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Old 04-15-2012, 08:59 AM   #1
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Need details on original drapes

My original drapes were removed long ago by a previous owner and I plan to make my own in a similar style. I have a few technical questions that owners with original drapes or expensive replacements can answer.

I have snaps pop riveted to my interior walls near the upper and lower corners of where a curtain panel would be. I assume there is either a snap concealed in the hem of a panel, or a tab with a mating snap sewn on that tucks behind the panel. The purpose of these I assume is to keep the ends of the panels from coming off the tracks and I'd like to know how it is done.

In my living room above the credenza there are two windows side by side. Since the drapes will part in the center of each window, I was wondering if the original design had three panels here, with a larger center one that overlaps the space between the two windows. Seems like it would result in a cleaner look than if done with four panels.

Whenever I do this project I'll post some photos.

Thanks,
Christopher
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:57 AM   #2
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Hi Christopher,
I currently making new curtain for my 77 Sovereign. I'd be happy to help you out since I'm in the thick of it.
The curtain have a small 1-2 inch tab at the corners of the curtain with the other male end of the snap. The snaps just anchor the curtain from sliding all the way across the tracks.
Do you have a front couch? There are four panels there and they do part in the middle. The four panels follow the curve of the wall and cover the speakers.
I can take pics if you need and help you with dimensions too. I still have my curtains which were replaced sometime in the 80's by the PO. I am using those as my template and so far it's working out great.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:37 AM   #3
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Drape details

Here are three pictures of the totally original drapes in my '71 Caravel.

You can see how the end of the drape is turned inside out so the snap does not show, and the curtain edge is hidden. You can also see the pleat system and the lining used in the drapes of that era.

Hope this helps you out.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:43 AM   #4
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The side by side windows

In my living room above the credenza there are two windows side by side. Since the drapes will part in the center of each window, I was wondering if the original design had three panels here, with a larger center one that overlaps the space between the two windows. Seems like it would result in a cleaner look than if done with four panels.

Whenever I do this project I'll post some photos.

Thanks,
Christopher[/QUOTE]

Yes, our side by side windows in the living room are on the streetside. They do indeed have 3 panels. A small panel on each end and a longer panel in the middle that covers from the middle of each window and over the section in between the windows.
If I had to do it over, I would add extra length there as ours seem a bit too short to close up the gap. I have added velcro tabs at the corners to keep them from gapping open at night.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blickcd View Post
...

In my living room above the credenza there are two windows side by side. Since the drapes will part in the center of each window, I was wondering if the original design had three panels here, with a larger center one that overlaps the space between the two windows. Seems like it would result in a cleaner look than if done with four panels.

...
In my Excella, the center panel is the smaller on while the larger ones are at either end. This allows the center one to not block the view as much when they are open.

I also have venetian blinds on the side windows in the living area. The center panel is wide enough to block the gaps between the blinds and the wall, while the end blinds close off the gaps at either end of the window pair. Helps with privacy.

Someone asked for the number of pleats in the curtains a while back. Easy to count pleats, not so easy to measure lengths, while they are installed. Anyway, the two end panels have 8 pleats and 10 glides-one on each pleat and one on each end. The center panel had 5 pleats. No snaps on the center panel. Remember, these are for my 1983 34' Excella. Yours may be different, but it still gives you something for comparison.

On edit after loudruff's post: My curtains came with Velcro at the pleats to keep them together. Still kind of works after 29 years.
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:03 PM   #6
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Mrs. Mod, yes I do have a couch in the front, right across the front of the trailer, with its back to the window. So you say the curtains for the front which wrap around are in four sections? I would have guessed two longer panels.

Do I understand correctly that the two end panels are smaller, just enough to cover the speakers, while the two center ones would cover the front window?

I would like to see photos of your work, and also know a bit about the shape of the front panels. With the lower track being longer than the upper, I wasn't sure if the drape panels were cut out as rectangular or with an angle at one end, or maybe cut in a slight curve at one end.

idroba, I can see how on the front window the snap would work folded under on the corners, while on side walls tabs off the end would work better.

