I have received several emails in anticipation of this tutorial on lining drapes. It apparently strikes fear in many of you! It takes patience and the volume of fabric you'll need to handle can be difficult, but the job of lining drapes can be broken down into three basic steps. One: Cut the lining. Two: Attach the lining to the drapery panel at the top and sides. Three: Hem.
From my experience the key to success is to cut the lining the right size for the drapery panel. If this is done the two can be sewn together easily. So, in this tutorial, I will spend quite a bit of time discussing how I determine what dimensions to cut the lining compared to the drapery panel measurements.
And please don't be put off by the large number of photos in the post! Yikes, I'm setting a personal record. I have included all the images to demonstrate each step as clearly as possible.
First, cutting the lining. I start by squaring off the start of the lining yardage. Tip, if you are cutting lining for more than one drapery panel having the fabric rolled onto a tube makes the job so much easier. The drapery panels are now 107 inches in length, after the top hem was turned under 3 inches. I cut my linings 2 inches shorter than the drapes, so the linings will be cut in 105 inch lengths.
After I square the top lining edge I measure 105 inches down. Here a line is drawn using the square and the first lining is cut. For the next three lining lengths I simply roll out the fabric over the previous length and cut, using the first lining as a template and repeat until I have four 105 inch lengths of lining.
The next step is to lay out the four drapery panels. (See image below). This was to ensure each panel had been sewn to the same width (so that each lining width can be cut the same rather than varied) and to calculate the width to cut the lining.
I measure the inside width of the panels from the edges the lining will be sewn to. (The distance from the turned under side hem on the left to the turned under side hem on the right.) This measurement is 47 inches. 1 inch is added to this measurement to determine the width to cut the lining. The linings will be cut 48 inches wide. Adding this inch allows for the 1/2 inch seam allowances needed to sew the lining and drapery panels together, down each side.
The lining I purchased is 54 inches wide, so 6 inches is cut off the four layered panels to arrive at the 48 inch width.
Now I have four lining lengths measuring 105 inches long and 48 inches wide.
So Step One is done, the cutting. Keep in mind the measurements for your drapery panels and lining will vary from these depending on the widths of fabrics being used. The below sketch illustrates how the above measurements were determined.
Before I sew the lining into the drapery panels I skip ahead to Step Three and hem the bottom edge of the lining first. I do this because it is much easier to hem when the lining is not attached to the drapery panels. (Less fabric to manage!) I start by turning under the fabric 1 inch and pressing.
I then turn under the four inch hem and press into place. Again my little tailoring tool makes this very easy to do with an accurate result. I use a larger hem because it adds just a bit of weight to the bottom of the drapes, helping them to fall nicely.
The hem is sewn.
Then the hem is pressed. Again, get it done before the lining is attached to the bulky drapery panel.
Now it's time to sew the lining and drapery panels together. I start by pinning the top edge of the lining to the top edge of the drapery panel. (Remember, in the previous tutorial this top edge was turned under 3 inches to create the drapery top hem.)
The lining and drapery panels are pinned together, right sides facing in, wrong sides facing out.
The pin shows the point where the sewing stitch will begin, 1/2 inch in from the lining selvage.
Several pins hold the fabrics in place to make sewing simple. There is nothing worse while sewing than having your fabrics shift, resulting in having to rip out seams to start over!
The lining and drapery panel are stitched together, starting the stitch 1/2 inch in from the lining selvage. (This is the point from which the edges will be sewn down from for the side seams, detailed in the next step.)
This seam is pressed down. Now it is time to pin the side seams into place.
To sew the side seams together the drape will need to be turned inside out. To mark the starting point for the top of this seam I mark the corner with pins. One pin in the drapery panel, one pin in the lining. This is where the side seam stitch will start. It helps to mark this point on both fabrics, because when the drapes are turned inside out you'll need to know where to pin the fabrics together to create the top point of the side seam. (I have angsted about explaining this step, it is the hardest of the entire project, but once you do it, it becomes easy!)
After the top points of the side seams are marked with pins I carefully line up the length of the lining along the length of the drapery panel.
The point where the bottom of the hemmed lining ends is marked on the drapery panel with a pin.
The drapery panel is now turned inside out. The points are matched and pinned together at the top seam point. Lay the drape out on a flat surface. The bottom edge of the lining is pinned to the drapery panel at the point marked with a pin. The fabric edges are smoothed out and the lining and drapery panels are pinned together, starting from the point pinned at the top and working down to the point pinned at the bottom.
Both sides seams are pinned and ready to be sewn together. Make certain you sew from the top to the bottom on each side. If you sew one side from the top to the bottom and the other side from the bottom to the top, it is very likely the drapes will not hang straight. The drapes will twist a bit, the tension of the stitch pulling one side up and the other side down.
Here is what the top corner will look like after the side seam is stitched in place.
Each side is stitched together with 1/2 inch seam allowance, starting at the top...
and finishing at the bottom.
The panel is turned and the top corner pressed. Isn't it pretty?
The side seams are also pressed into place, turning the finished width of the drapery panel edges over 2 inches. Make certain not to over press the side seams. Over pressing will tend to stretch the fabric, which will cause the edges of the drapery panels to have "waves" when they fall, rather than hang straight.
The last step of this tutorial is here! The panel is laid out. I just had to step back and look at my work...
Pins are placed along the line where the lining and drapery panel meet at the top hem.
With a thread that matches the fabric, a top stitch is sewn 2 1/2 inches from the top edge.
This stitch holds the edge in place, stablizing the top hem which helps the drapery hooks hold up the panels without the edge collapsing. This could also be achieved with a hand stitch that wouldn't show, but once the panels are hung you'll never see the stitches.
You think you're tired reading this...I repeated all the above steps three more times to complete the four panels! Next, hanging and hemming the drapes. Almost done!
I hope you managed to make your way through this long tutorial. Reward yourself and click here to enter my Stella & Dot Giveaway, celebrating the arrival of the new Spring Styles!