Make your own pinch pleat drapes using vintage fabric

Do you want to make your own pinch pleat curtains to go with your midcentury modern interior design? Well, then you want to use old skool fabric as well. I bumped into this seller on ebay (affiliate link), who says she is liquidating her stock of drapery fabrics — much of vintage New Old Stock — after closing her longtime store. In this carousel, I have featured some vintage fabrics that come in lots of yardage — which you are going to need if you make pinch pleats. Below, I also provide lots of great links to better understand and plan for pinch pleat draperies.

One thing that needs to be underscored: Even if the ideas of pinch pleats are just a sparkle in your eye right now, take the time to calculate your yardage requirements before buying. That way, if you bump into a “great find” you will know whether there is really enough. If you have an open concept area with lots of windows to cover — and you can guess how I feel about the aesthetic advantages of matchy-matchy in this case — let me say it again: You are going to need a lot of fabric. Even more if there is a pattern with a “repeat” that you are going to need to match up as you piece together your panels. At one point, I researched how much fabric it would take for me to make new pinch pleats for my living room/dining room. The pattern I was looking at did have a repeat. It was going to take 68 yards. In retrospect, I am very glad I did not do it, since today I would choose something more neutral and textured. In fact, this buyer featured today has some designs that might work for me, in up to 50 yard lengths. That might work for me.

Are you afraid of pinch pleat curtains and traverse rods? I was! Read this stories, they might help get you in the mood:

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Comments

  1. Jeanne says

    Right up my alley! I bought a piece of vintage bark cloth off of ebay and made two valances for my two (corner) dining room windows. Measuring was tricky, as I had to figure out how many pleats I could fit in each one (and the spacing in between) with the specific width of material I had to work with. I goofed with my first attempt, but ripped out and re-did without any problems. I was really nervous about initially cutting the fabric as it was one of a kind.

    Years ago I sold custom window treatments for Montgomery Ward for a very short time and was really good at figuring out yardage for pinch pleats (with overlaps and returns, etc). But I don’t have my yardage charts anymore.

  2. Jason says

    Oh Pam – I have pinch pleats on the brain! And then you post this…I’m going to have to bite the bullet and get this done.

  3. chris says

    I was scared to try to make my own pinch pleats.

    I got them about 8 years ago from the J.C. Penney’s catalog. They were on sale and were a very reasonable price!

    I love them — they have held up very, very well, even on the western side of the house where the afternoon sun blazes in!

  4. Melanie says

    I still have pinch pleats in my living room. I burned the ones that were here when I moved in (yes, they were in that bad of shape!) and put up some that came out of my parents house. The fabric looks just like some of those in your ebay carousel. But I’m really wanting some different fabric that actually goes with my livingroom.

    I will be making my own, as soon as I find the perfect fabric that is in my budget.

  5. Elaine says

    I made my own pinch pleats in the early 70s out of king top sheets in a beautiful pastel flower pattern. Sewed the pleat tape along the top, used the pinch pleat making hooks and presto! It was easy, once I figured out how to make the sheets fit the triple window width. The length was perfect for floor to ceiling curtains.

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