Curtains can easily be turned into drapes by lining them and adding pleats.
Step 1 – Pick Out and Prepare Lining
Measure the height and width of each curtain. This will determine the amount of lining you will need. You should get the same kind of material for the lining that the curtains are made of so you can either machine wash or dry-clean them. If the curtains are wider than the lining material, you can sew two pieces of lining together. Be sure you either zigzag the edges of the seam, or trim it with pinking shears.
Step 2 – Wash the Curtains and Lining
When the lining has been cut and sewn to fit the curtain, either wash the curtains (if they are machine washable) separately from the lining, or have them dry-cleaned separately. This will prevent the lining from shrinking on the curtains later. If the material for the curtains and lining ravel, it is better to put either a zigzag stitch around the edges, or trim them with pinking shears before washing or dry-cleaning.
Step 3 – Ripping and Pressing
With the seam ripper, carefully rip out the hems all the way around the curtains. Press curtains and lining, pressing open any seams.
Step 4 – Pin Lining to Curtain
With right sides together, pin the lining to the curtain, lining the edges up evenly. With most new sewing machines, you can place the pins horizontally and sew over them. Otherwise, take care to place the pins so they are not in the way of the sewing machine needle. It is also a good idea to pin the center of the lining to the curtain to keep it from moving around. You can also hand-baste the lining to the curtain and then take the pins out entirely.
Step 5 – Sew Lining to Curtain and Turn
Make sure your sewing machine needle is the proper type for the material you are using. Sew about ¾ inch from the edge all the way around, leaving about a 6 inch space unsown for turning under. You may have to leave more for thicker fabric, such as velvet. If not done previously, trim the seams with pinking shears to avoid raveling. Turn right side out and press, pressing the open space with the seams together, and then slip stitch it closed by hand. For a finished look, you can turn over about an inch of fabric to the wrong side all the way around for a hem, and sew a slip stitch by hand, then press.
Step 6 – Pleating Tape
Cut the pleating tape to fit the width of the curtain. Pin and then sew it to the top of the wrong side of the drape, through the lining and the curtain. Pleating tape makes it easy to create pleats. It has pockets built in which can be gathered with drapery hooks. You can buy either a two-prong or three-prong hook that fits between the pockets to form different kinds of pleats. The package of drapery hooks should include two single prong hooks for the pleats at each end of the curtain so it will hang straight on the rod.
Step 7 – Hanging
Hang the drapes on a decorative rod, or on a traverse rod which has the advantage of being able to slide the drapes open and closed.