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  • Problem fabric?

    A few months ago I made some full-length pencil pleat curtains with a cotton fabric from Streets and cotton lining. All seemed normal as I made the curtains, the fabric seemed stable.

    After a couple of months hanging in situ (in a normal sitting room) it appeared the fabric had stretched making the curtains too long and the side seams (hand stitched) pucker. I took them apart and remade them, the fabric seemed around 1-2cm too long for the lining so I made sure I didn't stretch the fabric at all at the sides and removed the excess at the top before re-applying the tape.

    Now, about a month later, the customer has called again and said it looks like it is happening again!

    I am wondering whether to try maching the side seams to add some extra stability? Has anyone any other suggestions?
    Louise


    sigpic Simply Sewing

  • #2
    Re: Problem fabric?

    Hi Louise

    I have never had this problem and it seems very unusual.. Chances are it's something to do with the humidity in the room and as this is the second time I'd suggest you steam iron the fabric when you re-make them and then make loose linings rather than sewing the sides in. Attach the linings with a chain stitch every 20cm or so, explain to the customer that this will keep the fabrics together but allow movement. Attach the linings at the top under the header tape as normal - chains down each side.

    You could be re-making these curtains forever!

    Philip

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    • #3
      Re: Problem fabric?

      Hi I havejust made a problem pr of curtains for a customer,they were very loose weave.I remade them 3 times as the fabric stretched even as I was working on it!
      First time I machined the curtains - second and third time I hand sewed the curtains.

      They have now stretched again ,the customer is waiting until the carpet to go down and they alter them.

      However with hind sight I should have stay stitched them. stitched around the edges all the way either hand or machine.

      What does anyone else think? Would this work? Hope that your problem can be solved easily. Its worth a try.

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      • #4
        Re: Problem fabric?

        I visited this customer recently and things were not as bad as I first thought. I moved the hooks on one curtain to raise it off the carpet, the other had not moved. The fabric had not puckered this time at the edges where the lining was sewn in place.

        I did hand stitch the sidelays in place before sewing the linings in (by hand) but only loosely. I am keeping my fingers crossed! I understand someone else has made interlined curtains with the same fabric, and not had any problems.
        Louise


        sigpic Simply Sewing

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        • #5
          Re: Problem fabric?

          Hi Louise,

          Can't offer my help but I do sympathise, its easy to make excuses but sometimes it really is the fabric that is the problem. I have an ongoing problem under the topic 'DODGY ROMAN BLIND' which is hanging in my work room making me feel sick when I look at it. I hope your client is considerate and understands the problems you are having. It is worth asking Streets if they have had any problems with it elsewhere?

          Sue.

          P.S. Please let is all know which one, so we don't use it ourselves! Good Luck.

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          • #6
            Re: Problem fabric?

            Hi Louise,

            I have been thinking about your predicament with these curtains again. I'm sure you will end up sorting them out to everyones satisfaction. However, the thought of having to re-make curtains several times over fills me with horror. Especially if I had been paid (and spent!) the money. I am already panicking about my current workload, and if someone came back with some curtains from a few months ago for remaking I genuinely don't know how I'd go about fitting the job in. At the end of the day, what happens if this kind of problem cannot be resolved satisfactorily? Where do we as the curtain makers liaibility end? Can Streets be asked to assess them.

            I made up a very open weave linen, interlined with insulated lining a few months ago. (Customers own fabric). I was nervous about them, but they looked great when I hung them. I'm getting a bit worried about how the change in the weather may affect them in a few months. I'm half expecting a call now!

            I really hope you manage to sort them out.

            Sue.

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            • #7
              Re: Problem fabric?

              I agree with Sue on this one, where do you draw the line? The manfacturers sell us the fabrics telling us they are suitable for the job intended i.e curtains. If they cause a problem because of the fabric composition , then surely it lays at the feet of the supplier not the maker!

              On a personal note, I have had this problem with a jane churchill fabric, I had to go back onsite undo all the hem and put a pin line to the exact drop of the curtain while hanging in situ as it was a plain fabric. It worked but it was a B******y pain!

              I hope things sort themselves out for you Lousie I do sympathise.

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              • #8
                Re: Problem fabric?

                hi is there any chance the customer washed them to make the fabric stretch esther

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                • #9
                  Re: Problem fabric?

                  Do any of you use for example tailor tacks, to match up your fabrics? I must admit I never bother but I have just made a pair of curtains that sewed up differently. So I'm beginning to wonder should I mark the 1/4 and 1/2 way points on the lengths of fabrics.

