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  • Alteration to heading, help on costings

    Can anyone help and give me a idea of what to charge, i have been asked to shorten 2 pairs of interlined curtains, they have a narrow heading tape and the customer wants me to shorten them and to replace the heading with hand stitched triple pleats.1 pair is 3 widths, the other 5 widths wide, very long and all years old and not very clean!

    Im not used to doing alterations on this sort of curtain so am not sure what to charge.

    Thanks Louise

  • #2
    Re: Alteration to heading, help on costings

    Hello Louise R,

    Can you work out how much time the alterations will take? Then estimate on an hourly rate - there may be things that take longer than expected so try to give yourself a little leeway.

    If they are too dirty can't you ask her to have them cleaned? There are a few horror stories on here about dirty curtains.

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    • #3
      Re: Alteration to heading, help on costings

      At least a third, veering towards half, of what you'd charge for making from scratch. OK, you don't have to cut lengths, or pattern match,but you still have to make sure all the layers are where they should be when you turn over the tops, and you have to work out the pleat spacings for curtains that may not be the best flat width for the pole length. And you need to check that the hems are all that they should be, so that's quite as much time as starting with new fabric. And unless you have a huge workspace,I'd factor in the hugeness ofthese curtains, you ain't going to be doing much else if you work on your dining room table, like I do.

      It'd be preferable to remake using the face fabric only, once this has been dismantled from the linings, stabilised (raw edges interlocked) and cleaned, with new linings,but this is not a perfect world. There may be spiders, so the least you can ask is that she vacuums them thoroughly before they come into your workspace.

      Otherwise, an interesting project, but then, I'm a sucker for vintage fabric. I love enabling people to use Granny's old stuff in new ways.

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      • #4
        Re: Alteration to heading, help on costings

        Hi
        Personally, I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole unless they have been cleaned...
        Helen

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        • #5
          Re: Alteration to heading, help on costings

          It is virtually impossible to get interlined curtains cleaned.......a specialist company might come and clean in situ (e.g. Pilgrim & Payne) but then it would probably be cheaper to buy new fabric and make new curtains.

          A good vacuum would help though.

          Also make sure there are no areas where the fabric is simply too faded/fragile to work with - they might fall apart when you start to unpick or remake them.
          Louise


          sigpic Simply Sewing

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          • #6
            Re: Alteration to heading, help on costings

            I'd missed the interlined bit....

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            • #7
              Re: Alteration to heading, help on costings

              I don't like doing alterations on yukky curtains either. Also you may want to replace the lining because it may be faded/mouldy.
              Kind regards
              Pen Harrison
              Colly Brook Fine Furnishings

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              • #8
                Re: Alteration to heading, help on costings

                I've taken on jobs like this in the past and always wished I hadn't - They always end up more trouble than making new from scratch, just getting the fabric to lay flat and straight is enough to put me off.. I no longer take in alterations.

                Philip
                Have you registered your business yet?

                http://www.ukcurtainmakers.co.uk


                A MyDecozo Directory

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                • #9
                  Re: Alteration to heading, help on costings

                  Hi,

                  Thanks for all your thoughts, i think i had best just think of a high number and double it!
                  If i get the job it will be worth doing and if i dont, i wont worry.

                  Louise

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                  • #10
                    Re: Alteration to heading, help on costings

                    Hi Louise,

                    Its a late post but you never know where these jobs lead. Yes I would ensure they are cleaned before I took on the job. However, sometimes the costs start to outweigh the value of the fabric, and it starts to become more viable to have a new pair made from scratch. You may get a complete new job out of it instead. I took on a dodgy alteration a few years ago, from what I thought was a student. They were Ikea curtains and he had got in a muddle with the iron on stuff they supply. Two years later, he and his wife contacted me, to do their entire house, on an exclusive private estate. He said he was impressed by the way I had done his job a few years earlier!

                    Sue.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Alteration to heading, help on costings

                      I was advised on here to look out for fleas in old curtains, so give them a good check - lay them partly on white paper and you'll hear the fleas hitting the paper if there are any. You DEF don't want fleas in your home as they're a b£gger to get rid of.

                      I shortened some a few years back and it was a terrible job - really awkward to get the layers laid flat again and talk about dirty. I gave them a darn good vacuum with the dyson and you wouldn't believe the muck that came out of them. Incredible.

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