I made my first panel without lining, and then took my Mom's and Aunt's advice and got some lining material. Since the panels have a white background, I didn't want to use a black lining. I also didn't want to trek out of town for specialty fabric, so I decided on duck cloth from WalMart, which works great considering I want the panels smooth and flat and we don't plan on opening them. After making the second panel (lined), I'm very pleased with the result. I just cut the lining to fit inside the 1-1/2" and 4" folds. See the difference?
Hanging the two smaller panels and seeing it all come together was good motivation to keep working on the larger panels which had started to feel like a chore... Actually I was nervous about working with the larger panels and all that heavy fabric! I found that folding, and then unrolling the fabric as I sewed was pretty easy, and I would lift the weight of the fabric if needed, like this:
When I finished the first larger panel, it was about 10" too narrow for the window - ACK! Where did I go wrong? I finally realized that the larger windows weren't the same size, and I had measured the smaller of the two! (You know what they say about ASSuming.) Luckily the panel I had just finished fit the smaller window, but I was in quite a predicament. I had already cut all four panels, so I needed to figure out how to add some width to the last panel... Ironically my Aunt and BFF both gave me the same advice when I started this project, measure three times and cut once! Oops.
It was also at this time that I learned drapery rods come in varying depths as well as lengths! I had purchased mostly 2" clearance rods, except for one 3", so my little boxed corners that I was so proud of didn't wrap all the way to the wall. Luckily I just exchanged the rod and didn't have to get out the seam ripper. This is the type of curtain rod I'm using, they're from WalMart too, and only cost $1 for the smaller rods and $3 for the larger ones. Here's how it turned out:
I will post pictures once all the panels are up. I'm hoping that I've learned enough to finish the project without any disasters. If you're new to sewing, then I hope you've learned from my mistakes! After reading this tutorial, I'm excited to get started on some pleated curtains for my daughter's room.
>> Update: these curtains are still a work in progress! I'm going to experiment with drapery weights because the very wide panels need some smoothing out.