These flat clip-top panels are the easiest of all. I can hardly wait for you to see how easy!
We’ve already covered the bottom hem in Step 1 and the side hems in Step 2. This tutorial is very similar to the process of making any type of pleat-top panel, but we’re stopping short of the pleating process.
After the bottom and side hemming, we start by attaching buckram across the top portion of the panel. You can buy buckram, which comes on a roll and is sold by the yard, at your local fabric store. Buckram comes in different widths. You want to use the 4″ width for panels.
My example is with an unlined panel, but this process is the same with lined panels. I’m using a single-width panel, which is the size you need for a single window. (This tutorial works with multiple-width panels, as well.) You’ll actually be making two panels, of course, but I demonstrate with one.
When I took these pictures, I was making panels for a school play and trying to save fabric. For pinch-pleat panels, you would turn down two 4″ sections along the top. You could do that for this treatment, as well. As you will see, I turned down the top panel edge 1/2″ and pressed it.
You will sew the buckram to this edge, whether you’ve turned down 1/2″ or 4″ (the usual way). See the corner, how I “wedged” it under before stitching? You’ll want to do that, too, at both panel edges. It’s really easy, just a quick fold as you begin and end your line of stitching.
There are many types of pleating tapes, but this plain buckram is my favorite – and the most versatile, in my opinion. Cut the length of buckram to 1″ short of your width at each panel edge and sew it along the top edge of the section you turned down and ironed.
Fold this entire section down another 4″ width of the buckram, and press well. This hides the buckram from view, while adding the stiffness you need to prevent the top from “flopping” down between curtain rod rings. Stitch along the same line as the side hem seams.
This is easy to follow when you turn the panel front-side up and sew on top of the current side hem stitches. Also, sew very close along the edge so you don’t have an opening along there.
I turn the panel reverse-side-up for this step. This way, it’s easier to see that you’ve gotten the reverse side hidden well behind the front.
Let’s recap: For each panel, you sewed one stitch line along the top edge to attach the buckram, and you sewed two very short seams at each end.
Hey, guess what?
You are finished.
I know! You can’t believe it, right? You thought it would involve so much more work.
But, now you know my secret…it’s so easy that anyone can do it. I’m no rocket scientist, so you know if I can do it, so can you!
If this was so easy that you’re inspired to go further with your panels to make some style of pleat, please proceed by following my tutorials for the one you choose.
For the flat panels, all that remains is hanging the curtains onto the clips. Measure along the top to get your panel width.
Pin at 3″ from each edge of the panel. That’s the location for your 2 outer rings. We have 5 rings remaining. Measure the width between the two pins, divide that by 6. The number you get is the distance between each ring. (I like to clip my rings on the panel at this point, then slide the rings onto the pole.)
Now that it’s hung, don’t you love the simplicity of the look (and the work!)?
Thank you for joining me for this tutorial. Leave me a comment if you have a question or have something of value to add. I also like to hear your success stories.
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