As for the classic pleats at the top, I was hoping to come up with a simpler design. I am by no means a seamstress, but I have a lot of determination.

Christopher
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:24 PM   #7
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...

As for the classic pleats at the top, I was hoping to come up with a simpler design. I am by no means a seamstress, but I have a lot of determination.

Christopher
Actually, it's more complex than that. There are pleats on the bottom, too.
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:30 PM   #8
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I have invested (and I do mean invested!) in night shades but I am planning small side curtains (got that fabric cheap) for each window to keep the shades in place (otherwise I'm told they'll gap at the sides when closed). I'm going to use an easier pleat on mine since they won't be functional for the most part, by just folding a pleat over towards the outside of the window every few inches and stitching it down. Vintage Trailer has the best deal on the tracks and hardware for them. You can get larger quantities for cheaper prices than otherwhere. I will be making functional pull across drapes for my side front windows the same way. I'm going to do a valance across the top of each window to hide the shade top piece. Haven't quite worked that out yet.... I'm also going to line my curtains with lining fabric to keep them from fading. We were in some new AS at the dealership a few weeks ago, and the curtains in them were not lined and looked really flimsey. Not like the older ones at all! I would definitely line my curtains!

Kay
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Old 04-15-2012, 02:52 PM   #9
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Actually, it's more complex than that. There are pleats on the bottom, too.
Pleats can be fun and are easier once you see how they are done. Hmmm, maybe I should make a video tutorial.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:38 PM   #10
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hey, Mrs. Mod, you could make some money on that tutorial! I'd buy it, and by the number of threads about curtains right now, others would too..
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:23 PM   #11
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Ditto

That tutorial would be a great hit!!!
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:14 AM   #12
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I have a question about those top and bottom pleats. If these were regular drapes for a house window with traverse rod, you could sew pleating tape onto the drapes, and then insert the the little prongs which fill out the pleat and have a hook on the back for hanging. Now in an Airstream trailer the curtains attach with these little plastic glides that I believe sew on with a small loop of elastic.

So how are the pleats made on the original drapes and reproduction ones? Sewn painstakingly one at a time?

Christopher
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:46 AM   #13
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I have a question about those top and bottom pleats. If these were regular drapes for a house window with traverse rod, you could sew pleating tape onto the drapes, and then insert the the little prongs which fill out the pleat and have a hook on the back for hanging. Now in an Airstream trailer the curtains attach with these little plastic glides that I believe sew on with a small loop of elastic.

So how are the pleats made on the original drapes and reproduction ones? Sewn painstakingly one at a time?

Christopher
Yes, the pleats are made one at a time, but it's not as slow as you might think. I didn't think I could do it either but once I saw it done, it was really easy. I have only been sewing for about a year. Ok, well, in that year i've been pretty much sewing non-stop. I'm a quilter now.
I'd be glad to make a video or picture tutorial. Right now, I'm waiting for my order of pleat tape to come in the mail. You need pleat tape. Once it arrives, any day now, I can resume making the curtains.
Meanwhile, I'll start writing up the instructions. Give me a few days. I'll post my instructions maybe other sewists can give their input too.

P.s. once my curtains are finished, I'll have my old set which are not in bad condition up for grabs. They can be cleaned and they need new clips sewn on. Or you can have them for templates.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:55 PM   #14
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Ah, so you will be using pleater tape. From what I've researched that looks like an easy way to go since it sews on flat. However, once it is on your drapes, as I understand it, you then insert those forked hanger hooks that shape the pleat.

An idea that I had was to use pleater tape, insert the forked hangers but then cut the hanger hook portion of them off. Maybe secure them in place with a hand stitch or two if needed.

I'd have my plastic glides sewed on near each pleat, top and bottom. Are your plans similar?

Christopher
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