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  • silk purse out of a sows ear springs to mind

    My next job involves making swags and tails out of some ready made curtains............the above saying springs to mind...........the lining is soooooooooo thin. I really want to replace the lining with some of my good stuff so that it looks better. Problem is the it then wont match with the curtains which i just have to shorten....
    Sharon

  • #2
    Re: silk purse out of a sows ear springs to mind

    Hello Sharon,

    I can share with you. I have been altering curtains and it has been more painful than making them from scratch. They are badly joined and all different lengths along the head and hem. I did manage to get them to replace the lining which has helped. But I will be glad to see them gone. I hope they never get asked who made them.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: silk purse out of a sows ear springs to mind

      Hi Rosie,
      i have been doing lots of shortenings and most of them are as you say. the side seams are really bad most of the time, twisted,pulling up badly....makes me realise just how good mine are
      sharon

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: silk purse out of a sows ear springs to mind

        Hello Sharon,

        I am glad to say I don't do this often but am with you totally on the poor quality of made-up things. It sounds like you are one of life's optimists. I can't believe how long it takes to undo things to get them ready to re-make.

        Maybe with the credit crunch there will be more alterations coming my way so I'd better get used to it. Good luck with your swags and tails.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: silk purse out of a sows ear springs to mind

          Thanks rosie.....i think i'm going to need it.....
          sharon

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: silk purse out of a sows ear springs to mind

            I can sympathise...I do quite a lot of alterations, most of which haven't been too bad but today I got a call asking if I could lengthen a pair of curtains that were made 9 yrs ago and been slung over the bannisters for the past 3 yrs! Oh and possibly change the heading from pencil pleat to pinch pleat. And when I go to measure, could I dress them again as I can't fit in the alteration in till after christmas. I can't wait!
            Jane

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            • #7
              Re: silk purse out of a sows ear springs to mind

              Hi All,

              I do alterations occasionally. Mostly alter new ready mades. I do not undertake any alterations unless they are brand new or just back from the cleaners. I have been put in embarrassing situations were I have been forced to refuse to alter curtains based on the state of them (sticky brown marks, cat and dog hairs and general dirt).

              Major adaptations usually work out so expensive by the time I have factored in my unpicking time, that the price difference is minimal. Faced with a small price difference the client usually opts for brand new.

              Another reason I like to do this job is satisfaction with the end product. I have turned away lots of alterations in the past based on the fact the the finished product would not be up to an acceptable standard. I don't want that sort of quality hanging in clients homes with my name associated with them.

              Make sure you point out any potential flaws/fading etc. that may be more noticeable once you have done the alterations. I would insist on new lining.

              Sue.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: silk purse out of a sows ear springs to mind

                Hi

                I have some curtains to alter for friends of friends of friends, I've never actually charged for this before as they have always been for relatives who have taken advantage of my new novice skills. So how much should I charge, they are floor length changing to sill length with maybe tiebacks from waste material. In fact I've never charged for anything this will be my first, maybe last, 'job'. Do you have some sort of rule of thumb?

                Many thanks

                J

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: silk purse out of a sows ear springs to mind

                  Hi Joan - I've PM'd you
                  Jane

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: silk purse out of a sows ear springs to mind

                    That's brilliant Jane thank you. (I was only going to charge £10.00)

                    I was going to shorten from the hem, your way saves me all that hand stitching. The curtains are new, but mass produced, looks like they have been sewn like a pillowcase!!

                    I've learnt so much from this site, which has complimented the soft furnishing course I'm doing. So not quite ready to take on the world of curtain making yet but have got some 'work' in the pipeline next year if I feel confident enough. I haven't given them a price yet so will be searching site for info.

                    Many thanks again

                    J

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: silk purse out of a sows ear springs to mind

                      when shortening curtains always try and alter them from the top and not the hem this will save loads of time especially pencil pleat curtains

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: silk purse out of a sows ear springs to mind

                        Yes I agree.

                        Rip off the top, do not look at the hem......it probably won't be square, won't have any weights and may not even be well stitched....the last one I has was wonderwebbed!!! It is soooo tempting to do a proper job on things like this, its never up to ones standard, but alterations are quite difficult to charge for from a time aspect. The more one does to improve the end result, the more time one wastes with something that will never be perfect in the long run. However, saying that, if the curtains are new or have been cleaned them a good job can be done and who knows the customer may well come back for new ones. Happy customers always have friends.
                        As for charging, I usually try to persuade them to at least have new lining and charge in the region of hlf normal make up charge.

                        Don't be hestitant to charge for your work, Joan,its your time and expertise ( which will come via the forum if necessary)

                        Enid

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: silk purse out of a sows ear springs to mind

                          Hi,

                          Best way to shorten ready mades (pencil pleat header) is to take off the tape, shorten from the top and put new tape on. 4 width pair i.e. 90" X 90" - 45 mins max.

                          Sue.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: silk purse out of a sows ear springs to mind

                            Suel, by doing this complete job in 45mins do I take it that you do not remeasure from the bottom up...I wish I could ignore the almost definate irregular original finished length and the side hems that are not the same width top to bottom. Well done you for being able to ignore all this if you can
                            Regards
                            Mairi

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: silk purse out of a sows ear springs to mind

                              Hi Mairi,

                              Yes I lay the curtain out on the workbench with the bottom hem level with the edge of the table. Then re-measure up every 30cm or sew and pin. You are right many ready-mades do not have a straight side hem, but shortening the curtains is not making this any worse than it was. You can only make the best of a bad job. Some ready mades are better finished than others, and are quicker to work on than others. I used to shorten curtains for a shop and used to do approximately 6 pairs a day of varying sizes, fitting in the chores and kids too.

                              I always explain the pit-falls of ready mades before I start on the job, so the client realises I am not re-making just shortening.

                              By the way, in the early days I make the mistake of not measuring - just taking a certain amount off the top. Do not be be tempted to do it this way. Most factory made curtains are not even made as a pair. The fabric usually is not pattern matched, and to get 2 curtains actually measuring the same is a miracle. There seems to be a tolerance of about 3" from the measurements stated on the packets.

                              Thankfully I mainly make from scratch now, where I have a completely different set of rules and standards!

                              Sue.

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