I've been working like mad on the curtains for our stairwell, and they're up! I'm pretty excited to share a sneak peak with you. Unfortunately, a full shot of the area isn't included yet because I'm having major issues with the lighting (I need your help, dad). Here are a few angles that did work out o.k. for me today. What do you think?
The panels completely transform the space. I'm so happy with how they turned out, and they were quite easy to sew. I had been a little worried about sewing the pinch pleat, but the pleat tape made it really easy.
Here's a step by step guide on how to use a pleat tape if you don't know. I certainly didn't and had a hard time finding some help, so I thought I'd snap some pictures along the way and share them with you.
Fabric, matching curtain panels (if you're sewing two panels)
Thread, Scissors, iron, etc.
Here's a look at some pleat tape along with a pleat hook...
1) Sew a 4" header at the top of the curtain panel. (Fold over 4". Iron crease. Fold over 4" again. Pin in place. Iron crease. Stitch.)
2) Hem the sides of the panel to the desired width. (I created a 1-2" hem along the sides.)
3) Determine how many pleats you want across the top of the panel and decide how you'll space them. Each pleat uses four pockets and then you need one or two extra pockets between each pleat to space them nicely. So, if you want 6 pleats across the top of your panel, you'll need 24 pockets plus 5-10 extra pockets to space the pleats. (Keep reading and this step will make more sense.)
4) Pin the pleat tape securely in place and stitch along the top and bottom. (Be sure to sew in the same direction both times to prevent puckering.) Tuck the end of the tape under before stitching to hide the raw edge.
5) Gather four pockets into a pleat.
6) Insert each of the four prongs into a pocket on the pleat tape. Pull down on the fabric to secure.
7) Skip one or two pockets (depending on how you want the pleats spaced) and repeat. Continue this along the width of the panel and... voila! Easy. You can easily remove the pleat hooks to try some different looks. Play around with it to see what you like best. Just be sure to do the same spacing from one panel to the next so they match.
You may wish to stitch the bottom or base of each pleat to give it a more finished look.
I used curtain rings with eyes to hang the panels from the rod. Like these ones...
If you'd like more detailed instructions (but no pictures) I did find this site helpful.
I also had a chance to put up a bit of a gallery wall in the stairwell last night. Pictures to come! I'm delighted at how nicely things are coming together. Perhaps this will be a glitch-free project after all!