Pinch pleated draperies are a classic window treatment that has withstood the test of time. You can purchase these types of draperies at most any department store that carries window treatments and accessories, or you can take advantage of the convenience of buying them online.
Yet another option is in making pinch pleated draperies, which is, of course, the least costliest method of acquiring them, plus you have the luxury of getting just exactly what you want without paying the sky-high prices commonly commanded for custom-made draperies.
Measure With Hardware in Mind
Hardware and the method by which you choose to mount them is the first step in making pinch pleated draperies. You must have this information before you can calculate how much fabric is needed. Select from conventional or traverse rods as your hardware and then choose enough fabric so that you will have half of it to be above the curtain rod. The length of the panels is up to you: Some people like the look of the panels puddling on the floor, while others prefer them shorter.
The next step in making pinch pleated draperies is measuring and cutting the fabric. Allow eight inches at the top for the heading and another eight inches at the bottom for a double hem, plus your desired length after measuring your window and where the rod will be placed.
Mark this on your cloth, then measure for width. Width should be measured from bracket to bracket on each side, plus an additional three-and-a-half inches for the overlap wanted for when the drapes are closed. Multiply by two, two-and-a-half, or three (depending on how many pleats you want), divide by the width of the fabric, and then divide by two to get a per panel measurement.
Heavyweight vs. Lightweight
Keep in mind, when making pinch pleated draperies, that the more pleats, the heavier the drapery panel. Heavy draperies work wonders to insulate against cold weather. Conversely, they also help insulate window areas by keeping cool air in during the summer heat. The down side? Heavy draperies are more cumbersome and harder to keep clean. Plus, depending on what type of fabric you use, they may need to be dry-cleaned and the cost for this will also rise with the heaviness the draperies.
Planning for Pleats
After hemming panels at bottoms and headings, determine how many pleats per panel you desire, as well as how many spaces you want between the pleats. Calculating this may take the help of someone who has experience with this or by consulting with an associate at your local fabric shop. Often these retailers employ people knowledgeable in almost all aspects of sewing and who can help determine this for you if you cannot do it yourself.
After this, all that remains is for you to hang your drapes. Making pinch pleated draperies is not easy, but that is one reason these type of window coverings cost so much ready-made. But once you have finished, you will have just the window treatment you want at a price you can afford. And, you will have pinch pleated drapes to last for years to come!