleat calculator for 12 or 11 pleats, which do you think would be the better option? Would be very grateful for your advice.

    12 Pleats - PS = 10.41 SS = 10.81

    11 Pleats - PS = 11.36 SS - 11.9

    SewHelpful:  

    Hi Irene 

    We just replied to your question about double width fabric (apologies for time delay as we were away on holiday). We can see you have progressed with the making. Of the 2 options we would go for 11 pleats. The ratios are offered as a guide but there is generally wriggle room. With interlined curtains, bigger pleats are better.

    Clare

    My fabric is quite heavy velvet & my sewing machine needles keep breaking within seconds when sewing the pleats. What is the strongest needle I could try- the 110/18 just snapped again?

    Thanks

    SewHelpful:  

    Hi Clare


    I feel your pain as this is such a frustrating thing to happen when so close to finishing!


    I generally switch to a needle for denim when sewing the backs of pleats (100) so you’re using the right needle. It sounds like your machine simply isn’t strong enough - is it a standard domestic?


    The minute your needle jams, the tip will be bent so you have to bin that needle and switch immediately. The tip will be bent and you may not be able to see it but it will NOT sew another pleat without breaking. I would have a stack of heavy duty needles on hand. The minute one jams, switch it.


    This is all I can recommend other than upgrading your machine. Apologies that I cannot offer more advice.


    Good Luck


    Cindy

    Clare

    Thanks for the advice.

    I thought my machine was quite good- a Bernina B330, but maybe not intended for this use. It's also quite tricky to fit the bulk of the fabric under the presser foot, I am using a walking foot- is that the best type for pleats? Would you keep the foot raised while sewing?

    SewHelpful:  

    Bernina make great machines but still no guarantee of success with bulky pleats. Don’t keep your foot raised though. All you can do is persevere with lots of spare needles and change as soon as one jams.


    Cindy

    Amanda

    What's the recommended fullness and pleats per width for a single pleat curtain?

    Honor Young Interiors

    Hello loving your videos btw......what if the fabric bouces back after installing the pleats at the appropriate space measurement?? Should I iron the pleats flat first then add in the crease in the middle to make a double pleat?

    Thankyou for your help happy christmas

    SewHelpful:  

    Hi Honor

    The pleats will not sit exactly flat and that is why we build in ease in STEP 2. If you do this then you won’t have a problem and I have never ironed a pleat in before.

    Good luck with your project and please send us pics as we love to see them.

    Also, follow the pro workshop on Dolman and Taylor on Instagram!

    Thanks

    Cindy

    Amy

    Hi, I am making a single double pleated curtain with a return to the wall on the right hand leading edge. The curtain is covering a doorway so the non-leading edge will be flush against a wall. Should I allow for a return on the non leading edge just to keep it tidy? Thank you, Amy

    SewHelpful:  

    We don't 100% understand because you a saying the non leading edge is flush to the wall already so why would you return it to the wall? Of course you always end on a space not on a pleat.

    Lynn Huntingford

    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?

    SewHelpful:  

    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.

    Elaine

    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.

    SewHelpful:  

    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.

    Well done you for persevering and finding your own solution to this very tricky problem and for sharing your ideas. I hope you are thrilled with your finished curtains and will be moving on to another project in the future.
    Kind regards
    Cindy
    Clare Suart

    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.

    Many thanks

    Kirsty

    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?

    SewHelpful:  

    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.

    Do you have a friend with a better machine you can borrow?

    Cindy
    Elen

    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!

    SewHelpful:  

    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. 

    Maggie

    Thank you so much for your great tutorials. Are you using a walking foot when you sew the pleats?

    SewHelpful:  

    Yes I am in the videos, you don't have to use one, but it does help with slippage between the layers.

    Jennifer

    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?

    Thank you

    SewHelpful:  

    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)

    Fiona

    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

    SewHelpful:  

    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.

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