top of page
  • Writer's pictureSusan Woodcock

Expedited, Low-Bulk Pleated Drapery Method

There are many different methods for fabricating draperies. I specialize in a handcrafted product that requires a lot of time to accomplish. But not all my projects fit into that category. There are times when a quick turn around is needed to meet a deadline or budget.

Besides being faster, this method has fewer layers at the top heading to make pleating easier. Less bulk can also create a tighter stack-back at the window.

Fabric yardage and cuts:

Finished width x 2.5 times fullness fabric width = number of cuts needed

Face fabric cuts = finished length + 12 inches = cut length

If using a patterned fabric, make an adjustment to allow for pattern repeats.

Cut length x number of cuts needed 36 = number of yards needed (round up)

Lining fabric = finished length + 4 1/2 inches = cut length

You will need the same number of cuts as the face fabric.

Cut length x number of cuts needed 36 = number of yards needed (round up)


1. Fold and press a 4 inch doubled hem in the bottom of the face fabric. Finish with your preferred method: machine or hand sewing, or using a fusible product. If more than 1 width per panel, sew the face fabric pieces together first and add weights at the bottom of each seam before hemming. Fold a 3-inch doubled hem in the bottom of the lining fabric and sew with a straight stitch.

2. Serge across the top cut edge of the lining fabric and apply a fusible tape to the reverse side at the top using a steam iron. Set the lining aside.

3. Place the hemmed face fabric face down on the worktable. If using a grid canvas, the bottom, hemmed edge should be at the finished length plus 4 inches. At the top, apply fusible buckram to the wrong side of the face fabric using a steam iron and inset 3 inches from each side.

4. Fold over the buckram and press, double checking the finished length. If making a multiple width panel, continue across the entire drapery.

5. Place the lining face up, lining up the bottom hems so that the lining is inset 1-inch from the bottom.

Smooth the lining over the back of the face fabric. The top, serged edge will be 1/2” down from the top. (INSERT photo Expedited Drapery Method 4.jpg)

6. Peel away the paper from the fusible tape on the back of the lining and press to the back of the drapery.

7. Fold over a 1 1/2 inch side hem on each side, trimming away lining as needed. Finish side hems using your preferred method. Insert weights in the side hem at each bottom corner. For multiple width panels: if hand sewing or using a fusible hemming tape, finish the hem while it is on the table. If blind hemming by machine, pin the side hem and then drag the drapery over to finish the other side, pin and then take it to the machine.

8. Mark pleats and spaces with pins while the drapery is on the worktable.

9. Fold and sew pleats from the top edge, to the bottom edge of the buckram. Form two-finger or three-finger pleats. Adjust the stitch length to 1.5, and sew a small tack at the base of each pleat by backstitching.

10. The drapery is finished and ready for pin hooks for installation.

You can download and print the instructions here:

Expedited Drapery Method
Download PDF • 5.41MB

Please let me know if you give this new method a try!

Best Wishes,

Susan AKA Home Dec Gal


Face fabric: F1300 Seaside, Greenhouse Fabrics

Lining: Classic Sateen, Hanes Fabrics

Drapery supplies:

4-inch iron-on woven buckram, döfix No Sew, Inc.

3/8-inch Bordenfix tape, döfix No Sew, Inc.

1,413 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page