i should be mopping the floor: How to Make Reversible Drapes

Thursday, September 28, 2017

How to Make Reversible Drapes

This post is sponsored by Waverly but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

This tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home. I used some beautiful Waverly Design Series at Joann fabrics for my drapes today...they've been the perfect touch for our master bedroom. 

This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
I shared our master bedroom here a couple of weeks ago...but I just gave it a pretty significant update with these floral reversible drapes I created for this space. I made them reversible for several reasons...but honestly, now I want reversible drapes in all of our rooms. Check out this complete tutorial, using Waverly Design Series at Joann fabrics, below. 


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
Above is one side of the draperies. The fabric I used on this side is called Key of Life in Blush. I think it's perfect for fall...the colors are so stunning in the design. I love how they make the colors in my antique plates really pop. Click here for more information on this fabric.


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
This is an entirely different look using the reverse sides of the drapery panels. This is called Ballad Bouquet in Platinum from Waverly Design Series at Joann. I think it will be perfect to use as we head into the winter months...it's like the perfect mix of winter whites and grey tones. Click here for more information on this fabric.

These drapes were a bit of a necessity. When we moved into this 1972 fixer over a year ago, I realized the large glass slider door from our bedroom (it's pictured below) into the sunroom left our room pretty exposed to the entire house (including the window to the front door). There was literally a straight view into my bathroom's vanity area from the front door. I bought some cheap drapery panels as a quick fix to at least make the place habitable until I could find the drapes I really wanted. But the cheap ones were just that...cheap. They were thin and sloppy looking. On my side of the bed, our neighbor's light above his garage shown through the drapes all night...which was a bit of a bother for me. Since it was a security light, I didn't want him to have to alter his routine. But, I knew we needed something a lot thicker than those old cheapies. These new reversible drapes are so nice and thick that they act as blackout drapes, too! I don't even see his light anymore. 


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
Again, I used Waverly Design Series at Joann's Ballad Bouquet in Platinum (pictured left, above) and their Key of Life in Blush (pictured right, above) fabrics for these drapes. Ready to get started and learn how to make reversible drapes? Make sure your bobbin is full...let's do this!


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
For this tutorial, you'll need two fabrics in enough yardage to cover your windows. These Waverly Design Series at Joann fabrics measure 54" in width, so I didn't have to double up. But, I did use 96" in length per panel and I have four reversible panels, total (so eight panels of individual fabric before they're sewn together). 

You'll also need pins and thread (the thread on the right looks off in color, but it is a taupe that ended up working well with the Key of Life fabric). I also used sewing clips, and they made the work a bit faster...they're a nice alternative to pins. Grab your best sewing scissors, as you'll be doing a lot of cutting on these. You'll need to make sure your sewing machine has a blind hem stitch presser foot, too. I have one pictured further below for you to see. 

As I mentioned, I cut my fabric at 96" lengths. You'll need one of each of your fabric patterns for each panel. So, each of my panels has two pieces of fabric, both cut at 96"x54". If you have tiled floor, it's easy to cut large fabric panels on that. We have 12" tiles, so it makes it fairly easy for projects like these. 


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
On one of your SHORT sides of each piece of fabric, you're going to be doing a blind hem stitch. This will be at the bottom of your drapes. It's a nice stitch that is kind of hidden and makes for a super clean look. You'll do one of these stitches on each of your fabrics on one of the shorter sides. Then we will sew them together (right sides together, sewn on three sides), and turn it all inside out to make the drapery panel. It's not nearly as complicated as it sounds...pinky promise, y'all! 
Start by taking your cut fabric and iron a quarter inch seam on one of the short (54") sides. 


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
Take that ironed seam over to your sewing machine and sew a basic stitch on it to hold it in place. If you have a serger, you can serge this side instead of doing this quarter inch hem. It's just to tidy up the raw edge of fabric. 


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
Now, on that same side where you just did the hem, turn your fabric up to create your desired length of drape (minus about an inch for the top seam). I wanted my finished drape to hang at 91". So, I turned my fabric up 4" at the bottom, where we already sewed that quarter inch seam in place. Do a diagonal pin along the bottom. You're keeping these on the diagonal, in case you need to pull them out when sewing (which you probably won't since that's such a larger hem...but I'm always an over-pinner). 


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
You're going to grab the hem, pinch it and turn it to where the right side of the hem is touching the right side of the body of the drape (see above and below photo).


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
Once that hem is turned, leave a quarter of an inch along the edge. Pin or clip.

It's now time to sew the blind hem stitch using your sewing machine.


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
This is what my machine's blind hem stitch presser foot looks like (above). Yours may look a bit different...but the important part is that little guide that will hang down. Mine is adjustable, so I can make it larger, if I want. But just make sure your foot has that guide (to see how the guide functions when sewing, scroll down two photos).


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
My blind hem stitch is the #4 stitch on my machine. This gives you an idea of what the stitch will look like...it's like a basic stitch with a small zig zag stitch every few stitches. That zig zag is what will catch the hem...but will barely show on the right side of the fabric (hence the name, blind hem stitch).


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
As you can see above, that guide will go along that little quarter inch of fabric. A little tip I learned was to keep my eye on the guide and not the needle...when I watched the needle, it looked like I was off course. But the guide is what matters here. Do not do a back stitch with this type of hem...it would show on the front of the fabric...which is the opposite of what we're going for here. Stitch away, friend...the entire length of that short side of fabric.


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
Here is a close up of what the reverse side of the stitch looks like when complete.


