Choosing a thread color for hemming would have the first challenge, if the fabric was machine-hemmed. Since the hemming was done by hand, I didn't have to choose!
I have a huge aversion to seeing pleating or shirring tape on the back of draperies, so I hide it with the fabric. About a year and a half ago I showed shirred panels using this technique. Shirring and pleating tapes remind me of foundation garments- girdles, to be precise. They should work their magic without being seen.
The top is cut the size of the tape plus a couple of inches extra to fold under. The tape goes all the way to the ends; later, after the strings are pulled, tied, and clipped, they will be tucked into the ends which will be hand sewn shut.
I fold over the top and make sure the tape is nestled close up to the top, and pin securely.
The top is sewn- I keep checking to be sure the pull cord doesn't get caught.
Before sewing the next two rows, the excess lining and interlining were trimmed away. Then those two rows are sewn carefully, keeping a good eye on the seamline guide to be sure the pull cords don't get caught. These two rows are not sewn all the way to the ends- the stitching lines begin about 1" in- enough room for fingers to reach the pull cords.
The excess face fabric is trimmed, leaving enough to tuck under.