Friday, January 25, 2008

How-To: Draped Swags

Very little sewing is required to achieve this elegant decorator look. The key is in the selection of fabric. Many laces already have decorative selvages. Sheers come in widths ranging from 48" to 60" and appear to be reversible, which you can use to your advantage.

By simply draping fabric, you can achieve a multitude of looks from casual to formal. The possibilities are endless; layer multiple swags of various textures or tones at different lengths, add beaded trimming to the hems, puddle the fabric on to the floor, weave cording around your swag or rod, form rosettes at the corners, drape along side tassels, etc. You are limited only to your imagination!


  • Decorative curtain rod or swag holders-of your choice

  • plus tools & hardware for installation

  • Fabric-as determined by your measurements


  • matching thread

  • sewing machine

  • iron

  • ironing board

  • straight pins

  • cord or string

  • yard stick

  • fabric marker or chalk


  1. Mount the rod above the window frame, making sure you give enough clearance from the window frame to the rod finials or mount your swag holders accordingly. Drape a cord in the path you want the lower edge of the swag to follow. Cut the fabric panel to this length.

  2. Press under 1" on one end of swag panel.

  3. Unfold the pressed edge. Turn the cut edge back, aligning it to the first fold line; press the outer fold.

  4. Re-fold the edge along the pressed fold lines, encasing the raw edge to form a ½" double-fold hem. Pin the hem.

  5. Place the hem under the presser foot, with the wrong side of the panel facing up and the needle aligned to enter the fabric just inside the inner fold. Stitch the entire length.

  6. Drape the swag panel over the rod, using the photograph as a guide. Mark the unstitched end at the desired location for the opposite hem.

  7. Remove the swag and cut 1" longer than the mark. Repeat steps 2 to 5 to form a ½" double fold hem.

  8. Fanfold the entire finished panel into gentle pleats of consistent depth. Tie or tack the folded fabric at regular intervals. Drape the folded panel over the rod and arrange the folds. You may use double stick tape to secure your swags in lew of or in addition to tacking.

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