Stitch Craft Create Blog

Guest Post: How to use Cartridge Pleat Tape

Today we’re excited to bring you a special guest post from our friends at Rowley! They’re THE go-to DIY source for supplies, projects and inspiration for sewing curtains, shades, pillows and more.

We’ve had a great time getting to know them as we’ve worked together over the last few months, and can’t speak highly enough of not only their staff’s expertise, but their kindness as well.

Well, we don’t know about you guys, but making nice curtains and draperies can be a little intimidating. All that fabric, all those different tools?! You’re in luck, because Rowley’s team has prepared a tutorial for you on how to create beautifully pleated draperies in a snap using their special Cartridge Pleat Sew-On Header Tape. A few of our employees visited with the Rowley folks at the Sewing Expo in Novi, MI last month and got to see this technique in action, and they are still gabbing about how easy and awesome this tool is. So let’s get started!

Cartridge pleat tape

1. Make drapery panels, finish side and bottom hems. At the top, fold over a doubled 4” header. Do not sew the header.
2. Measure the panel width and cut a piece of Cartridge pleat tape 8” longer than panel width.
3. At one end, find the woven-in repeat-indicating threads and mark with a pin. This marks your first flat space.
4. Carefully pull out cords from tape and tie together. Trim away excess tape 1” from cords.
5. Place the tape along the drapery heading with the pocket rows facing up and towards the top of the drapery.
6. Turn under the cut edge and pin the tape to the drapery heading starting at one side (this will be the front edge of the drapery).
7. At the opposite end pull out cords and trim the tape leaving 1” beyond the end of the panel. Tie these loose pull cords together and turn cut edge under and pin to the panel.
8. Machine stitch the top and bottom of the tape to the panel. Stitch edges in the same direction, being careful not to sew over the shirring cords.
9. After the tape is sewn, pull cords and push the fabric along the tape, pushing the first pleat into position.
10. Continue pulling the cords until all the pleats are formed. Make sure there is no puckering between the pleats; the spaces between the pleats should be flat.

Wrong side of pleats

11. Tie off the cords. Do not cut off the excess cords. Wind the loose cords together and hand stitch to the panel.
12. Install pleated draperies on decorative rods with rings using drapery pin hooks.

  • TIP: To create more definition for Cartridge Pleats, cut a 12” piece of 4” wide buckram, roll up tightly and insert into the pleat, allowing it to slightly unroll until tight inside the pleat. (This really helps!)
You can find cartridge pleat tape, buckram, drapery pin hooks and SO much more on Rowley’s website. Plus, check out their great videos and how-to guides for other home dec projects and products!
Be sure to join us for our October SCC Tweet Meet on October 24th at 9pm ET/8pm CT under hashtag #SCCmeet – Rowley is our sponsor, and they’ve got a huge basket of goodies to give away to one lucky participant!

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