DIY Window Treatments - How to Sew Inverted Pleated Drapery from Dropcloths

I just finished my first canvas dropcloth project - drapery with inverted pleats or reverse pleats.  Inverted pleated window treatments work in both contemporary or traditional interiors.  I just finished my window treatments using canvas dropcloths.  I started with this:

And this is the finished product.  What do you think?

Here's a look at what inverted pleats look like up close:
Back                                       Front
My supplies included canvas dropcloth and lining fabric. 

Width: The dropcloth package was size 6' x 9' which is all you need for 2 panels.  I also bought 6 yards of lining fabric (3 yards per panel).  Lining fabric is 54" in width so you need to trim the fabric to allow to fit the lining.  In other words cut the width of the canvas to about 60" which allows for 1 1/2" double hems on each side.
Length: Make your window treatments as long as you can.  Window treatments can add height to your room if you take them as high as you can.  Our ceilings are 9' and the fabric is 9.'  I allowed about 7 - 8 inches in total for hem and header.  Normally you would allow twice that amount but I wanted to take my window treatments up as high as I could.


Lining:  Cut your lining equal to the finished length of the curtain plus about 2 inches.  Turn the hem about 1 1/2 inches and press.  Turn again and sew. Your finished lining should be about 1" shorter than the finished length of your window treatments otherwise they might be peaking through!
Now you're ready to put the lining and canvas together.  I used the floor (yes it was clean!) to lay everything out.  Put wrong sides together.
Side Hems: Turn over 1 1/2 to 2 inches and then turn over again to form your side hems, tucking in your lining.
Header:  Turn over the top of the fabric about 3 inches, tucking in the lining.  My machine has a special hidden hem stitch.  If yours does not, just turn and sew. 

I decided on 5 pleats which means I would need a total of 7 rings.  I spaced the pleats about 5 inches apart.  This is the tricky part.  It takes a bit of math. My pleats were about 4.5 inches each.  Mark the pleats and space placement on the lining.  Fold the curtain, right sides together.  Sew.  Then press open.  Remember these are inverted pleats so they go to the back of the finished window treatment.

Next step is to "stitch in the ditch" as pictured below.  This will make sure that your pleats stay in place.

That's basically it!  My finished window treatments look great.  You would never know they started as canvas dropcloths.  We have 3 windows and my total cost was less than $150.  It helps when you can get your lining on sale. 

When using canvas dropcloths, just make sure you wash the dropcloths before sewing to remove any sizing and get rid of some of the stiffness.  I washed mine twice.  Take them out of the dryer right away or you'll be slaving over the iron!

For more ideas on using canvas, check out my previous blog, Decorating with Dropcloths, for some additional ideas.I've already purchased more dropcloth to make additional window treatments, table runner, and shower curtain.  Once I find something I like, I tend to go a bit overboard! Canvas is a great fabric.  The look is awesome!

Thanks for stopping by,

Until next time...