Mimic The Look Of Pleated Drapes – How To Make Lined, Flat Drapery Panels Just Like The Pros: Part II

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You can easily mimic the look of pleated drapes without the difficulty of making them.  Flat drapery panels look very similar to pleated drapes when opened.  Learn how to make lined, flat drapes using the same methods that the professionals do.

How To Make A Lined, Flat Drapes Just Like The Pros Do - It's Easy!
Welcome to Part II of how to make lined, flat panel draperies using the same techniques as professional drapery workrooms do!  In case you missed Part I, you can read it by clicking HERE.

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When we finished with Part I, we had both our main drapery fabric and the lining fabric cut and hemmed.  Only a few more steps and you’ll be finished!

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STEP 5: FINISH THE TOP BY JOINING THE FRONT OF THE PANEL TO THE LINING

It’s important how you lay your fabric pieces out when preparing to join the front of the panel and the lining together.  You want to make sure that when the pieces are sewn together and turned, you wind up with the back side of the lining facing the back side of the drapery panel.

To join them – lay out the drapery and lining fabric on your work surface with right sides together.  Make sure that the edges of what will be the top of the drapery fabric and the top of the lining fabric are lined up evenly.  TIP: The lining will likely be a little narrower than the drapery fabric, so be sure to center the lining.  Don’t worry – the side hems will capture the narrower drapery lining.

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Pin the lined up fabrics together and sew with a straight stitch, using a 1″ seam allowance.  Open the joined pieces of fabric up and press the seam open.  TIP: Make sure the fabric in the seam is all lying in the same direction before pressing.

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Now, flip the fabrics over, so that the wrong side of the lining and wrong side of the drapery fabric is facing one another.  Press the seam closed, making sure to keep the seam straight as you do so.

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STEP 6: HEM THE SIDES

Place the joined fabrics together on your work surface, with the right side of the drapery fabric face down (the right side of the lining will be face up).  Smooth both fabrics out so that there are no wrinkles in either layer and that the joined fabrics are lying straight and even.

If the edge of the fabric has a selvage, you need to cut a clip into it every few inches.  This is important or it could cause your drapery panel to draw up on the side where the selvage is located.  Ideally, I would cut the selvage completely off, but be aware that doing that will slightly impact the finished width of the panel.

Professionally made draperies typically have double 1½” side hems.  Keeping the drapery and the lining fabrics together, fold each side of the panel in 3″, all the way from the top to the bottom (including the hem).  Press into place.

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Now fold the fabric in half and press into place.  TIP: Pay attention to the pattern in your drapery fabric.  You may need to slightly shift the fold for the side hem so that the pattern remains evenly exposed on the front side.  No one will notice if you don’t have an exact 1½” side hem on the back of your panel, but they will notice if the pattern on the front isn’t even from the top to the bottom of the panel.

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To avoid fly away drapes and to make your panels hang nicely, be sure to add a drapery weight to each corner of the panel before stitching the side hems in place.  I like to open up the folded layers of the side and tuck a weight into each corner.  The weight is held in place once the side seam is stitched.

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With the drapery weight inserted, press that area of the side hem again and pin.  The side hems are another place where you do not want to see stitches on the front side of the panel.  Stitch them into place by hand using a slip stitch or one of these methods or by using the blind stitch attachment or blind hem foot on your sewing machine.How To Make A Lined, Flat Drapes Just Like The Pros Do - It's Easy! How to create a professional side hem on drapery panels. #drapesforlivingroom #curtains #draperies #draperypanels #diydrapes #diycurtains #drapetechniques #drapesforslidingglassdoors #windowdrapes

Here’s a look at the finished panel, after the addition of the side seams, lying on my work table.

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Pat yourself on the back because you’ve just completed making a drapery panel exactly like you would have paid someone hundreds of dollars to do!  You have the option of hanging your flat panel drapes from sew-on or clip-on drapery rings.  Don’t you agree that they mimic the look of pleated draperies?

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25 Comments

  1. Thank you for this wonderful tutorial! I’ve never attempted to make drapery panels but I know I can do it if I follow your steps.

