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Hi. I’m making sill length hand pleated lined curtains. I ordered the fabric according to the manufacturers pattern repeat of 15.5cm which came out as a fabric cut drop of 159cm with an adjusted cut drop of 170.5 (10.25 ACD p/r rounded up to 11). However, when I came to check the pattern repeat it came out as 15.9cm. This means that the adjusted cut drop comes out at 159 cm the same as the fabric cut drop and the ACD p/r comes out dead on 10. I’m wondering if the new ACD pattern repeat will be too tight and leave me nothing to play with later down the line. Particularly as the pattern does appear to me to be just slightly skew whiff on the fabric. Should I go with the new adjusted cut drop or the original one and then cut down later?
It is so important to check actual pattern repeat before cutting so you have done exactly the right thing thus avoiding issues later. You always cut to actual pattern repeat (so what you have measured on the fabric rather than what the manufacturer stated). This means that you will be cutting in exactly the same place on the pattern of each cut drop.
I understand the situation you have with the pattern being skew whiff so here are the considerations…
- How skew whiff is it?
Lay your long ruler across the width at a right angle and check to see how much run off there is.
- How many widths are you using? The more widths the great the run off and steps down on your joined fabric panels meaning that you may not have enough left over for the buckram header.
- Do you have enough fabric for an extra pattern repeat on each cut drop? ACD of 174.9cm instead of 159cm
- If you don’t then you could always trim down the buckram by a cm or 2 if desperate.
I hope that makes sense but do let us know you have any more questions.
Good luck Cindy
Hi - I love your tutorials and have used them several times with great results - thank you.
This time I am making a single curtain to hang from a ceiling track and have a couple of queries.
1. To reduce fullness, I considered double pinch pleats but the track is very close to the wall where the curtain is pulled back. Can the fullness of the pleat be brought (or forced/iron-pressed) forwards rather than the more usual backwards so that the fullness is forward of the track rather than behind?
2. What type of curtain hook would you suggest that will protrude above the top of the curtain to sit in the track hooks? Either with pinch pleats using buckram or pencil pleats with header tape.
1 - Good question. If using a track, I would take the space between the pleats forward and have a “hook to top” measure to cover the track (so almost touching the ceiling) when the curtains are drawn. This will give a more pleasing look when the curtains are closed and solve the problem of the spaces hitting the wall when open. One thing to consider though, ensure your pleats/spaces are proportionate otherwise the space (when pushed forward) will dominate the header.
2 - I am not sure that I fully understand your second question. The type of hook depends on your header. For double pleat you would use a pin hook, for pencil pleat a standard curtain hook.
Good luck with your project and don’t forget to send us a pic! Cindy : )
Fantastic videos and tutorials, everything explained & shown in easy to follow steps without it being rushed through like some tutorials are! I have a couple of questions if that's ok? Firstly, would you ever machine the linings to the main fabric or do you always hand sew? Secondly, I would love a cutting table but they are so expensive to buy. Did you have yours specially made, if so can you recommend anyone or do you have any top tips on how to make my own i.e size of table, where to buy right size wood etc etc. Many thanks
Really glad that you’re finding the tutorial useful - the aim has always been to provide all the details that normal instructions miss out. You could machine stitch the lining to face fabric and “bag” it out but this is not how we make in the workroom as we prefer a hand stitched finish wherever possible.
Regarding my cutting table, I had it custom made by my brother in law who works for a joinery. You can buy large pieces of ply or hardboard from various DIY shops - if the surface is rough, simply cover with double width lining.
Keep on sewing and please send us pics as we love to see them.
I am making roman blinds for a conservatory so there is 2 side windows the same size they can be made without joining. But there will be one window then double doors then another window all in a row but they are all different sizes I no they say not to join the fabric in the middle but if I dont there are all going to be different size side panels wont it look better with only one join per blind
We always join with balanced panels added to each side, never down the middle.
Hi Cindy, I am about to embark on 3 roman blinds and a full length door curtain and will purchase your video pass for these. My fabric for the door curtain is a stripe but the stripe is horizontal accross the fabric width (140cm wide). I'm not sure a narrow horizontal stripe would look right on a full length curtain so I would like to turn the farbic to have the stripe lengthways. Would it look wrong to join fabric to achieve the desifred 2m length and if not should the join be towards the top or bottom of the curtain? Many thanks :-)
I understand your predicament but this would have been one of my considerations before purchasing the fabric. I would definitely not join the same fabric at any point horizontally on a curtain. The only exception to this would be if using 2 different fabrics so this might be an option for you and would be my suggestion. Use a plain fabric for the main body of the curtain in a complimentary colour, and then use the stripe vertically as a section along the bottom third of the curtain.