                  I had to make a pair of curtains 7' 2' long with two widths in each. So I cut 4 lenghts of the main fabric, making sure they were all cut in the same direction. Plus 4 lengths of lining again cut in the same direction. I always hem my curtains first by hand then measure up to where the tape should go. Next I put the hemmed main fabric and hemmed linings together and always sew from the bottom up on each side after pinning from the bottom up to the top.

                  However before I could put the tape on my first curtain I had to cut off 3" of lining at the top and the second curtain I had to cut off 1 1/2"! I'm pretty careful never to stretch the fabric in anyway as I sew them so what goes wrong?

                  As I am an amateur curtain maker I have begun to wonder how do the professionals manage to put two pieces of fabric together - main and lining- and have them come out right at the top?

                  Can any one help?

                  Susan

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                  • #10
                    Re: Problem fabric?

                    Morning Susan F,

                    I have never tacked the seams as I sew, usually do not even pin the lining seams, just the beginning at the hem, and pin the main fabric as I pattern match it on the table.

                    When you cut, did you cut both the lining and main fabric the same drop? You would need to cut off the excess anyway on both at the top . Normally one would cut at finished drop + hem/top allowance+PR on the main fabric and drop +hem/top allowance on lining. There will be a difference on the lining cut as there is no PR, its a bit wasteful to cut them both the same but I know that some people do.

                    I don't know if that helps, but ask again if it does not.

                    Enid

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                    • #11
                      Re: Problem fabric?

                      Hi Susan

                      Sorry I dont undestand what you mean by tailor tacks do you mean interlocking the fabrics together ? after I have made my main fabric ready for lining, I place it face down on my table, smoothing it out so that the fabric is flat, then place the lining on top and I pin it all in place -measure to the required length and place a pin. When I move the fabrics I ensure they are pinned together on the overhang off the table before I drag it across, then once I have moved it, I carefully lift my lining and smooth out my main fabric, I then interlock loosely on the seams the main fabric to the lining (always do a measurement on the seam, as this can be slightly different) Then continue measureing along etc, I usually slip the edges last before I press the finish curtain.

                      Has this helped in any way - I have never experienced differenct length at the top, not if all the fabrics are cut correctly.

                      Sorry Louise seemed to have side tracked on this post

                      Kathy
                      K W Designs
                      Bournemouth

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                      • #12
                        Re: Problem fabric?

                        I side hem the main fabric with a loose herringbone stitch, and complete the bottom hem. Lay face down on table and lay over the lining. Interlock the first half width and then slip stitch the lining to the main fabric. Then I measure and pin the finished drop. I do not take my curtain off the table. I take the finished edge to the opposite edge of the table and then fold the centre to the edge of the table, so I have a long narrow coloumn of lined curtain. Then sometimes I bulldog clip the layers together (protecting the fabric with a bit of lining) and pull the folded edge of the curtain to the table edge, and carry on interlocking and moving it as above, until I've done the whole thing, ending up with interlocking the final half and slipping the lining and fabric together. However wide the curtain is, I am always working on a nice narrow column of fabric, with just the unfinished section hanging on the floor, (which hopefuly is not for too long).

                        Don't know if this helps.

                        Sue.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Problem fabric?

                          Enid, Kathy and Suel, Thank you for your replies. You certainly gave me a lot to think about! It sounds like you are all hand sewing your curtains where I have been machining mine. Obviously moving from table top to the machine and back for such large curtains is unadvisable. I am going to have a go with your methods instead with my next set of curtains. I've got another question now but I think I had better start a new topic instead of taking this one over.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Problem fabric?

                            Thought I would tempt fate by updating this thread with how I resolved these problem curtains. They have now been hanging for a month (including periods of rain and damp weather!) and I have not had a call about them.

                            At the beginning of September I was called to look at the them again as they were touching the floor and starting to 'pull' where the lining and fabric were seamed together. By this time I had altered the heading twice and removed around 4cm from the length in total.

                            I threw my usual curtain making rules out of the window and did the following:-

                            1. Removed the hem weights
                            2. Completely cut off all traces of the selvedge (I had previously snipped into them at regular intervals)
                            3. Having completed item 2. the sidelays were no longer stay-stitched to the body of the curtain
                            4. Re-made the curtains with machined side seams
                            5. Completed the pencil pleat heading with the final drop a few centimetres shorter than I thought it should be

                            Fingers crossed I will not be called to see them again!
                            Louise


                            sigpic Simply Sewing

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