Author Topic: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape  (Read 2405 times)

Offline kowgiirl.up

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RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« on: April 04, 2018, 09:21:11 PM »
I need to replace our worn out front windshield curtains in our bus. While I've hemmed curtains in the past this will be a new adventure for me. It should be a pretty easy project as far as the sewing part.

For those of you that are "in the know", is this product the right choice for stiffening the top of the curtains for pleating? https://www.sailrite.com/Curtain-Drapery-Header-Tape-Non-Woven-3-Inch

I didn't know the proper word for the stiffening material so the chat person provided the link. It it correctly called "Drapery Tape" or is there a better word?

These curtains will be in our RV and won't be washed a whole heck of a lot.

Thanks  :)
Theresa

Runs with scissors

Offline vtmartha

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2018, 10:16:34 PM »
I think that should be fine.  If you want pleats, there is tape that has sewn slots for pleating hooks.  For casual situations, I’ve made a number of curtains using this snap tape.  The snaps attach to sliders which run on a relatively small plastic track.  Very easy!

Offline kowgiirl.up

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2018, 11:23:42 PM »
Thanks Martha. I've got some in my shopping cart as I type along with some nifty swatches.

I saw those snaps you linked to on the website but couldn't figure out what they would be good for, now I know  :)
Theresa

Runs with scissors

Offline bessiecrocker

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2018, 11:31:01 AM »
  The  generic name is drapery header tape. There are about a million different kinds and you need to match the type to   the style and how your curtains are hung and the weight and size of the fabric in the curtains.  Looking at the sailrite selection, I would tend to go with this version...
 https://www.sailrite.com/Curtain-Drapery-Clip-Ring-Tape-3-7-8-Inch

it's lighter weight, and gives you more attaching possibilities. (more than they show here.) Unless you have a good reason, hanging your curtains will be easier to attach if the tape has some loops built into it. (the kind you link to does not seen to have loops,)

I don't know if you have an Ikea where you are...Ikea (in Europe anyway) sells pretty decent tape and it's cheap. Check before you go there because I don't see it on their website. A good local notions store or curtain shop should offer a variety of kinds of tape. It also helps if you can find a human to explain how the tapes can be hung.

The snappy kind that Vtmartha  recommends is good for bottom and side edges of curtains in campers and boats because you can fix the curtains so they dont move around when you are in motion,
 

Offline kowgiirl.up

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2018, 09:48:54 PM »
Bessie~ the curtains I need to make use a little hook that on a ring that slides on a rail.
This is not my RV but shows the same type of curtains that I plan on making using a single pleat, one forward and one backward that the little hook attaches to.

I ordered the Dritz header tape after sewing some samples. I determined that this header tape would hold up better to all the bouncing around that our bus goes through.

I've learned a lot about how curtains go together, different tapes and ways to attach. Not something I thought I would need in my mental sewing toolbox but very interesting and a good skill to add. Fabric should be here sometime next week. The Bernina is going to be put to good use :)



The hooks



Theresa

Runs with scissors

Offline Elephun

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2018, 12:43:11 AM »
When I was a kid, my mom and I made pinch pleated curtains for my room twice.  I am not an expert by any means, but one pair is still up and functions, even though the fabric has seen better days. We followed a process very similar to the one shown in this quick online video tutorial. It shows pretty clearly how to use the pleater tape and clips, as well as how to measure your fabric.

If the pleater clips you use don't have a hook, I think you'll need to use a hook like you showed, but you can buy pleater clips with hooks like in the video and that will save a step. Ill try to add a link.


Pleater Hooks
Pleater Tape
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 12:49:24 AM by Elephun »

Offline vtmartha

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2018, 12:11:34 PM »
I did a double take when I saw the photo.  I used the same Sunbrella fabric when I had some porch furniture recovered years back.  It’s almost time to do that again. 

Offline sliderule

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2018, 01:03:30 AM »
It's almost the same as the Sunbrella I used for my porch chairs.  I think the green stripe on mine is narrower.  And I bought some lighter weight fabric for a utility room curtain, and when I got it home I thought it looked awfully familiar.  I looked out on the porch and saw the same striped pattern, same colors.  That must be one of their most successful prints. 

Offline bessiecrocker

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2018, 12:35:12 PM »
I did a double take when I saw the photo.   

Me too! But not about the fabric. I had to figure out what  the strange black things were on the ceiling of the camper. Fiahing rods! Duh!

Back to the hooks... the advantage of the second kind of hooks, posted by Elephun, is that they will slip into the pockets or loops on the header tape. Kowgiirl's type hooks are fine ...but they usually get clipped directly into non loop/pocket tape, and often end up going directly through the curtain fabric. In the long run this can damage your fabric and shorten the life of your drapes. Probably not a major concern if it's in a camper, but useful to think about if you are planning on doing home dec.

Offline vtmartha

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2018, 01:43:39 PM »
I did a double take when I saw the photo.   

Me too! But not about the fabric. I had to figure out what  the strange black things were on the ceiling of the camper. Fiahing rods! Duh!


Thank you!  I was wondering that myself.  Now I realize that’s a boat! 

Offline kowgiirl.up

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2018, 05:31:46 PM »
Back to the hooks... the advantage of the second kind of hooks, posted by Elephun, is that they will slip into the pockets or loops on the header tape. Kowgiirl's type hooks are fine ...but they usually get clipped directly into non loop/pocket tape, and often end up going directly through the curtain fabric. In the long run this can damage your fabric and shorten the life of your drapes. Probably not a major concern if it's in a camper, but useful to think about if you are planning on doing home dec.