Alternatively, if you do not wish to purchase any more fabric, I would use the fabric horizontally. Horizontal stripes can look really effective so don’t right it off as an option.
Good luck and please send us a pic. Cindy
Hi Cindy -
I've just purchased your Double Pinch Pleat Tutorial and am keen to get started. Your videos make it look so easy, what could possibly go wrong?!
But I am a novice so I need to buy some equipment first, so I wondered if you tell me...
1. What brand and length of needle do you use for hand-sewing the pleats?
2. What brand of vanishing pen do you use for marking out the fabric?
We generally use size 5 and size 7 needles. The 5s are bigger than the 7s. See the picture below.
John James is the brand.
We use Hancocks Vanishing Pencils with Erasers on the end.
Hi Cindy, I’m making a pair of floor length linen curtains, unlined, and I want them to pool on the floor, I’m wondering how much extra to allow for pooling, do you think 10cm will be enough to create that effect?
Puddling or pooling on the floor is really a personal design choice. I would say that 10 cm is enough but there is no right or wrong here. If in doubt I recommend gathering up a tea towel and holding against the wall so it pools on the floor. Play around with it until you get your chosen level of puddle and then measure how much extra to add on. It’s not the most flashy of ways to do it but is something that I quite often use to help my customers envisage how their finished curtains will look as everyone’s idea of a puddle is different.
I am making 2 full length double pinch pleat curtains 5m wide and 3 short length curtains1.5 wide all in the same room. Would I use 12.5cm buckram for each of the headings or use 12.5 just for the 2 full length and10cm just for the 3 shorter windows.
Any advice please?
Your tutorials are so well explained, thank you.
These are design decisions, no right or wrong answers.
We would be inclined to make the pleat sizes the same on all the curtains. (probably all 10cm as 12.5cm wouldn't look right on the short curtains).
Hi I’ve paid for the video tutorials but cannot find the links to the videos. Please could you let me know where I can find them
I have replied to both of your emails with your passcode. The videos are in the tutorial, go through the STEPs of the tutorial and you will find them embedded in the instructions. You press play on a video then enter your passcode when the it asks, once you have entered your code all the videos in your tutorial should then play for you. please check your junk/spam folder.
Hi, I recently completed these single pleat drapes, which I'm really happy with, but am wondering if you have any advice about what I could have done to avoid the 'kink' at the bottom of each pleat?? They are fixed to cover the track. Thanks :)
Did you pull the fabric down from the pleat as in the videos.
In the kit set lampshade covering video - is the stiffening fabric available in a roll? What is it called? I want to re-do my lamps because the stiffener has shattered, and don’t need a kit. Thanks!
You may be able to get it from dannells.com
Hi, I want to convert eyelet curtains to double pleat. If I trim off the eyelet part of the curtain, can I continue from there or should I create a small hem at the top? I will be taking the curtains up also as they are full length but I want sill length so have the material to lose if needed. What steps should I be following though?
We would cut the eyelet heading off and remake the heading with buckram as in the tutorials.
Hi I’m wanting to use quite a heavy chenille fabric for my curtains. Is this suitable for pinch pleating.
You won't be able to make small dainty pleats with thicker fabric and especially with interlined curtains and thick fabrics you need to make sure your machine and needle is strong enough to stitch through when sewing the pleats into the heading
Bloody hell (quality). Decided today to have a go at making curtains after seeing final cost of made to measure. I'm a bloke (not that it matters) in the middle of painting 2 rooms & my wife is reminding me 'carpets first' (before curtains) & that is true but your video has given me the confidence to have a crack at the curtains when the time comes. Exceptional (you put a lot of DIY videos to shame). Thank you very much.
I want to make a curtain for my front door using velvet wiith double pinch pleats. Someone has suggested that the method for fitting buckram which I have used for my other double pleat curtains (following your tutorials successfully!) will not work for velvet as it is too thick. It has been suggested that I use buckram which is glued on both sides, and eliminate the wrap around the buckram to reduce bulk.
What would you do?
Do you have any other tips for sewing velvet?
I have already purchased the velvet.
We do not iron velvet as you can damage it so would not use fusible buckram with it.
The thickness would not be a problem for our machines so we would make with the normal method. If your machine is not up to it, to reduce bulk you could tack the buckram in place, fold over 5cm fabric at the top then bring the lining to the top at the back (similar to the interlined method). Once the pleat folds are sewn in place you would then need to remove the tacks.