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Apex windows and Italian stringing?

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  • Apex windows and Italian stringing?

    I've told a customer she can have a very high, but narrow, apex window Italian strung. Currently there's a wood batten affixed to the ceiling where a flat piece of material has been regularly pleated and stapled. So someone's had an attempt at putting something up, but the curtains are held back by holdbacks that are awkwardly placed because this window's in a recess so no stack back at all. Can I assume that because I've already got the battening in place, This apex window can have new curtains strung do you think?
    I've read all the posts on this and think that a strongly fitted single screweye/china thimble to the batten would be ok. Then another down the wall each side to guide the cord. to a double cleat.
    I have to keep this very simple to minimise the cost to the customer, so although I've read the Merrick & Day instructions, and Schuby's, I won't be putting the cord inside the lining but outside the lining ( with strengthening at the points the guide-rings will be). There are two other 5 mtr high windows to do possibly if this one works; an apex window where a wall divides it so each room has 'half' ' an apex ! Has anyone any thoughts on this, to help me?
    Caroline

  • #2
    Caroline, I have done something similar with a grampol swag where I stitched rings to the back of the panel for the stringing to pass through.

    I hung the panel in my workroom and used safety pins first for the ring positions to get the drape right. I had used weight chain on site first to plan the size of the swag effect when the cord was pulled up so I knew the finished effect I was looking for. I followed instructions in the Home Furnishings Workbook by Maureen Whitemore.

    Louise


    sigpic Simply Sewing

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    • #3
      I've also made a grampol swag following Louise's draping method with safety pins and it worked perfectly.
      CatherineL
      Catherine Lepreux Interiors

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      • #4
        Pardon my ignorance, but what is a grampol swag?

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        • #5
          I've just Googled this and the pictures show a simple panel curtain that is pulled up to one side only. Quite a neat and decorative single curtain. However, my customer has now said she wants blackout lining and possibly interlining too. The top of the apex is over 5 mtrs high and the width side to side is 160cms. I can anticipate a few worries with this.
          Caroline

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          • #6
            I think that is going to get very heavy isn't it Caroline!!!

            Maybe some research into theatre curtains would help estimate the strength of fixings etc. required and the kind of weight you'd be dealing with as they often have italian strung type curtains on stage. I think Denton Drapes once had something like this to deal with at a stately home setting, there might be information here already if you search for their posts combined with 'theatre'......

            This is my grampol swag as I was working on getting the drape right
            Work in progress on a grampol swag - checking the stringing at the back creates the right draped effect.
            Louise


            sigpic Simply Sewing

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            • #7
              Your photo is a very good illustration Louise! My customer's house is modern but her interior decor is without any style and although the tall narrow apex is in a guest bedroom ( which also has a quite normal sliding patio door on the adjecent wall, the other two 'half apex' windows are a nursery and a 4 year old's room. Hence she doesn't want anything too showy or expensive she tells me! I'm not an aggressive saleswoman, but I think this is a case where I have to tell her what I'm prepared to do. A 'silky' blackout lining plus a lighter weight interlining I think may gather up better. The fabric is a nice drapey check design.
              We shall see!
              Caroline

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              • #8
                Finally curtains in the second bedroom have now been installed! Curtains in the first bedroom were installed a year ago. Worked, but the italian stringing on the top curtain doesn't work well because there's a sill that the hem is prone to 'sitting' on. Lots of extra weights on the leading edge hem only succeed in the hem 'sitting' more. My fitter says the track is set inside the reveal and should be moved forward into the room, allowing the curtain hem to hang free of the sill. Light bleed at the leading and trailing edges of course is what my customer dislikes and keeps asking me to put velcro on the wall to hold the curtain. Have one more proper apex window, narrower than these to do. On the basis that the first took ages to do , the second a bit quicker, although having the same problems as the first, the third I hope will be a doddle!!!! Ha Ha! Consensus to fixing the problem of the curtains not swinging back fully when cord is released, is to hire a scaffolding tower, take down curtains, re-fitting track and re-hanging curtains . The track was installed by previous homeowner and looked fine. Moral of the job is think long and hard about taking on exceptionally high apex windows! It can be done but will be expensive for the client. The photos are the second bedroom.(Will post when I've re-sized them!) Sorry.
                Caroline

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                • #9
                  Wow that has certainly been some project Caroline! I don't envy you! Good luck with the final instalment.
                  Best wishes
                  Liz

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                  • #10
                    Well done for sticking with it - I doubt she would find anyone to do a better job! I wish architects would stop putting 'difficult' windows in regular houses, most people just haven't got the money to pay out for bespoke handmade curtains and all that's involved in fitting them. It happens quite a lot round here (Thames Valley) where they are trying to fit maximum bedrooms in new builds with attic rooms and supposed cutting edge design (!) When people have already pushed themselves to just afford the mortgage it's hard to explain they have custom windows too!
                    Louise


                    sigpic Simply Sewing

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                    • #11

                      Click image for larger version  Name:	rsz_apex_3.jpg Views:	2 Size:	463.5 KB ID:	132450Click image for larger version  Name:	rsz_1apexright_1.jpg Views:	2 Size:	638.2 KB ID:	132451

                      Hopefully photos have re-sized ok. So there's 2 rooms each having half the 'Apex'. The stupid architects had the sliding doors (onto balconies) with the opening section on the 'short' sides. hence why the single door curtains stack to the opposite side to the strung curtains. It would have been so much better had the top satck and bottom been on the same sides! BUT then , of course, I would have done simply one very long curtain covering both windows.


                      Click image for larger version  Name:	rsz_apex_left_2.jpg Views:	2 Size:	760.6 KB ID:	132449

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                      • #12
                        I hope your customer is delighted with the result! Presumably there are other homes with the same window configuration - I wonder what they have done??????
                        Louise


                        sigpic Simply Sewing

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                        • #13
                          This is one house in a Close of 4. I wondered what the the neighbours have done, but I walked a little around and found that no other houses had the same very tall apex windows. There is one remaining bedroom to do, a guest room with a normal sliding door onto a balcony and the tall 'proper' triangular apex . A major concern for me with this job is that the homeowners didn't want the curtains hung until they decorated. Stupidly I initially agreed to store the curtains without an agreed timescale. The first bedroom got hung in June of last year, the second end of July this year and when I asked if I could finish the job soon with the guest room getting completed, they said no. I got a deposit to cover materials and partial labour, so I'm not out of pocket , but I must now present an invoice as 2/3 of the job has now been completed. So as well as learning an awful lot about doing italian stringing, I've learnt a business lesson!!!

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                          • #14
                            Thank you for sharing the photos Caroline. That is a really challenging job, and checked fabric as well, as if it wasn't already hard enough! It strikes me that trainee architects could do with spending some time in the workrooms of us poor saps who have to dress their fancy ideas without bankrupting the customers! I reckon you have earned your place in the Hall of Super Curtainmakers!
                            Last edited by Liz Gregg; 13 August 2020, 21:32. Reason: Didn't finish comment!

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