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How to Make Pinch Pleated Draperies

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

The classic beauty of a pinch pleated drapery has no match.

Decorating your windows with these draperies will serve many practical functions as well as look beautiful.

Beautiful Draperies

Most people think of a pinch pleated drapery as a formal window treatment but these drapes can be functional as well as beautiful.  When using a heavy fabric you can insulate your windows from heat and cold as well as darken a room for a peaceful nights rest.  A good drapery will also afford you much more insulation from outside noises and complete privacy in your home.  Pinch pleated draperies have no match in the window treatment world for grace and beauty. 

Many people like to use a pre-measured buckram tape, but I prefer to measure and mark the pleats myself for a complete customized window treatment.  And, it really isn't all that difficult to do.  It just takes time and patience and care in measuring.  But, the end result will be well worth it!

Measure the Fabic:

Measure and cut the drapery fabric so that you have three times the width of the window opening plus 5" for side hems on both sides.  For length, you will need the length desired plus 4.5" for the bottom and 4" for the header (using 4" buckram). 

Hem Sides and Bottom:

Hem the sides by folding 1 1/4" doubled on each side, steam press down and blind hemstitch.  Hem the bottom by folding down to the wrong side of the fabric 1/2", steam press, and then fold another 4" to the wrong side of the fabric, which creates the bottom hem.  Steam press and blind stitch.  Make sure you straight pin after you steam press every 8 to 12" when stitching to keep fabric from stretching.  It is extremely important to use a measuring guide to keep all measurements completely accurate. 

Add the Buckram: 


Zigzag or serge the buckram, which is a stiff fabric that is used to create crisp pleats and reinforce the heading, to the top.  You do this on the inside of the drapery panel.  Fold down to the wrong side of the fabric.  Steam press well.  Baste stitch to hold it in place while you mark your pleats. 

Mark the Pleats: 


Pattern for Pleats

Marking your pleats requires you to alternate marks of 3" and 6" all across the top.  The 6" is the pleat and 3" is the space between the pleat.  Do this with long straight pins or chalk.  I prefer using the pins.  Begin with the 3" space on the sides of the panel and end with a 3" space. 

If you have misjudged your measurements, take the slack or overage up in the 6" spaces.  After marking, bring the pins together so that the 6" are folded to the outside.  This will leave 3" between each pleat.  Stitch from the top of the panel to the bottom of the buckram (4") on the outside of the panel.  This will leave a fold of fabric facing outward.  After you have stitched all of the 6" spaces it is time to make the pleat. 

Making the Pleats: 

Holding the 6" you will "pinch" an accordian pleat in the fabric.  Each fold is 1".  At the bottom of the pleat "tack" it down at the bottom and center of the pleat.  Do this by using a long stitch back and forth several times. 

Pinch pleated draperies

Your drapery panel is finished and ready to hang!



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