Sew Your Own Drapery Panels

What You'll Need
Drapery fabric
Sharp scissors
Straight pins
Measuring tape
Sewing machine
Matching thread
Window rod

Making drapery panels to hang on window sides allows you to complement the décor of room with your choice of fabric while creating additional privacy. With some experience in handling the sewing machine, you can also save money on draperies and get the look you have in mind.  

Follow these steps to sew your own drapery panels that are bound to stand out and make a statement.  

Step 1: Type of Panel

Before you begin, you need to determine whether you want your drapery panels mounted on the outside of the window casing or the inside. Usually each window has two drapery panels that meet in the middle when they are pulled together. Generally, you should double or triple the width of the window for drapes that give a full look, and add 3 inches for the side hems.  

Step 2: Determine the Measurements for Your Drapery Panels

You need to decide what type of rod you to use to mount your panel on so you can make allowances for it. This is called rod pocket. Add another inch to the fabric so you can slide the drapery on the rod easily. Make a 3-inch allowance for the hem, and another inch for a fold under the hem and rod pocket. Also make allowances for a header, which is typically 2 to 3 inches high on the rod.

Your rod should be purchased and installed according to the manufacturers instructions, typically at the top of the window, or just below the crown molding if you want the room to appear bigger. 

Step 3: Measure and Cut the Fabric

Place your fabric on a clean floor and remove any creases or wrinkles. Using the length of the fabric as the panel length, mark the measurements with chalk. Cut the fabric with a sharp pair of scissors.  

Step 4: Stitch the Sides of the Panels

On each side on the panel, fold ½ inch towards the wrong side to hide the raw edges, and then fold another inch. Use straight pins to hold it down and then stitch it.  

Step 5: Rod Pocket and Header

For the top edge, fold ½-inch down towards the wrong side. Also fold the amount you measured for the rod pocket and header. Press down and place straight pins every 5 inches. Stitch across the entire width of your fabric close to the bottom. Making allowances for the rod, stitch across the width once again. This will give you the rod pocket and the header. 

Step 6: Hem the Drapery Panels and Press

Turn the fabric ½-inch towards the wrong side and press it. Turn the hem towards the inside of the fabric to measure the 3 inches you had made allowances for earlier and stitch.

Iron the drapery panels before hanging them to smooth out any creases. Then mount them on the rod to give your windows a new, sophisticated look.