This was a fun custom design project… In which I learned a great deal constructing draperies from scratch.
Mrs. C had a vision and striking drapery fabric, but she was unsure where to begin or how to design and construct the draperies and pillows. This is where I come in…
After speaking with Mrs. C it was clear her vision was that of simplicity with a hint of hidden color and depth. Together we created a Design Plan and I started sewing.
While creating the design plan, there were a few requirements which needed to be met
- Accommodations need to be made for the sheer size of the bay window in the living room
- Accommodations need to be made for the lifestyle of the family using the draperies. The draperies need to have the ability to be completely pulled closed, covering the whole window frame.
- Accommodations need to be made for the yardage of the drapery fabric and liner purchased.
To say the bay window in the family’s living room is large is quite simply an understatement. After all measurements were taken, it turned out the bay window is well over 120” wide.
In previous homes with window frames this wide I have suggested 4 curtain panels (pictures with this design will be coming from Mrs. Z’s Design Plan), creating the illusion of a taller room and a wall to wall window.
The use of 4 curtain panels were not going to suit the family’s life style, as well we only had a specific yardage of drapery fabric and curtain liner.
Speaking of… Specific number of yards of drapery fabric and curtain liner…
- A rule of thumb is a drapery panel measures 54” wide, while ranging in length based on your taste. The length can vary from as short as 64” (which would hit the base of the window frame) to as long as 120” (which would hang from the ceiling and pool at the base of the window on the floor).
- Standard bolt of drapery fabric is 54” wide, with a length of your choice depending on the length purchased.
Did you notice our pesky issue yet? You will need a little math for this issue… The width of the drapery fabric is 54”and I will be creating 2 drapery panels at 54” wide each, to cover a 120” window… If I design the draperies with these measurements, when Mrs. C chooses to close her draperies, they will not close all the way!
This is when my creative juices started flowing… I knew exactly how I was going to manipulate the drapery fabric, liner and design to produce the exact design Mrs. C envisioned!
Basically I rolled ALL of the plum drapery fabric (54” wide) out end to end and proceeded to cut it into thirds, creating 3 equal panels. The third panel created was cut length wise down the center, creating 2 panels 1/2 the width. Each of the two 1/2 width panels were then stitched along the length of the larger two panels, creating 2 extra wide panels.
And since no one would want a giant seam down the center of their curtains… The seam which was created from stitching the wide and narrow panels together was hidden by a 5 inch stripe of olive floral fabric. The 5 inch floral fabric was accented with a second stripe of floral fabric which is 3 inches wide.
To line the backs of curtains, I used the tutorial How to make professional lined curtain panels from House of Hepworths. This tutorial provides the clearest and most straight forward instruction. I adjusted the instructions slightly to accommodate my needs. For the draperies, I needed to make accommodations for the width again… repeating the previously stated steps to create a wider liner for the extra wide draperies.
And now onto the pillows…
The pillow design was kept simple, with the ability to remove the case for ease of washing. I stumbled upon a tutorial which was PERFECT for achieving my goals by Feeling Love Some called Envelope Pillow Tutorial. Yes, her measurements are perfect. Also her instructions are spot on and as simple as the day is long – I LOVE this tutorial!
Quite simply, I purchase 4 pre-form pillows from the store, designing envelope pillow cases for each pre-form pillow from upholstery fabric purchased by Mrs. C.
The pillows are quite lovely… They create a seamless balance between the deep plum and olive in the drapery.
The cost of the Custom Designed Draperies & Throw Pillows to the client: the cost of supplies (i.e. pillows and thread) plus my hourly rate… And since I’m a coupon and sale shopper, of course I purchase the pillows and thread at a discount to the client!