Dressmaker Details in Decor Part One: Window Treatments

The difference is definitely in the details! With this in mind, this post is going to explore how you can add what I like to call “dressmaker details” to your design. It means adding small details that add an extra special touch. The above photo is a perfect example. Christian Ladd, of Christian Ladd Interiors, has taken panels from good to great by expertly adding voluminous, gorgeous trim down the leading edge. She has created panels that are sophisticated and fun at the same time!

Custom, Bespoke or whatever you want to call it... lets look at a few ways you can personalize your interiors. Three places things in your decor that you can easily “dress up” are: Drapery, Furniture and Pillows. This post will be devoted to window treatments. Posts on furniture and pillows will come later.

Window Treatments

The panel below is a perfect example. A small band has been added to the top, made from the same stripe as the panel. However, it is cut on the bias, forming diagonal stripes. In addition, they have the same small band finishing off the leading edge bordering a piece of decorative tape. These techniques are not difficult. They can transform an ordinary panel into something special.

above image image via franciehargrove.com

The panel below is gorgeous no matter how you look at it! Lining it with the striped fabric and adding ribbon tape, makes for a spectacular swag effect.

image via palmerweiss.com

There are countless ways to embellish the leading edge of panels. Here are some more of my favorites.

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The above fabric from Heather Chadduck Textiles would make a perfect band down the leading edge of a cream linen panel. While it may cost you a little more in labor with your seamstress, adding details like this one can give you a high end look without buying yards and yards of fabric. The above fabric is pricey, but if you add it to simple linen that you can find very inexpensively - think large craft sewing store with a 50% off coupon - you’ve got something spectacular.

Here is a link to my post on creating budget friendly trim from fabric. It is a great way to mix high and low to your advantage.

Applique is a technique that involves sewing a design onto the top of the fabric. This gorgeous example below is from Holland & Sherry and the image is from Quintessence blog. You could, with a lot of patience, create your own tone on tone design with felt.

In this image via Lucy Williams Interior Design a simple grosgrain ribbon added down the leading edge that finishes in a greek keep pattern gives this panel something extra.

These ultra-feminine, lavish draperies below have a tiny box pleat ruffle. The delicate ruffle is the perfect finishing touch.


Image via the NY Times

It is easy to add detail to one of my favorite window treatments - the Roman Shade!

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I love the pattern play going on in the shade above and the awning edge on the hemline of this one is adorable.

Katrin Cargill’s book Fabrications is an excellent resource for ideas on how to add detail to your window treatments as well as other decor. The book has been around for a while, but the information is still very useful and relevant.

Check out my roman shade Pinterest board here for more ideas.

I have only scratched the surface on adding dressmaker detail to your window treatments. The possibilities are endless! Hopefully this post has inspired you to think about giving your windows just a little something extra!