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SCARF SWAG - Options & Variables:

Now that you understand the basics of a scarf swag, let's take it a step further. This article discusses several different variations to the scarf swag and how a slight alteration to the basic pattern creates the desired effect.

Controlling The Length of Leading Edge of Tails (Measure F):

Your tails will have a slant which is one half the measure of your swag drop length. When the swag shape is drawn, it slants into the tail, drawing the leading edge of the tail up by that much. You can manipulate this slant edge:

Tails with no slant:

This gives a fuller look to the finished tails and eliminates the need for a lining fabric since the back of the fabric will not show when the treatment is hung. Fabricate your scarf so that D and F measures are the same:

Draw the slant so that the bottom line is the same measure as the top line. You are basically drawing the tails in the shape of a parellelogram. The inside slant edge will be same as the outside drop length.


Tails with higher slant:

Fabricate your scarf with the following dimensions:

Measure F is the length of the leading edge of the tails. Along the bottom of the scarf, measure from the bottom of the swag outward F+1". Draw a line from the top corner to your mark and use this as your cutting line for the scarf.


Two Swags On One Scarf:

Two swags can be pleated on one scarf. It will not be a perfectly symmetrical look. However, as long as the finished swags are not extra long, the fabric and casual style will be forgiving.

Scarf Dimensions:

Length is the sum of both tails 2(D) + Finished width & drop length of both swags 2(A+B) + 2" for ease and hems.

Width is calculated the same as for a single swag treatment.

Drawing the pattern:

Find the center of your scarf. This will be the pleat line between the two swags. From the center at the top, measure the width of each swag (A+B). From the center at the bottom, measure the bottom curve width of each swag (A+C). Draw slant lines connecting the top and bottom measures. These will be your outside pleat lines for each swag.

Follow standard directions for marking and pleating the treatment. Because the swags are not pleated from perfectly symmetrical pleat lines (the center pleat line is on the straight of grain), there will be some distortion to the swags. Dressing both swags to mirror-image each other will bring the entire treatment into a symmetrically pleasing shape.



Multiple Swags On One Scarf:

This treatment can be fabricated with multiple swags on one scarf. It is patterned and assembled from multiple pieces, but the end result mimics a single continuous scarf treatment.

The trick here is drawing the treatment out as a single swag with tails. Once drawn, the pattern is cut apart at the pleating lines into three sections. Mark each section along the cutting line to add a 1/2" seam allowance. You now have patterns for the left and right tails and the swag sections:

Note: If finished treatment has different sized swags (combination of larger and smaller windows on a single wall), simply draw and cut a swag pattern shape for each size required.

The face fabric (and lining) pieces are all cut as separate pieces, then stitched together at the pleating lines. Pressed flat, the treatment will assume a curved shape.

Finish the scarf as if it were a single swag - either lined or unlined. Trim the seams as close as possible to minimize bulk. Turn, press, lay flat. Your seam lines are your pleating lines. Mark and pleat following standard directions.


Multiple fabrics &/or Contrast Lining in Tails:

Follow the steps under Multiple swags On One Scarf to break your finished treatment into pieces. You can now cut each of the face pieces separately. This allows you to fabricate in separate fabrics, cut the swag sections on the bias for a softer drape and turn the fabric pattern direction on the tails (as in the case with obvious stripes or plaids).

This also allows you to cut the lining pieces from standard lining for the backs of the swags and from contrast or self fabric for the tails.


Asymmetrical Tails:

Once the finished drop lengths of the right and left tails are established, cutting and finishing the scarf and marking and pleating the swag follow exactly the same steps as for a standard symmetrical look. The only difference is that your swag will not be drawn in the center of the scarf:


This article was written to assist you in marking and pleating a scarf swag for a smooth installation.

For more detailed information on how to manipulate a scarf swag, consider ordering The Professional Workroom Handbook of Swags, Volume 1. The chapter on scarf swags gives more detail than is contained in this article. It contains information on mounting options as well as pictures and diagrams to aid your understanding. This book is a valuable resource for new and veteran workrooms alike. It takes the guesswork out of scarfswags.

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