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Made-to-measure curtains

(18 Posts)
SpanielFace Wed 12-Nov-14 20:42:32

First time home-owner and curtain-buyer here! For most of the rooms in our house we have bought off-the-peg, but the living room is a bit harder as it's a 1950s house with a large bay window at the front. We have had a quote from a friend's mum, who has her own business doing made-to-measure curtains and.blinds, I have seen others that she has made and been very impressed with the quality. However, I was a bit stunned by the price we were quoted. For two sets of curtains (the bay window plus a second large window) she has quoted £735. This includes 17 metres of fabric (which is a Blendworth one that we picked from her samples), plus lining, header tape, tie-backs for both sets, and a track for the bay window, hanging them, and labour costs of just under £200. I've no idea if that sounds reasonable or not, really! It was more than I'd expected, but then we won't be able to just buy off-the-peg from Next or John Lewis for the bay window. Any thoughts?

NakedFamilyFightClub Wed 12-Nov-14 21:00:47

Umm, any idea how much the fabric is per meter?

I've made curtains for my back room recently, the window there is 8' wide/71" drop. The fabric plus lining and eyelet tape came to about £90.

If one of your windows was roughly the same size and the other was say, twice that, it still seems a little pricey to me unless your fabric is very expensive.

The £200 labour charge seems reasonable to me, if it takes her 2 days to make them that'd be £100 per day.

Catnuzzle Wed 12-Nov-14 21:03:40

Try ordering online instead? I use blinds2go for blinds but they do curtains too. You can also get fabric samples.

misscph1973 Wed 12-Nov-14 21:05:59

Fabric can be very expensive and 17 m is a lot.

No way would I ever spend that kind of money on curtains!

I would shop around if I were you. I am thinking that there must be ebayers frm China who could do it cheaply? Wortk looking into.

Iwillorderthefood Wed 12-Nov-14 21:08:50

Try curtains2go. We used them and although not cheap were cheaper than John Lewis 7 day curtain service. They will send you samples of material too.

NakedFamilyFightClub Wed 12-Nov-14 21:10:28

Thinking about it, have you looked at Dunelm Mill? They do made to measure with a good range of fabric and their off the peg ones are quite cheap so it may be worth a look.

OttiliaVonBCup Wed 12-Nov-14 21:13:34

She's cheap.
I just had some curtains done by JL and even with a cheaper fabric they cost more.
They do look lovely though.

berceuse Wed 12-Nov-14 21:17:33

If £735 is the total price (sorry if I am being thick), I think it is a good price, depending on fabric cost.

I make my own curtains, would usually spend £20 pm on something that has been reduced from £40+ pm. Lining is about £2 a metre I think.

17m at £17 (say £15pm fabric + lining) pm is nearly £300 before you start to think about time spent. I would expect to pay £20 per hour for a nice job. You are talking about 2 sets plus tie backs plus a track and hanging.

I am not sure if you can still put the details of the made to measure curtains you want into JL website and get a price. You used to be able to. You will be staggered. I once got a quote on a door curtain, interlined, single curtain, blackout lining (when I was feeling lazy), it was £350 for one curtain. I bought a lovely velvet remnant and made it myself, hand stitched other than the top channel with interlining and a silk/linen contrast at the top, probably £50 in materials all in and six/seven hours work.

SpanielFace Thu 13-Nov-14 06:57:22

Fabric is £20/m, so £350ish of that cost is just the fabric. And yes, it includes everything down to hanging them. I guess we could look at cheaper fabrics? I agree £200 sounds fair for labour, when I think how long it will take (I do some very basic sewing myself, but couldn't even begin to contemplate making curtains!). Thanks for all the replies. I'm not keen on using a Chinese seller, I have had friends who have been stung before, but might look into dunelm costs and compare.

chinup2011 Thu 13-Nov-14 07:16:06

That is cheap. You're not just paying for her time but her skill, thread, electricity, tax. When you break it down she hardly earns a living. Providing she does a good job, she's doing you a favour.

Arlagirl Thu 13-Nov-14 07:17:40

That's a good price.

berceuse Thu 13-Nov-14 07:28:46

I think it is a great price then, £350 plus lining, plus thread, plus tape, plus track is probably easily more like £450 plus before you start paying her.

SpanielFace Thu 13-Nov-14 07:40:28

Thanks. DH thinks we should go with it, so I think we probably will. His parents had a bad experience at Dunelm, apparently. We are not likely to be redecorating anytime soon (given how long it's taking us to do - every room so far has needed completely replastering confused) so the curtains are going to be there for a long time, and I want to get something we're happy with.

Thanks for all the replies. I just had no idea how much to expect!

Arlagirl Thu 13-Nov-14 08:46:26

We paid about £1000 for JL to make m to m curtains for a huge bay window and that was about 18 years ago. Still look good.
The fabric was expensive but I still love it.

TangledUpInGin Thu 13-Nov-14 17:26:39

I've just been quoted £400 for a 4ftx4ft roman blind shock which I think is outrageous given I paid less than that for an 8ftx4ft blind a couple of years ago. I did provide my own material and black out lining for a cost of less than £50 for both though.

DayLillie Thu 13-Nov-14 17:34:49

Laura Ashley and JL both have places on the website where you can choose fabric, put in size and it comes up with a price and that is probably about the same.

I have a quote from a local shop for 2 interlined door curtains for £750, so will probably make my own.

NakedFamilyFightClub Thu 13-Nov-14 20:54:53

That's crazy tangled, there's plenty of tutorials about on how to make one, you could probably have about 4 practice runs and not come close to half that price in fabric!

DayLillie Fri 14-Nov-14 13:16:54

The bits for the blinds and the making up is the same for a small blind as for a larger one (although this will change once you get wider than one fabric width and have to start matching and allowing for the pattern).

I made 2 three foot wide ones with a short drop as I have strange windows. The biggest expense was the kit, but I got fabric from the LA sales and it cost £85 for the two. It would have cost about £275 each to have them made. There are a couple of curtain-making ladies on a video on you tube who explain the mechanics very well.

Most of it is planning ahead, cutting straight lines and sewing straight lines. The bits where I come unstuck is with the adding of allowances for seams, and extra bits - I find I have missed something too late in the process and have to bodge it. This is probably second nature with experience, and probably saves a lot of cost of (extra) fabric hmm

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