Transform Ready Made Curtains to Custom Drapery

We are ready for winter to be over, how about you?  Today it’s another cold snowing day in Utah. While it cold outside, it’s a great time to work on our list of projects. Today we’d like to share how we transformed a pair of Ikea Ingert curtains into custom drapery for the master bedroom. Initially we had made burlap drapery for the master, there are pictures of them all over Pinterest and though it added a great texture element to the bedroom, and the look was fantastic, however burlap sheds and the velvet chairs in the bay window were constantly covered in fibers from the burlap, ugh! The look we were going for was a natural linen. The natural Ingert curtain panels have that great texture and color, but plain beige is just too boring, therefore we wanted to customize them.

For this project we used Ikea’s Ingert curtain panels ($39.99 for 2 panels). We purchased 2 packages, we would need a total of 4 panels for the bay window, black grosgrain ribbon and to glam it up a bit, we used 3 black bracelets we found at Michael’s.

The Ingert curtain panels have a backing on the upper portion that has a tab for threading the rod through, however we wanted a more classic look, therefore we wanted pleats. Pleats may look intimidating, but they are rather simple to sew. Each pleat is 2 simple straight stitches.

The first step will be ironing the fabric, it needs to be nice and smooth for stitching.

Next, we applied the black grosgrain ribbon along the edge of each panel, we chose to sew it on, but it could be applied with a fabric glue as well.

Now on the with pleats, using pins we marked where each pleat would be. For our panels, each pleat is 4” and each pleat is spaced 5″ apart. This would make 6 evenly spaced pleats on each panel.

Fold the fabric, wrong side together, aligning the 2 pins marking the pleat placement. Stitch from the top of the fabric straight down to the bottom of the header section. (This is where there is a stitching line going across the width of the fabric.)

To form the pleat, push in the center of the area just stitched. (Note: usually drapery pleats have 3 folds, but my sewing machine will not stitch through that much fabric, so I just do 2 folds as pictured.)

Stitch, beginning at the folded areas to the first stitch line.

Here is the completed pleat with 2 folds. Repeat the process for each pleat.

The Ingert panels are not hemmed, we have found it easier to hang up each panel on the drapery rod and fold it up to the desired length and pin in place. Then remove them from the drapery rod and press them with the iron.

We double fold the hem, usually a 3 to 4 inch hem, (this depends on how much fabric is remaining on the panel.) This adds a little extra weight at the bottom of each panel and helps them to hang better.  Stitch along the hem line. There is also the option of hemming the drapes with a fusible heat tape, then you just need to press them with the iron, no sewing needed.

The final step to embellish these panels with a little glam is with the black bracelets we found at Michael’s. Using needle nose pliers we separated each jewel piece, then broke off the ring from one side. We then stitch each jewel piece to the pleat at the lower stitching line. This was done by hand with just a needle and thread, just like sewing on a button.

Take some strips of paper and wrap around the drapery panels that have been folded at each pleat, secure the paper together. We usually just staple the paper bands together or tape could be used.

We now apply burst of steam along each panel. This will help hold the pleated shape in each panel. Leave the paper strips on each panel for about 24 hours to lock in the shape.

There you have it, ready made panels transformed in to custom drapery! If you have found this tutorial helpful please PIN IT!

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