CS Project: Lined Drapes

I’ve decided to start adding and linking Projects to this blog because most people don’t understand how useful a cover stitch machine can be.  It rather reminds me of when sergers where new.  People put their new in-the-box serger under a bed because they didn’t know when to use it after it was out of the box. My dealer tells me the #1 question they get about sergers is “What do I do with it?”.  I know this is also true of cover stitch machines because even as sparse as my posts have been, I continually receive thanks and something to the effect  someone is getting their box out and using their cover stitch  because of this blog. Onto this post’s topic:



I’m not going to teach you drapery. The basics are still

  • Determine the type drapery desired
  • Measure width and depth of the window
  • Calculate yardage and accessories needed
  • Buy it all
  • Cut
  • Sew Long Seams.

Constructing drapes and curtains is essentially sewing many long seams. So many that boredom sets in. I choose to use the cover stitching because

  • It sews really fast, much faster than my SM
  • Like the SM, the CS isn’t restricted to the edge which a serger is
  • The differential is built-in. i.e. no need to worry about creeping seams — a real hazard when stitching long seams.
  • There are accessories to help with turning and stitching hems. (Yes there are some for the SM too but I never mastered them.)

I made lined drapes at my DS request for light blocking drapes. He measured the windows. We determined that they wanted a plain drapery. No pleats, no rings. Just the standard 2 row header. I bought fabric and a good quality light blocking lining but no accessories. I could have added tapes to the sides, hems and header but didn’t. They are living in a rental and I’m not sure how long they plan to be there.  They need something in the living room to block the evening sun while they watch TV.  Naturally as a young couple, money is short and mom loves to help.

I didn’t cut so much as measure, snip and rip sections of fabric and lining to a predetermined  length. (That’s all in those calculations you’ll have to learn on a different blog).

I pressed 1″ side hems into place and then measured the width.  Theoretically, I could have taken the width of the fabric and subtracted  2″. For some unknown reason that never quite  works for me. I’m always off.  Once I knew the finished width of the individual drape, I ripped the lining into lengths and a width 1/4″ less than the width of the finished drape. I’m fortunate to have a large cutting table.  I placed the drape wrong side up on my table, then smoothed and arranged my lining wrong sides together on the drape.  I folded and pinned the side hems into place.

The CPX900 hemming guide

has the capability to fold the hem down and under but it hasn’t been totally reliable for me. I tend to use it  as a simple guide and press my hems into place. I used it on all 6 side-hems making the typical  two needle hem which secured the side hems and the lining in place.

The header and bottom hem needed a slightly different tactic. The guide would not switch to 2″ or 3″ width. Not to be defeated, I used *Glo-Line Tape.  I measured from the left needle to 2 and then 3 inches. Made a mark with a pen and then affixed my Glo-Line Tape.

I like the hemming guide a little better because it helps keep the fabric flowing smoothing in a straight line. I just kind of push the fabric towards the guide until I feel resistance. With the tape I had to man-handle the fabric and over-see the delicate operation of feeding straight into the machine at the same time.  For just a little extra help, instead of pinning the hem and header into place, I pressed up the desired depth and then fused with *Steam A Seam before again using the standard 2 needle stitch to secure these two into place.

I wanted a single line of stitching 1″ from the top of the header (drape).  I removed one needle and cone of thread for that stitching.

Finished Drape

Above I’ve shown the finished drape.  There is one unexplained line of stitching on the “inside”.  Just below what will be the top edge of the drape and stitched before the header was turned and secured.  That line of hemming secures the lining to the drape while they (DS and girlfriend)  try to insert the rod. It may not have been needed but at the CS it takes only a minute so why not?

Because I used the cover stitch machine, I  finished all 3 panels in about 6 hours. That includes at least a full hour of weaving in the ends, Frey-Check-ing them and pressing the panels.  I’ve made drapes at the sewing machine. I can assure you it takes a lot longer at the sewing machine.


Nothing added to the CookBook.  This project makes use of techniques previously posted.

*I’m in the US.  I find the named products either on Nancysnotions.com or Amazon.com

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