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30 Minutes with Workroom Tech: Episode 39 / Drapery Q & A

Updated: Feb 27, 2021

For this episode of the podcast Ceil DiGuglielmo and Susan Woodcock asked members of the Workroom and Accountability Mentoring Group for their questions about sewing custom drapes. There were so many great questions!

You can listen to the podcast here: Episode 39 Drapery Q & A

Question: I find it's easy to determine the cut length of fabric but I struggle and second-guess myself on the cut width(s) of fabric when there is more then one width of fabric per panel needed.

To determine the number of cuts or widths of fabric needed, you must know the rod width, the fabric width and the fullness.

For a typical pleated drapery, you will multiply the rod width by 2.5 times fullness.

What can be confusing is that you will figure this out as if it’s one big drapery panel and then divide it by two for a pair.

For example: If the rod width is 100 inches and you multiply by 2.5 time fullness = 250 divided by the fabric width (54 inches) = 4.6 and you round up to 5 cuts or widths of fabric.

For a one-way draw, like on a sliding door, you will sew all 5 cuts of fabric together. The window will have one large drapery panel 5 widths wide and pleated to fit the rod.

For a split draw or two way draw (a pair) you will divide the number of cuts by 2. For this example of 5 cuts, that will give you 2.5 cuts on each side. The window will have two panels, made of 2.5 widths each and pleated to fit the left, and right sides of the rod.

The half widths will be placed at the outside of each panel so that whole widths meet in the middle.

Learn more about figuring yardage and sewing draperies in Susan's book Singer(R) Sewing Custom Curtains, Shades and Top Treatments.

Question: How is the best way to template when a window is a bay window or a bowed window. The corners and how you figure how to get the board or the hardware to meet perfectly as well as the window treatment.

When measuring a bay or bow window, you will need to make a cardboard template onsite. This is time consuming but worth it. When you return to the workroom, make a larger paper pattern while it’s still fresh in your mind.

You might need to send a template to the hardware company. If you do that, be sure you keep a duplicate for yourself. In some cases, you may need to dry fit the boards or hardware before the installation, so adjustments can be made before the draperies are installed.

There are a many types of swivel brackets, and jointed pole rods to make angles easier. Review hardware catalogs to become familiar with all the options. The photo below is an adjustable insert for Aria hardware from Rowley Company.

Question: How do you find a good installer?

Begin with a Google search for window treatment installers, or curtain and blind installation. Check with other workrooms in your area. They may inst