Right, they hook right through the fabric. The curtains I'm replacing have broken down where the hooks hook in (say that 3 times fast LOL). I'm hoping the stiffer header tape will give us a little more wear time. The originals that I'm replacing are 11 years old and have seen better days. I figure if the "new" ones will last at least that long then I will be ready for a change anyhow. Jeepers, I'll be 70 by then  :o

The original curtains sit about 3 inches above the dash center of the dash. My plan is to cut the new ones longer in that area so I have a more custom fit there. It would be nice if folks couldn't peek inside the bus when I'm running around in my skivvies. Hopefully I can pull that off. Can't be harder than sewing a wedding dress right?  ;D

Elephun, thanks for the link. It looks pretty easy to make pleats with those hooks. Something for me to keep in mind for the future for sure.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 05:34:23 PM by kowgiirl.up »
Theresa

Runs with scissors

Offline kowgiirl.up

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2018, 06:28:09 PM »
The new fabric came in last week and I hope to get started on the curtains this week. I'm pretty excited to get going and to have another excuse to use the Bernina  :crush:.
One of the things I have to figure out is how to sew those folds that run the length of the curtain (is it curtain or drapes?) that allows them to fold back nicely when not in use. I think what I'll try is what my hubby suggested. He thought I could mark out the folds then press them in before sewing the pleats at the top. It will be a pain but it must might work.
Theresa

Runs with scissors

Offline kowgiirl.up

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2018, 07:06:55 PM »
I have my curtains cut out and panels sewn together, LOTS of fabric. I am having a problem with both the serger and the SM pushing the top fabric. The fabric I'm using has a rubber like coating on the back that makes it the top when sewing if that makes sense. What I ended up doing is placing tissue paper under the presser foot which helped mostly.
I decided to do blind hems instead of the normal straight stitch which should give them a more professional look. That Bernina blind hem foot is the cat's meow!

I haven't figured out how I well sew all the folds into each curtain when I get to that point. There are lots of them!! The folds run the entire length of the curtain so they can be pulled back neatly out of the way while driving~ think accordion.

I took a break today but plan to get back at it tomorrow.
Theresa

Runs with scissors

Offline CCL

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2018, 07:25:20 PM »
What I ended up doing is placing tissue paper under the presser foot which helped mostly.


Great hack, Kowgiirl!   I do that with really thin, fine fabrics, never thought about it for heavy slippery pieces.

Offline Helen M

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2018, 10:27:14 PM »
I bet it will blunt the needles quickly kowgiirl! I remember being told in a soft furnishings class to always change the needle after sewing on the curtain tape. They suggested using size 18 needles as well, not a size I'd used before.
Sewing in Cheshire

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Offline kowgiirl.up

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2018, 06:13:41 PM »
Progress!

A walking foot would have been handy for this project. A blind hem walking foot would have been prefect if there even is one.
I ended up doing a straight stitch for the side hems instead of the blind hem that I really wanted to have. I just couldn't get the fabric to co-operate so I gave in.
Still, they are turning out really nice so far. Making all those folds is a two man job and getting a nice crease is important too. The long stick is my makeshift tailors clapper. Sometimes you just a have to wing it and make do with what's available. I'll post some pics of that later of the pleating/folding process.

One panel done..

Theresa

Runs with scissors

Offline kowgiirl.up

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2018, 03:26:19 PM »
The RV curtains are done and they look spectacular if I do say so myself. I’ll get some pics together to add to this soon..

The fabrics backside was a bit if a challenge to iron since it was some sort of rubber. If I even touched it with the iron it would come off. I remembered I had some silk organza in my stash. It worked great as a pressing cloth.

This was a fun project but I hope I don’t have to press that many folds in a very long time.
Theresa

Runs with scissors

Offline kowgiirl.up

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2018, 10:39:40 PM »
Pictures!

Attaching the header tape~ easy!



Blind hem using the Bernina. I had to use tissue paper to keep the fabric from creeping/pushing.



Even with the tissue the presser foots was still pushing so I ended up having to pin like this:



The back side



Sewing the side hems turned out to be a little easier since I was sewing on the outside of the fabric. Still I had to pay attention. Boy a walking foot would have been nice for this step!



Header folded over ready for tacking and pressing folds


The folding and pressing process had me stumped. I searched the internet for tips with no luck. I ended up marking the folds with pins top and bottom starting at the center and working out right and left from there. Then pressing them in place by flipping the fabric back and forth or under and over. Getting good creases proved difficult.


What you do to hold one end when your helper is elsewhere


Before. You can see the spots that were almost worn through.


Theresa

Runs with scissors

Offline kowgiirl.up

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2018, 10:49:32 PM »
Continued

After. They actually look nicer in person :-) The front panel is 101 inches long and there are two of them. That is a lot of fabric to deal with and heavy! I was able to angle them so that the center portion was longer than the originals. They now sit on the dash for more privacy.


Side panel before


After


Driverside. Sorry I don't have a before



Folded back
Theresa

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Offline vtmartha

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2018, 11:54:43 PM »
Very nice, Theresa!  Those look great!  I like that kind of engineering project.

Offline fzxdoc

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2018, 09:16:39 AM »
Wow you did a marvelous job on those RV curtains. Think of the $$ you saved by doing it yourself, plus you got to choose your own fabric and make them better than commercially available. Congrats!

Kathryn
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Offline kowgiirl.up

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Re: RV Curtains & Drapery Tape
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2018, 09:49:40 PM »
Thanks ladies :)

We were able to use the motorhome last weekend and the curtains did a great job of both blocking the sun and light. Keeping the underside clean may be more of a chore that I was aware of from the beginning. I'm hoping they will last a few years before I have to think about making all those folds again.
Theresa

Runs with scissors