When you are sewing Lace Curtains or Curtains of any fabric. as a matter of fact, you will have to decide whether to use single or double hems. First lets talk about how those two types of hems are constructed because one or the other are used on both the sides of the lace curtain panels and on the bottom. Normal bottom hems are 2, 3 or 4 inches. Side hems are normally 1 or 1 ½ inches. Before cutting the lace fabric you have to decide on using one or the other because you have to add to the finished length an amount sufficient to make the hem.
- Double 4 inch Hem – A double hem is constructed by folding the bottom 4”, or whatever, toward the wrong side, pressing on the fold line and then folding it again to double the fold.
- Single4 inch Hem – A double hem is constructed by folding up the bottom for a distance of 4 ½ or 5 inches and iron in the fold. You then fold the top part inside the fold 1 or 1 ½ inches and iron it in. It is finished by sewing across the top.
The only advantage to a single hem is that you save about 3 inches of fabric. A lot of production workrooms do so to save that small amount because, for them, it can save them money when sewing a large amount of curtains.
For a finished lace curtain that you will be proud of you should consider using a double hem. There are two very important advantages when using a double hem. The first is especially important when making lace curtains. The first is that a full double hem gives the curtain added weight and body which causes the lace curtain tiers and panels to hang in gathers much more attractively. The second reason is just as important. A double hem becomes very important in a see through material like lace. In a single hem the small folded down part becomes very visible and does not give a finished look.
The rod pocket and ruffle hem at the top is not as important to be double because the cut edge will end up behind the rod where it cannot be seen. You still may want to consider a double hem because if you do so then the rod can be inserted in back of the double layer and cannot be seen as well.
See fuller and more complete curtain sewing instructions here. Please give us a call at 1-855-GR8-LACE (478-5223) if you have any questions and we would be happy to discuss the solutions with you. Good luck with your project.
Draperies, Lace Curtains, Blinds and Window Coverings of all sorts are frequently not even considered when a homeowner discusses the details of construction of their new home with the builder. They most certainly should be.
There are a number of details that will prove very important further down the line to help create a beautiful room setting. These items should be discussed during construction. They cannot be changed later.
- How high are the rods for draperies or curtains going to be installed above the window. The normal header above the window measures 5 ½ inches above the top frame. If an installation is anticipated higher than that additional wood backing is easily installed during construction.
- If open and closed draperies are to be used it is important to consider how far off the window the open curtains are to stack. The normal header or higher backing should be extended to either side to accommodate the rod bracket screws. This is especially important if heavy duty motorized drapery rods or decorator rods are used.
- It is fairly common for windows to be installed adjacent to a corner. This can many times be changed to a location far enough away from the corner to allow for drapery panels to be used on each side of the window far enough to clear the glass on both sides.
- Many housing plans call for a small window close to the ceiling for lighting purposes. That is fine except that it should be designed to fit the décor.
- Arched windows and angle top windows are always dramatic but the internal décor of the room should be considered as well. A traditional room setting will be enhanced by an attractive arched window but perhaps not with an angle top window.
- If there is a choice of having several windows next to each other the exact location should be discussed from the standpoint of not only the window treatment but how the overall look will influence the ultimate interior design.
- Built in cornices may be desirable design and can be accommodated at the time of construction.
- Occasionally a window is built in partially above a fireplace hearth necessitating a drapery that hangs partially to the floor and partially to the hearth level which is awkward.
- When using custom window coverings the planning can be whatever you wish it to be. If you plan on using ready made window coverings they are made in fixed sizes and the planning will be restricted by what sizes are available.
- Be sure to consider the ramifications of the placement and construction of every window in your new home with these and other window covering requirements.
The end result will always be more successful if your planning is done in discussions with the builder before construction starts. I hope this has been of help. Good Luck with your project.
Lace Curtains can be purchased ready made, sewn by a Do-It-Yourselfer or custom made by a professional using Lace Fabric purchased by the yard. Simple decision, right? Wrong. The decision to do one or the other depends on many, sometimes not very obvious, considerations. Let’s first assume that you are adept at sewing. That will
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keep all options available. Consider the following:
Ready Made Lace Curtains
- Immediate availability
- Attractively scalloped or woven side and bottom hem patterns
- Gathered rod pocket – not capable of traversing rod
- If there are hems they are single hems
- Fixed sizes
- Single narrow panels
- More economical than custom made
Do-It-Yourself Lace Curtains
- Custom length as required
- Can be pinch pleated to open and close
- Wider width panels
- Wider selection of Lace Material patterns
- Time consuming
- Requires wide and long table for cutting purposes
- Almost always less expensive
Custom Lace Curtains
- Most of the same advantages as Do-It_Yourself
Sew Your Own Curtains
- Best quality sewing
- Professional advice
These are all very important considerations but not the only ones. The patterns you find in Ready Made Lace Curtains usually are different from those available in Lace Yardage so this will also have to be part of your decision. Also if you desire Cotton Lace Panels they can usually be found only in Ready Made Lace Curtains mostly more expensive. Most Lace Material available by the yard is Polyester unless you get into the very expensive Lace Patterns. Make sure, if you choose to Do-It-Yourself that you pick Lace Fabric that is meant to be used for Curtains and not Bridal or Stretch Lace.
You will find that the quality of Lace, both in Lace Yardage and in Ready Made Lace Curtains varies a great deal. On our site we feature Heritage Lace, a fine quality Lace made in the U.S.A. As well as Lace Material from Scotland, France, Chine and Germany. All of these Lace products were chosen for their quality, not on the basis of the lowest price.
There is something to be said for having someone else do the work. Although it is much easier it does not come with a sense of accomplishment. We do have complete sewing instructions on our web siteand are personally available on Toll Free 1-866-775-LACE (5223) from 9AM to 6PM (California Time) for advice.
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This Blog is all about which Curtains to use and not about style. That is a subject for another time. It’s your decision on how to proceed and we wish you the very best success in your design project.