On this episode of The Sew Much More Podcast: 30-Minutes with Workroom Tech, Ceil DiGuglielmo and Susan Woodcock talk about drapery tiebacks. You can listen to the podcast here : Episode 51 or watch on Youtube!
Tiebacks are used to hold a drapery to one side. They can be practical like when used on an outdoor drapery to hold the fabric in place or purely decorative to create a beautiful style where the drapery is gently pulled back and dressed.
We don’t see as many tied back draperies as in the past so you might be taken aback when you get an order for tiebacks!
Determine the size of the tiebacks by gathering one curtain panel to the finished width and cinching with a soft tape measure, or installing the finished curtain and cutting sample tiebacks from muslin or heavy paper to visualize the finished curtain shape.
Generally tiebacks are made at least 18 inches long for singe width drapery panels and larger. A larger drapery may need a tieback that is 24 to 30 inches or more. The finished size is based on the fullness of the drapery and the look that you are trying to achieve.
Placement and Proportions
When installing tiebacks, you can create different styles by how the tieback is placed on the wall. Near the top, middle or low placement will give you entirely different looks. There is not a right or wrong way.
The photo above is from the Sunset book Curtains, Draperies & Shades published in 1979. It's a charming example of lower tieback placement and is described in the book as to "keep stationary pinch-pleated panels from fluttering in the breeze..." when the window is open.
The drawing below shows how you can create different looks with tieback placement.
Basic Tieback Construction
Susan prefers to make tiebacks in a curved or V-shape. This supports the fullness of the drapery fabric without the leading edge or tieback being crushed, and allows the tieback to cradle the drapery.
The first tieback shared in the podcast is made with fusible fleece which adds softness and body to the fabric. The tieback has a curved shape and welt cord around the edges.
1) Use the pattern to cut out front and back pieces, adding seam allowances all the way around the shape.
2) Apply fusible fleece to the front piece.
3) Cover welt cord (4/32" or 5/32" diameter) and sew around the edges. Pin the front and back together.
4) Sew around the edges getting snug next to the welt cord. Leave an opening on the back side of the tieback. Turn right sides out. Close the opening by hand sewing or with glue or fusible tape.
5) Sew rings on each end. Inset the ring on the front edge so that it is hidden.