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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

converting rod pocket drapes to pleated

cmswenson28November 9, 2012
I just purchased draperies that I love, but I do not like the rod pocket top. I wanted to take these to a tailor or someone who could convert them into a pinch pleat and sew 2 panels together. They are embroided silk interlined panels 50 inches wide and 108 inches long.
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Try to find a local shop or a local seamstress that makes custom drapes. They know how to sew drapes. It isn't hard to do this, but if you have no experience or sewing machine that is an obstacle!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 12:26PM
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PH Interiors, LLC
Hi, yes you will need a custom drapery fabricator to do this job. The number of pinch pleats depends on the final width of the drapery. In other words, if you want to cover 60" of window/wall (the length of your rod), then they will create pleats that will line up with that. Hope this is not too confusing. Good news is that they do this all the time so shouldn't be a big deal.
    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 12:52PM
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Call the dry cleaner or tailor shop and see if they could recommend someone that does this.
    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 12:56PM
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You would need panels that are 2 1/2 to 3 times the width of your window for this. Two times would look skimpy, so make sure that you have enough width for this to work. If not, buy an additional panel.

There is a different skill set for tailoring clothing than for making drapes. Be sure that whomever you choose is experienced in making draperies. They will know how much ease to leave for the top so that the drapes will close properly if you use a traverse rod and if you need a weighted hem to make the pleats hang properly.
    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 9:26PM
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While we are on the subject of pinch pleats, is there a trick to putting the hooks back in? I've tried to line them up several times after putting them through the dry cleaning cycle and still not quite right--they are quite long to fit a 12' window, and the ends don't quite meet.
    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 12:20AM
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Victorianbungalowranch, I'm not clear what you mean about the ends don't meet. Do you mean that they now aren't wide enough to meet? Perhaps the top, could be the backing, shrunk. Or do you mean that where they meet one hangs lower than the other? If this is the case, then the best that you can do is measure and put in the pins as seems best, then get on a ladder and adjust the pins so that the lengths match. Concentrate on having the one that hangs on top be the longer one, but the difference in lengths shouldn't be more than 1/4 inch. Were these custom made? If so, it might be that the panels are slightly different sizes to take care of small differences in the window framing. In such a case, hanging the panels on the opposite rod might help. A final thought, be sure that all the pins are pushed all the way down into the fabric. It is the hook part that is the critical distance from the top of the panel. You could do a quick measure to be sure that this distance is uniform before you do the more fiddly adjustments.
    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 9:36PM
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I don't know--the curtains are for a huge picture window and came with the house. They were custom made years ago. The final tab in the center of the rod where the curtain meets seems a little off--maybe it is crooked/bent and the spacing is different than the rest of the rod? And the whole thing is heavy and so hard to handle I've been relunctant to mess with it much more.

Plus we raised the rod (has built in slides and a cord to open and close) to make it feel higher and to stop blocking the heating baseboards, but had a hard time leveling it--brackets were level, but not the rod. Moved the rod brackets, but still a little off. Never had this kind of curtain before and it is too much window to change, and I do like them if I can get them to hang properly. We open and close the drapes every day.

Got the same in the back of the house and on a smaller window in the living room, but have been afraid to change after this mess!
    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 8:41AM
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If the tab in the drapery rod is bent, you might be able to compensate for that by moving the pin on the panel a little bit.

I agree that such draperies are heavy and awkward to deal with. I suggest that you plan a time to deal with this when you are fresh, pick a willing partner-in-crime (in my case my daughter is much more interested than my husband so we help each other out on such tasks), and spend the time to get it right. Then celebrate with lunch out or a glass of wine. I'd help you if you live in Lake County, IL.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 10:03AM
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Thank you all for the information. It was very helpful. I will definitely go to someone who knows how to sew draperies.
    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 2:17PM
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Thanks so much, the boys don't much care and it isn't top priority, but I look at them every day.. Sorry, I don't live nearby!
    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 6:25PM
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