A swag is a type of curtain panel that is gently gathered and draped from a decorative pole or mounting. It covers just the top of a window and is sometimes layered in front of another window treatment. Using voile, a lightweight semisheer fabric, to make a swag gives a gentle and romantic look. The use of hook-and-loop tape eliminates the need for hardware and should be virtually invisible through the voile. The pattern cutting and sewing are very simple and you can determine the appearance of the drape as you work.
Mount the curtain pole over your window. You will be measuring and working directly on the pole, so if it is high up, you need a sturdy stepladder.
Take the measuring tape, extended to its full length, and drape it over the curtain pole as if it were your swag. Allow the end to hang at one side of the window; bring it behind and over the front of the pole; drape it along the front of the pole in a U-shape; then back over to hang down at the other side. Adjust the tape until you are happy with the look, then note the total length of measuring tape needed.
Cut your voile to this determined length plus one inch. The exact width isn't too important, so keep the panel the width of the bolt for simplicity. Press, pin and sew a quarter-inch double-fold hem on all four sides of your voile rectangle.
Take the fabric over to the curtain pole and drape it over the pole in the same manner as the measuring tape. If the fabric is slippery, secure it to the pole temporarily with strips of scotch tape.
Step back from the window to get a clear look and rearrange the fabric until it looks perfect. Make sure the tails at the sides of the windows hang at equal heights. At this point, the swag should look exactly as you want it to when finished.
Return to your stepladder and take the adhesive hook-and-loop tape. Wherever the voile hangs over the curtain pole, stick a strip of one side of the tape along the reverse side of the pole so that it cannot be seen. Try not to disturb the gathering and draping of the voile swag and rearrange it if necessary.
Cut several two-to-four-inch strips of the other side of the tape and stick these to the draped fabric where it covers the tape on the back of the pole. Stick the strips of tape to the underside of the voile, pressing firmly to the folds and gathers of the fabric to hold them in place. Stick the strips of tape on the voile to the tape on the pole.
- The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing; Singer; 2005
- Take your time draping the fabric before securing it with the hook-and-loop tape. Try different looks and step back from the window frequently to get a more accurate impression of the swags.
- For a different look, drape the fabric over the pole two or more times to make multiple swags.
- Try using two panels of voile in different colours at once for a pretty, floating look.
- Voile can be difficult to sew as it is lightweight and can be slippery. Be sure to test your machine's tension and stitch length on a scrap piece of voile before sewing the hems. Voile also reveals messy stitches, so take your time and stitch slowly and neatly.