    1. I wish there was more detail on the side seams. This seam is what makes the drapes sink or swim so to speak. Are you using a hand stitch that pick up part of the front of the drapes or only secures the side hem
      To the lining? It’s very hard to tell. Also it appears the selvage was left on the fabric. How do you determine when to remove it??
      All the best!
      Marcy

      1. There is a special machine that will tack the sides. You need to blind stitch or slip stitch by hand You just don’t want to see stitches on the front. You made them ,they are yours you can finish anyway you want. Enjoy

    2. I wish there was more detail on the side seams. This seam is what makes the drapes sink or swim so to speak! Are you using a hand stitch that pick up part of the front of the drapes or only secures the side hem
      To the lining? It’s very hard to tell. Also it appears the selvage was left on the fabric. How do you determine when to remove it??
      All the best!
      Marcy

      1. Hi Marcy. I actually used an industrial blind hem machine on the side seams. I didn’t mention that here since I’m guessing that not too many people own one of those. 😀 But, to answer your question, yes, you need to pick up a part of the front of the draperies to secure it to the lining. As you probably know, the selvage is usually woven tighter than the rest of the fabric, which would draw up the sides of the curtain. I always either clip the selvage every few inches or remove it entirely.

  2. Thank you for a tutorial that someone like me who is challenged sewing anything is excited to give it a go!!

  3. Fantastic step-by-step instructions
    Kiddos!!! I’ve been making ALL our drapery for over 50 years and am glad to know I’ve been doing it right! It’s “sew” easy and much less expensive than custom made. Bless you for sharing your knowledge.

  4. Thank you, very detailed directions. Great inspiration for me to replace drapes on four windows in my family room…long overdue and I am a bit rusty on my sewing!

  5. JaNean Frandsen says:

    Love the tutorial, thank you!
    One question: do you ever sew the panels together at the bottom?

    Many thanks!

    JaNean

    1. Hi JaNean. Are you asking if I ever sew the lining to the drapery panel at the bottom? If so, the answer is no – the lining should not be attached at the bottom. Let me know if you meant something else though!

  6. JaNean Frandsen says:

    Thats exactly what I meant, thank you so much!

  7. If you want to use drapery pins instead of clips, should you sew crinoline between the lining and fabric. If so, how many inches down from the top?

    1. lisa auvil says:

      I was wondering the same thing, Crinoline or Buckram. Also would you make a larger seam, like 3 or 4″?

      1. Hi Lisa. I don’t recommend using drapery pins with this type of flat panel. What would you pin into – even if you used buckram? Also, I think buckram would make it stiff and would prevent the drapes from hanging nicely. Hope that makes sense, but let me know if it doesn’t.

    1. It’s in Step 5. I added a few words that hopefully will make it more clear.

  8. Pam Chapman says:

    The drapes are beautiful. Can you give any instructions on how you used the ring clips to hang the drapes? I am thinking of making drapes with no pleats, just ring clips but would like help knowing how to clip and hang so they look good like yours. Thanks.

    1. Thank you! I hang the the first clip on each end 1″ – 2″ from the edge. Then divide up the space between those two clips to determine how far apart the rest of the clips should be. I don’t like the top of the curtain to droop in the middle, so I usually place the clips 6″ – 8″ apart. The exact amount depends upon how the math works out. Hope that make sense, but let me know if you have any other questions.

  9. Hello. I really enjoyed your tutorial. Do you have a supplier for the curtain rings and curtain rods?

    1. Hi Mary. I purchased this rod and rings at Target, but similar items should be available at any store that sells drapery hardware.

  10. How would you do the top if you wanted a rod pocket instead of rings? I’ve made rod pockets but not lined.

    1. Line the draperies the same as is explained here, but just carry the lining into the rod pocket and sew as you normally would. Hope this makes sense – it’s hard to explain something like that in just a sentence or two here in comments. 😀

  11. Rose Smith says:

    For a wider window would you sew two or more panels together, or would you use single panels side by side, finishing each panel separately?

    1. Great question! I would definitely sew the two panels together.