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Drapery Sheers Emergency

Ruby_Gutierrez | Posted in The Archives on

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Hello to all. I am a desperate non-sewer. I really mean non-sewer, I cannot sew a hem – they always come out crooked. But, I find myself in a big big problem and need some expert advice. I have ordered a bolt of inexpensive drapery sheer fabric (110″ wide x 3yds long @ 2.20 yd) from fabric.com, and will attempt to make panels out of them. I feel pretty good about my measurements, have allowed 2.5 fullness, etc. Further, I know that swags should hang halfway or better, two-thirds of the length of the window (72″). That’s about it.

My husband is a minister and we have rented a storefront in Houston for our inner city mission work. It is my job to decorate on a very slim shoestring. Two ladies from church have volunteered to help me, but I must first figure out how this is to be done. I decided to hang winter white sheers and somehow accent the borders of the 4 window groupings with mauve/amethyst swag type decoration since the carpet we found at a local outlet is a mauve background and dark purple pinpoints. If all else fails, I will have to buy scarves in amethyst from a local Anna’s Linen store but don’t really want to because this will be very expensive for us.
There are 4 window groups and I want to give them the same window treatment even though they have different dimensions. All windows are 96″ long. Windows 1 & 2 are 65″ wide x 96″long. Window 3 is 156″w x 96″long, and Window 4 is 96″w x 96″long. Wow!!!
My problem is I have been reading about how difficult it is to cut sheers. I know about Wright’s hem tapes although I am not sure that’s what they are called. You sew them right onto the top (3″hem) of the fabric, then pull the strings along the hem tape and cause the fabric to pucker. Question? Where does the rod go? Is there a space for it in the hem tape? Do you think this is a good idea to sew the top hem with tapes? How about the bottom hem (4″)? Can I use double sided fusible that can be ironed on instead of sewn? As you can see I am in deep trouble here!

I have thought about using spray starch to stiffen the fabric before I cut it. Is this a good idea? If not, what can I use to temporarily stiffen the fabris so that I don’t cut it zigzag instead of straight? Please help.

Needless to say, I am signing up for a sewing or upholstery class as soon as I can.

I don’t know if there is any sewing hope for me but I would appreciate your comments/suggestions. No, I cannot give up, I have gone too far for that…

Thanks and warm regards,
Ruby in Houston

Replies

  1. Colleen_Writt | | #1

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    HI that sewing class sounds like a great idea. I hope the part about 3 yards of fabric is a typo. Cutting drapery sheers should not be a problem as long as you keep the fabric flat and have very sharp scissors and a well marked line. For your project large folding banquet tables will be very useful.
    You should be able to find good curtain and drapery
    instructions at the local library, and there must be at least one person with sewing experience in your church group. It is easy to worry and obsess about a big project, but if you break it down into small steps, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. I have
    a feeling that those tapes won't work on sheers. They would show through. Better to sew a simple casing for the rod to go through. A header above the casing gives them a little ruffle above the rod.
    I would also caution you about using fusible webbing on sheers, as the fabric is most likely synthetic and the webbing wont hold. It also would most likely make a mess. Sewing your hems with a sewing machine is the best way to go, also the least expensive, considering
    the scope of your project and the fact that the hem tape you described costs more than your fabric. Careful measuring and pressing
    should help to keep your hems straight, as well as setting up a guide
    on the bed of the machine for your hem depth. Be sure that the grain
    is straight when you start out, or your curtains wont hang well.Good luck with your project. Colleen

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