How to make machined drapery trim

While hand sewing and finishing gives the best results for many aspects of drape making, machined drapery trim is one option where sewing by machine is a great alternative.

Also known as 'bagging', or 'bagged out edges', this technique can be used for both straight and curved edges.

So it's useful not just for drape and valance edges, but also for the bottom edge of swags, and for round table cloths.

 

Straight edge or curved?

true cross for curved bound edges

Strips of binding fabric cut on the true cross for use on curved edges. Join strips by machine seaming as shown.

If you're applying a binding to any straight edge, cut the fabric for the binding on the straight grain, vertically or horizontally. For top or bottom edges, make sure any seams in the trimming match up with the seams in the main fabric.

For a curved edge, cut the fabric on the true cross (45 degrees to the selvage). Obviously these can only be a certain length, depending on the width of the fabric. Longer lengths are made by joining strips at right angles.

 

Insert the trimming fabric

machine trim straight edges

Machine sew the trim between the main fabric and the lining, then turn and press.

The idea is simple. Instead of joining your fabric and lining directly, insert the bound edge fabric between them. Use the same width of binding as before, and join the lining and main fabric onto either side. Then simply fold over and press.

 

trim on curved edges

Fabric and lining are notched so they can be aligned on either side of the trim fabric.

For curved edges prepare the binding as before by cutting on the true cross.

Place the main fabric and lining together, then cut notches into them. Now machine seam the binding to the fabric and lining, using the notches to correctly align the main fabric and lining on either side of the binding fabric.

Note: the illustration shows the fabric and lining as having straight edges - this is just for clarity, they are in fact curved.

 

Summary

This a great way to make your drapery elements look really professional. For items which consist of a main fabric and lining it's one of the easiest ways to make the most of your treatments.

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