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
Flip your pretty fabric back to its correct side and you can see where that hem caught the fabric. You may actually want a smaller stitch length than the one I used here. I wanted to show you how it looked, so mine's slightly longer. The best way to get good at this stitch is to practice several times on scrap fabric (and text with your expert sewer mother-in-law, like I did!). This hem is perfect for drapery and trouser projects. 

You can remove those pins now. Then iron your fabric really well so this crease we made no longer shows. 

Repeat this hem on your other piece of cut fabric. Then we will be sandwiching them together to make the reversible drapery panel.


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
Above is one corner of the sandwich. You will lay your two pieces of fabric for your panels right sides together (or, pretty sides together, like my mother always said when she sewed). If you cut everything correctly, it should all line up. The most important line is the one on the bottom (where you just made those blind hem stitches on each piece of fabric). Make sure those line up perfectly. If you're off a bit on the other areas, it's not too hard to correct with a larger seam or some trimming, but the bottom has to line up perfectly since it won't be sewn together (see below diagram). If your bottom two pieces of fabric do not line up, one will hang longer and show from the opposite side (which kind of gives away your secrets for having reversible drapes). It's all smoke and mirrors, here, y'all. Wink.


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
The above shows how this all goes together when it's hanging. Leaving the bottom open is a game changer. It makes the drape hang really well, even if you aren't the tidiest sewer. If there are discrepancies in your measurements and cuts, it would show really blatantly if all four sides were sewn shut. I learned this nifty trick from my husband's cousin a while back. Again, that blind hem stitch is at the bottom of the drape.


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
Clip or pin the entire perimeter. Remember, you're not sewing this bottom part, but you want to clip or pin it in place first, so it lines up perfectly. Then do the sides and top, too. I had to lay my drape out on my dining table and then the floor to really get it lined up. I did have to trim an inch off of one side of one piece of fabric...it happens.

Do a basic stitch around the three sides you're sewing (remember NOT the bottom!).

This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
I did a big ol' one inch seam on this one...only because I was slightly off on one of my measurements and wanted to be sure I caught both fabrics. You'll want to clip off your two corners that are sewn (but don't cut into your stitching or you'll be super sad).

Turn the entire drape inside out! Push out your corners that you clipped with a sharpish object (I use the slanted side of a wooden manicure stick)...careful not to push all the way through. You just want to push it into a nice, crisp corner.

Press the entire drapery panel...making sure your edges lay nice and crisp for you.


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
This is a photo of the bottom edge of one of my panels while it was hanging. 
You can see how I left the bottom open.


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
And again, you can see how that blind hem stitch looks in place.
I'm seriously so in love with this Waverly Design Series at Joann fabric...up close, it's even dreamier, y'all.


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
I hang my drapes on rings since we open and close them morning and night...they function so well. Again, all the heart eyes for this Key of Life fabric. Click here to grab some for yourself from Waverly Design Series at Joann.


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
In the above photo, I have the Ballad Bouquet side of the drape facing the room...but it's a nice shot to show the reversibility and how well these drapes work. And hey...either way, my neighbor sees a pretty side of the drape, too...no more ugly drapes facing outward, y'all!


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
I think the Ballad Bouquet fabric is just as stunning and creates an entirely new look for our room. 
Click here for more information on this fabric.


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
Here is the opposite side of the room, where our sliding glass door to the sunroom is. It's so nice to have pretty drapes going both towards the sunroom AND facing into our bedroom, too. You can see that my drapes hang about one inch off the floor. That's actually purposeful, y'all. Here in our part of Texas, lizards and geckos run rampant...and scare the heehaw out of me. They tended to hide in my drapes' puddles of fabric at the bottom (especially here at the sliding door). By keeping these off the floor just slightly, I'm hoping this will keep those away...for the sheer reason that they scare me.


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
And here is the reverse over on the sliding doors, in the Key of Life Blush fabric from Waverly Design Series at Joann. I plan to use more of this fabric for throw pillows on the bed and small valances for the master bathroom. 


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.
Does this seem like a tutorial you'd like to try?


This step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make reversible drapes is a practical solution for changing out your drapes seasonally. It also creates a really lovely look for your window treatments from the outside of your home.

What room would you use reversible drapes in?






11 comments:

  1. This is a fabulous idea! We will be moving in a new home soon and I think this would work so well for my new windows. Thank you. Your fabric is beautiful.

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    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate that! xoxo

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  2. It is a great idea but what about the sun fading the fabric?

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    1. Hi Gail-- This side of our home is full of trees and pretty shaded (it looks brighter in the photo with the way I had to edit the coloring of the photos since I was shooting into the light). I also have narrow windows here...if the drapes are pulled all the way open (they're only pulled halfway for photos), they're over the wall, not the window. I keep them open all day long, so they're really never exposed to direct sunlight. Hope that makes sense!

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  3. They are absolutely fabulous! You are so talented!

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  4. Lovely drapes and great tutorial! Good job Kristi!

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    1. Thank you so much, Nyla! I appreciate all of the text help along the way! xoxo

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  5. Very pretty! I have the same question as Gail - What about fading from the sun? Won't the side facing the window fade?

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    1. Thanks so much. Yes, this side of our home is full of trees and pretty shaded (it looks brighter in the photo with the way I had to edit the coloring of the photos since I was shooting into the light). I also have narrow windows here...if the drapes are pulled all the way open, they're over the wall, not the window. I keep them open all day long, so they're really never exposed to direct sunlight. Hope that makes sense!

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  6. I love the grey toned side!!! And I feel your pain with lizards coming in the house...that's why I have dogs. ;) Beautiful drapes, Kristi!

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