It’s not usually right to do things only half way, but in this case, creating a half swag could be just what your customer is looking for and a valuable added selection to your design portfolio.
This swag is actually a lot easier to make that it looks. To my
knowledge, there are few—if any—patterns for half swags,
but you could use virtually any typical swag pattern to make them.
MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE
The technique I personally find to be the easiest to making half
swags is to adjust the size of the pattern you are using to create
a full swag that would be twice the width of whatever you want the
half swag to be—plus enough extra to wrap onto the end return
board. Here’s how it goes:
Cut out the full swag and dress the folds into a full swag as you
normally would, but do this onto a temporary dressing board. Then,
you can simply hold the swag up to the actual mount board you will
be using for the half swag, staple along the top edge, wrap the
center of the swag around the end board (creating the vertical folds),
staple along the back edge of the end board and cut off the rest
of the swag that you don’t need. I find this much easier than
trying to dress folds vertically along the end board.
If this is a large swag, and you feel you would be wasting too much
fabric by first creating a full swag to cut in two, you could sew
a piece of lining onto the side of your fabric to fill in and make
it wide enough to create the extra-wide full swag that you would
need. To complete the half swag you would have to cut off a little
of the face fabric, but mostly you’d be cutting off lining.
TWO FOR ONE
I use this same technique for creating turban swags, which are created
by using two half swags that overlap each other in the center of
For turban swags, one very large swag pattern can be created, which
would need to be wide enough to include the width of the treatment,
the warp for both returns and the crossover in the center.
This very large swag is dressed as usual. The folds are secured
in place by sewing them directly up the center of the swag with
two rows of stitching side by side. The swag is then cut into two
halves between the two rows of stitches. The two half swags are
then switched (left for right) and stapled onto the top and end
Strickland is owner of Professional Drapery School, Swannanoa, NC,
and is an internationally acclaimed speaker with 20 years experience
in the window coverings industry. She is the publisher and editor
of Sew WHAT?, an international monthly newsletter for professional