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  • DODGY LOOKING ROMAN BLIND

    Hi All,

    This is a bit embarrassing. I made a pair of curtains and a pelmet and roman for a client just over 18 months ago. She then contacted me about 6 months later for another job. When I went to her house, I looked at the blind I made (I didn't fit it), and I wasn't impressed with it. I asked her if I could spend a few minutes fiddling with it, and after I left I thought it looked much better.

    ONE YEAR ON she has E-mailed me to say it is still not looking good. I was passing so I offered to take another look at it, and she is right it does not look good. She is smiling very sweetly but making back-handed comments like 'friends asked me if I had made it myself' type of thing.

    Now I'm a fussy b**@&r and offered to take it away and try and make it better.

    The fabric is a Laura Ashley (I know, I know!), and it is a woven fabric with a gold medallion type design woven into it. Basically I made the blind with the visible stitching method which I now do not use unless asked. Apart from that, the measurements, squareness, and stitching lines are perfectly straight, just that the fabric has a ruckled effect, so that it does not sit flat with the lining. When pulled up and the folds are formed, there are sort of creases forming on the folds, and the fabric is just not flat.

    Obviously when I made it, it would have been pressed, and I would not have delivered it to her, in that condition. If I had any doubt about making it in the fabric, I would have stopped at the time. I cannot remember any particular difficulties making it, so I don't really know what to do.

    I offered to try to improve it, as my reputation is important to me, however, I do think that making snidey comments about my work, and not telling me until a year later is a bit off.

    Not making any excuses, but I do think that it is the fabric causing the problem, not the way it was made. However the curtains hanging in the same room look fine.

    I intend not to do a total remake, but to remove the visible stitching lines and use the stab method instead. If there is any tension in the stitching lines, then this should help.

    Help and advice would be much appreciated, please, as my confidence has taken a bit of a knock over this one. (Must have made at least 1000 blinds and this is about the only one, I can remember having a complaint).

    Sue.

  • #2
    Re: DODGY LOOKING ROMAN BLIND

    Hi Sue

    Sue did you draw the clients attention to the blind initially? Reading your thread I would have thought she was happy in the first place otherwise she wouldn't have called you back for more.. I made blinds for a client in London a few years ago and the fabric wasn't suitable for blinds as it was crinkled - she wanted the fabric and I did point out the pitfalls.

    Some fabrics just aren't suited to roman blinds.. You're now in a place were your reputation needs to be protected, so you've done right by offering to fix the blind.

    Philip
    Have you registered your business yet?

    http://www.ukcurtainmakers.co.uk


    A MyDecozo Directory

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: DODGY LOOKING ROMAN BLIND

      Hi Philip,

      Are you away on holiday? If you are you're surely not reading the forum??!!

      Anyway, no, I was the one who initially said it did look good. There was absolutely no mention of it when I arrived to measure for a second job. However, once I had mentioned it, she agreed, and was happy for me to tinker with it in situ. By the way, the second job never happened! Still I think it is a bit much, contacting me by E-Mail a year later, and only a day before I went on my holiday, to tell me she was not happy.

      If she get lots of visitors to her home, and this is in the lounge/diner, then it is on show. However, not sure (if I wasn't a curtain maker) whether I would be happy if my friends and family made negative comments on my home and its contents.

      I think I am being reasonable in attempting to improve it, but I have said that I believe that it is the fabric causing the problem, not the way it was made. I have also said that I cannot promise to make it better, after all, if it is the fabric, then we're stuck with it.

      Am I being too generous if I offered a total remake in another fabric (which she would have to pay for), but did the make-up for free?

      I'd be more willing if it were not for the passage of time, which I think is past reasonable.

      All sorts of clients could come out of the woodwork saying that the curtains you made 6 years ago are not hanging properly! etc. etc.

      Sue.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: DODGY LOOKING ROMAN BLIND

        I am yes, have wifi connection here so I will be looking in as I lay by the pool...
        Have you registered your business yet?

        http://www.ukcurtainmakers.co.uk


        A MyDecozo Directory

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: DODGY LOOKING ROMAN BLIND

          Very jealous now. My holiday was just over a week ago, and it is a dim and distant memory. Have a great time.

          Sue.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: DODGY LOOKING ROMAN BLIND

            Sue its sounds like youre doing the right thing, I'd be exactly the same cos Im a people pleaser too Given the timescale its pretty mystifying why she has left it this long to call you, I bet someones made a comment and its pushed her into calling you out regardless of the prospect of you getting anymore work from her. and shes bluffed you to get you round in hope you'd notice.

            That said, I'd be like you, offering to put things right as i too would be concerned about my reputation. I believe you leave your reputation hanging in someones home!

            Its jobs like these that give us heartburn at 3 am! Dont let it knock your confidence sue , you have a fabulous reputation , its just some jobs make things a little more challenging and we always seem to remember the worst ones !

            I hope thing work out for you either way.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: DODGY LOOKING ROMAN BLIND

              hi sue i was looking at leather sofa and only get 1 years garentee with the sofa i think she a cheek to come back one year later do you not think she looking for free blind if you went to a shop a year later and complain you would get told to get lost maybe she feels like a free change of blind maybe i am wrong but i would not lose any sleep over it esther i have dress in my wardrop 1 year old might take them back esther

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: DODGY LOOKING ROMAN BLIND

                Thanks Esther!

                Thants exactly how I feel, but I will bite my tongue! I do annoyed about it, but I will not lose sleep over it, if she was that worried about it she would have been on the phone straight away.

