How to measure for pinch pleated draperies

Written by ruth o'neil
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The hardest part of making pinch pleated drapes is probably the measuring. You need plenty of fabric to completely cover the window and make the pleats. Pinch pleated drapes use more fabric than the inexperienced seamstress may think, so measure correctly to determine how much fabric you need.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Curtain rods
  • Measuring tape

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  1. 1

    Install the rods that will hold your drapes.

  2. 2

    Measure from the top of the drapery rod down to the desired finished length of your curtains. Add 8 inches to your measurement to allow for hemming, overlap at the top of the curtain rod and a little extra for straightening the ends of the curtain if necessary.

  3. 3

    Measure the width of the window, including the window casing.

  4. 4

    Double the measurement and add 5 inches to allow for the pleats and the side hems. This is the total inches of fabric you need. Divide by 12 to determine measurement in feet, then by 3 to determine yards.

  5. 5

    Buy the same amount of curtain lining as you do your drapery fabric.

  6. 6

    To figure the amount of pinch pleat tape you need for pulling back the curtains, double the width of the entire window and add 4 inches.

Tips and warnings

  • For most pinch pleated drapes made of heavy fabrics, use a two-to-one ratio. This means you measure the width of your window and double it. For lighter weight fabrics use a three-to-one ratio, meaning you need to triple the width of your window to determine amount of fabric.

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