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Any curtain experts about?

(15 Posts)
mineallmine Sat 15-Apr-17 19:02:37

The window of my new build is 270cm wide. We have no pole hanging yet. I'm looking at a beautiful pair of second hand silk triple french pleated curtains. Each curtain measures 140cm across the top ie total of 280cm so a little on the skimpy side because usually you allow the curtains to overlap the wall by around 15cm. Would it be crazy to buy them and bring them to a dressmaker to change the heading to double french pleated, which would make them substantially wider? Or am I crazy?

mineallmine Sat 15-Apr-17 19:05:06

These are the curtains...

Bluntness100 Sat 15-Apr-17 19:06:02

I think the issue would be if the material has faded in some way. Repleating will expose that at the top? But they sound like they fit. Will you need to close them or could you have some voile or blinds behind?

Bluntness100 Sat 15-Apr-17 19:06:26

They are lovely....

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Sat 15-Apr-17 19:17:58

I used to alter curtains and have done what you suggest several times.
You would be better to try to find someone who does curtain alterations rather than a dressmaker. They need quite different workrooms and a curtain maker should have a heavier duty machine.

I would alter these as follows.
Unpick the triple pleats, there will be stitching at the base of the pleat plus little stitches holding the 3 parts of the pleat in place. Then I would flatten the resulting single pleat which will have a line if stitching down the depth of the buckram.
I would machine a new seam parallel to this to make this pleat a little smaller, unpick old seam, press etc, then make new double pleat.

You most probably will be able to see the ghost of the old seam line as they are silk, but it should be disguised somewhat by the pleat.
Silk is less forgiving than most fabrics.

As someone else pointed out, you may reveal a colour mismatch when the seam is opened out.
The curtains have ripped when they have been sum damaged at the leading edge. Normally I would remove this to produce an undamaged leading edge but you don't have the spare fabric to do that

mineallmine Sat 15-Apr-17 21:47:02

Thx for the replies. The woman is looking for €200 for them - dropped from €250. Any idea how much a curtain maker would charge? I sew myself and have made curtains before but never made french pleat headings. I've done regular headings and eyelets. Is it a very skilled job?

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Sat 15-Apr-17 22:50:56

No, not difficult. You need to calculate how much you want to steal from each pleat. If you sew new seam half a centimetre away for existing seam, you'll gain just under 1cm per pleat. I see at least 8 pleats, therefore maybe 14cm gained?
Making a double pleat is less difficult than a triple.
It's hard to describe but easy with a diagram or YouTube!
You do need a robust sewing machine to sew thru all the layers.
Treat curtains gently when moving them during seeing. That rotted bit will disintegrate otherwise.
Hang damaged bit to outside, it will originally been the leading /Central edge.
You could cover it with a contrast border to hide and protect the damage.

mineallmine Sat 15-Apr-17 22:52:42

So I've learned that each curtain is 320cm wide. I'm presuming my pole will be 3m in length so am I right in thinking I've enough width in the fabric to redo them as double pleated?

mineallmine Sat 15-Apr-17 22:59:00

Thanks Breakfast. 14cm would mean that they would work!

A contrast border sounds like a good idea if I can find something that will work with the fabric. Would I have to take the curtains apart completely to sew one on or could I just see it on over the curtain as is?

I'm very tempted to buy them and give it a go.

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Sat 15-Apr-17 23:56:30

Re border. I'd do as little as possible! Depends on how wide the damaged area is.
Remove that spotted trim (or is it buttons?)
Totally unpick last triple pleat to flatten out that section.
I'd actually machine border thru all layers of curtain, mainly to reinforce and stabilise that damaged bit. Machine rs to rs. Fold border over edge and round to the back to reach the sewing line. Then stitch in the ditch.
Basically a much larger version of this
youtu.be/JIpeaLlngOc

You could reapply the trim to cover the join if you want.

Oh, and redo a new double pleat at the top.

Try and pull open the existing pleats to see if you're going to reveal unfaded silk. Trouble is, silk fades if you so much as look at it too hard!

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Sat 15-Apr-17 23:57:19

You'd obviously have to tidy up and finish a top and bottom of border

mineallmine Sun 16-Apr-17 00:26:02

That's great, Breakfast. It seems doable. This is a pic of the damage the seller sent.

LadyB49 Sun 16-Apr-17 00:38:29

Seeing that damage, I'd be concerned there could be other areas of fabric just waiting to 'go'.

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Sun 16-Apr-17 02:58:08

I didn't realise that you hadn't seen the curtains in real life.
As lady says, silk rotted by sun is very fragile. The leading edge normally gets it the worst. The other pair is likely to be similar down one edge

mineallmine Sun 16-Apr-17 09:19:19

Thx for the contributions. I think now that I won't buy them. It just all seems too much work for curtains that might not last.

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