                I'll do my best, but not bend over backwards. If I really cannot improve on it, I'll offer a re-make at no cost to her. Providing she pays for the fabric and collects it herself.

                Thanks a lot
                Sue.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: DODGY LOOKING ROMAN BLIND

                  Hi, an update and a question please.

                  I have virtually re-made this roman with the stab stitching method. I removed all horizonal visible machine stitching, removed all the dowels and bottom batten. Gave it a good press, and put the whole thing back together. Result? It looks much the same as it did before I started.

                  The medallion design weave on the fabric is very stretchy compared to the rest of the fabric. It seems as if the medallions are trying to shrink back to their pre-pressed size. As a consequence waves and creases are forming at the folds.

                  I will have to be honest and say to the client that I have done my best, but I don't believe the fabric will ever make up well as a Roman blind.

                  I am considering the worst case scenario here, client had one large pair of curtains plus this roman all in one room. The curtains look lovely, just the blind that is the problem.

                  IF I tell her the blind cannot be made good, what happens if she makes a big thing over the front and back of the room not matching. This was her own Laura Ashley fabric, and I can remember telling her that I do not normally take it on. But unfortunately for me, I did.

                  I was thinking of offering her a free make of a replacement roman, even though 18 months has now passed. BUT I think she should pay for the fabric, what do you think. I'm dreading her telling me she thinks I ought to start the whole job again at my cost!

                  Help!
                  Sue.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: DODGY LOOKING ROMAN BLIND

                    Do you by any chance have any spare fabric to experiment with - I wonder whether you could do anything to stabilise the difference in weave between the background and the medallions? Perhaps some light iron-on Vilene (like you'd use in dressmaking).....

                    I know this is unconventional, but it sounds like a situation where we need to be creative to save your sanity!
                    Louise


                    sigpic Simply Sewing

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: DODGY LOOKING ROMAN BLIND

                      Sue,

                      I quite accept that you want to protect your reputation as well as your sanity BUT a considerable length of time has passed, 18 months, during which she has not complained to you, you have remade the roman blind at your expense and I really feel that you have done your bit. It seems to me that the fabric is not quite suitable for romans probably because of the weave of the medallions into it, it may work well with the weight of the curtains.....well, its is suitable in that it has been well made but does not fold nicely.
                      Unfortunately your customer has had her attention drawn to this and there is a chance that she will never be happy with it now, but I see that as her problem and not yours.
                      I would not even consider making the whole job again at your cost, LA, M&S and JL would not, so why should you? Sorry, if that sounds a bit harsh, but just because they are large retailers and we work from home ..............

                      I would be honest with her and tell her that you have done your best, you have remade it, given it another press, rehang it, smile and get out of there. Doen't think worst case scenario, thats up to her and her purse, not you to worry about.

                      I think I may have got out of bed on the wrong side this am,

                      Enid

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: DODGY LOOKING ROMAN BLIND

                        As far as I remember there wasn't any leftovers, because she asked me to make a pelmet (Oh No I've just remembered to hang above the blind!) if there was sufficient fabric. I think she got this fabric cheap in a LA sale and from memory she got the bit which happened to match which I made the blind from, from a car boot sale or charity shop. I might have felt more inclined to go the extra mile if she had drawn this to my attention, but she didn't. I drew it to hers when I turned up to measure for a second job. I have looked again at it this morning as I have it hanging in my work room in the up position. I will leave it until after the weekend to see if the folds settle. I think it might be marginally better than it was.

                        Thanks for your help, I think I will have to wait and see on this one. I now realise that if I offer to re-make the blind, then I will possible have to re-make the matching pelmet too. Unless I can find a nice fabric that ties it all together. Think I will leave that as a last resort.

                        I have a headache already!

                        Sue.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: DODGY LOOKING ROMAN BLIND

                          My Sewing tutor said to me once - when you have finished a job and hung it and the customer has been pleased and paid you - never go back or phone the customer and ask if they are happy with the job at a later date, because it gives them the opportunity to say Well.....

                          I use to give my customer courtesy calls and my old tutor would say to me 'your asking for trouble'

                          I know you didnt phone her Suel and I think I would of done the same had I seen something I had made, but she called you back for another job and maybe you drew her attention to it, but 18 months had passed and in that time kids or a man (no disrespect to men) may have pulled that blind up and down without respect - its probably had more use than the curtains so therefore the fabric is bound to change, I guess what I am saying is dont feel bad about it, you can only do your best, rehang the blind be confident and say you have made it in a different way and it should be better. Dont offer to remake it in a contrasting fabric, just leave it an see if she contacts you.

                          Enid didnt get out of the bed the wrong side here - she is right smile sweetly.

                          Kathy
                          K W Designs
                          Bournemouth

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: DODGY LOOKING ROMAN BLIND

                            Well, if she got the fabric from a boot sale goodness knows how it might have been treated before she gave it to you! Perhaps stored somewhere damp or in a loft? Try not to feel bad about this (I know what you mean though.........)

                            Perhaps it was a fabric that was discontinued because they found it was unstable anyway!!!!!

                            You can only do your best (which I think you already have). I like the advice from Kathy's tutor........
                            Louise


                            sigpic Simply Sewing

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: DODGY LOOKING ROMAN BLIND

                              I do tend to give courtesy call with Romans especially as I have not fitted them. I don't always though, and I can't remember if I did in this case or not. If the blind had looked like this when I made it, I would not have delivered it. Sometimes you have a nagging feeling in your mind that perhaps something may not be quite right with a job, but I didn't with this one. I was stunned when I saw it, and couldn't help but go straight over to it, and start fiddling.
                              Sue.

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