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Any curtain making experts out there?

(14 Posts)
exexpat Tue 08-Jun-10 14:39:05

Help - I don't know if I have enough fabric to get curtains made for my bedroom.

I have found an absolutely gorgeous fabric which would be perfect for my bedroom, but it is ridiculously expensive. I have managed to buy some remnant lengths on Ebay for a more reasonable price, but the shortest piece is 238cm, and I need the curtains to be 198cm long. Is 238cm long enough to do hems top and bottom for a 198cm curtain? It is a heavyweight linen fabric.

Also, does anyone know how to calculate what width of fabric I will need for a certain length of curtain track - I don't want any bulky styles, probably just pinch-pleats. I'm finding a professional curtain-maker to make them up for me (I'm useless at sewing) but there's no point unless I have enough fabric.... I can't see any more on Ebay at the moment, and I'm hoping not to have to pay the full shock retail price for any extra.

PurpleFrog Tue 08-Jun-10 22:28:10

238cm should be enough for hems for a 198cm curtain but does the fabric have a pattern? If so, you have to take the size of the pattern repeat into consideration when calculating how much fabric you need, otherwise the two curtains won't match.

exexpat Wed 09-Jun-10 09:46:09

Thanks purplefrog - yes the fabric is patterned, but I have tried laying out the various pieces together, and because the other pieces are longer, I think I can match up the pattern repeats so that the 238cm one is the shortest. Now, any advice on calculating whether I have enough width-ways?

moocowme Wed 09-Jun-10 10:32:26

i would find a curtain maker and ask them what they can do with the fabric you have, they may be able to suggest options in styles for you. their are ways to get round not having enough fabric with some contrast pieces that can look nice and very stylish.

generally speaking you need about twice as much width as the window is wide.

PurpleFrog Thu 10-Jun-10 15:40:11

I think I usually use 2-2.5 times the length of the curtain rail/track for the total width of fabric, but with a heavy fabric you could probably get away with less if necessary. At our last house I did 2 velour door curtains with thermal linings and didn't want too much
fabric bunched up beside the door when the curtain was pulled back. I think they were each less than 1.5 times the width of the opening they had to cover.

Spacehoppa Thu 10-Jun-10 15:56:11

Sounds nice. I have bought some thick cotton to do the lounge ones again...I just need to be in the mood to get started. Hope yours go well

emsyj Thu 10-Jun-10 16:03:13

There are instructions on measuring & making curtains on Channel 4 Homes if you do a google search for them - I don't know how to post links sorry <thick emoticon> but if you search Channel 4 homes curtains it will come right up. I used the instructions for measuring up and making lined curtains a few weeks ago and my curtains worked fine. They do include guidance on pattern repeats too. My fabric (for baby's room) had a large and obvious pattern on it and the amount it said was right and they turned out ok.

Lastyearsmodel Thu 10-Jun-10 16:08:19

Yep, 2 - 2.5 times the total width is advisable - anything less can look miserly and spoil the effect. If it's your dream fabric, you want the curtains to be perfect.

exexpat Thu 10-Jun-10 16:11:06

Thanks very much everyone. I will try out the channel 4 thing, but it sounds like I need to find a sympathetic curtain maker, take the fabric and measurements round, and see what they say. I don't want to mess up the expensive fabric - if it's not going to be enough for my room, I could probably use it for the spare room. But I want it for myself smile.

size6feet Fri 11-Jun-10 00:18:22

Hi, I am a trying-to-retire curtain maker. I'm happy to work it out for you but need the following details.

1. What size is your track.
2. What is the width of your fabric
3. What are the lengths of each piece of fabric.
4. How many centimetres is the pattern repeat. (example: on the edge of the fabric measure a part of the pattern to where it appears again.)
5. What length do you want your curtains to be. (dont include hems the curtain maker will do this).

Pinch pleats are lovely - my favourite heading.

exexpat Fri 11-Jun-10 10:53:03

Hi size 6 - thanks for offering to help - I had all the fabric out last night, matching up pieces etc, and I remeasured the track. The fabric width is 54" (137cm), and the track is 430cm. Doubling the track gives me 860cm; which is just over six widths of the fabric - 822cm.

I have seven widths, but one of those would be the short piece, and when I looked at everything last night, the short piece doesn't match up very easily with the pattern repeats of the other pieces - I would probably end up with shorter curtains than I really want. I think I could make the curtains about 210cm long if I only used the other six pieces.

So I think my question is - if I used material 822cm wide for a 430cm track, in a non-bulky pinch-pleat style, would that work, or is it too stingy?

Thanks for being so helpful, everyone - MN is great for this sort of thing smile.

size6feet Fri 11-Jun-10 14:22:31

Have to dash off to work now but 6 widths should be fine for what you need. If you find a maker who can Hand pinch-pleat the heading, then this will give more flexibility on the measurements for what amount gets pleated and the spaces in between. (Pinch tape, ready strung, does not allow this kind of adjustment.)

Did you check your fabric for faults and colour matching?

Good luck with it. X

exexpat Sun 13-Jun-10 19:07:27

Thanks very much, size6. I'm going to call a curtain-maker I've had recommended to me tomorrow, so I'll check on the hand-pleating. Yes, all the fabric seems to be the same colour, luckily, and no obvious faults.

kellyjaynewhite Wed 28-Jan-15 09:57:49

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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