Posted in DIY

DIY project advice via Email

Hello again,

This blog is not the traditional blog because I decided to share an email conversation.  One of my neighbors saw what I  did to my living room curtains on my website, and embarked on redoing her sewing room which included curtains.

The name of the original blog was “Lengthening Curtains” posted June 28, 2012.

First email:

Hi Shari,

Okay, so my not-a-sewing-room is now painted in Benjamin Moore Ashley Grey, and I really like it!  I’m getting ready to make drapes (bought some winter-white with black swirls, softly modern-looking) fabric, bought a 1/2 inch black metal pole which I’m planning to mount fairly close to the ceiling, as we had talked about you doing at your house, too.  I’m debating about grommeted vs. pinch pleated.  What do you think?  Here’s a link to Pottery Barn’s grommeted style:

and here’s a link showing the kind of pinch pleating I’m considering, with 2 folds:

Talk with you soon,

My response:


To answer your questions – pinched means more traditional….so, if you want to get away from that look (which I think you do) then I would go for the Pottery Barn draperies.  Thoughts?

My walls and curtains in my living/dining room turned out spectacular!!  It was very motivational.

Let me know how it turns out!


Neighbor’s response:

Hi Shari,

Thanks for your input, and I agree, I would prefer grommets, but I’ve been doing some checking around town and it’s not practical for me to invest in the equipment to do metal grommets (the plastic snap-together ones from JoAnn are way too flimsy for this fabric and wouldn’t slide nicely anyway) and I’m having trouble locating a drapery place (even The Drapery Place!) that will do it for me (Calico Corners will do it only on fabric purchased from them, and it’s still $155 per pair of panels!)  I’m looking online for places I could send my panels to.  If all else fails, a pinch pleat, pleated at the top with only two folds might be okay.

I’m also having trouble finding basic drapery-making supplies – noone seems to sell 4″ buckram for headers anymore, but I can definitely find that online.

Have a great Sunday afternoon,

Later that afternoon…


Ok, what look are you trying to accomplish?  The drapes seem really pricey for what you are looking to do???  What about panels without grommets and use clip rings?  They are panels and instead of using the pocket hole for the rod, you buy rings that have clips on them.  I have those in my basement office and love them.  Maybe, we should talk because JCPenny has great rods with the clips I mentioned.  It’s a thought anyway….

Have a great Sunday afternoon as well!


Final email:

Hi Shari,

Your drapes look great!  Did you sew a contrasting panel on the bottom, or is the solid color a shorter overlay over an under-drape?

I have mounted a 1/2″ black metal pole ($15.00) 3 inches below the ceiling (was planning for fabric above the grommet) with enough stackback space to allow all of the window but the side window molding to be visible.

I bought 6 yards of fabric at S.R. Harris ($54.00) and lining ($20.00) at JoAnn’s.  I’m planning to purchase small black metal rings and drapery hooks for the pleats if I can’t work the grommet angle, and I will also check into the rings with clips.  J.C. Penney is a great idea for this, and close to my school (Ridgedale.)

Some interiors labeled as ‘contemporary’ on the internet include pleated drapes w/rings on thin poles:


But maybe it will still look too traditional (I know you know I’m trying to break free from this!)  I think black metal grommets would be really sharp.  I just sent you a snapshot of my wall color and fabric.


Thanks again for your thoughts on all of this!


My point in this blog, is that help in decorating comes in many forms.  In this case, by asking a couple of questions helped my neighbor figure out what she liked best and to find alternative cheaper solutions.  I think if we hadn’t had this email conversation, she would have settled for an expensive solution.

What do you all think?

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