Curtains and new sewing machine

Have a question or want to show off your project? Post it! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View


I'm renovating a house in England and have got to the point where I need
curtains(!)

Long story short: I never imaging buying curtains could be so much grief -
no ready made websites I can find have parametric searching, ie "show me all
the curtains that are of the following size".

Made-to-measure curtains seem amazingly expensive - it's against my religion
to spend more than 100 pounds on a room's worth.

So I have considered making some myself (it's logical, I'm doing a lot of
other work myself). I used to be pretty good with my Mum's old Singer sewing
machine but that's a bit past it now.


So first question:

What is a good make of machine these days? I'm more interested in reliable
smooth sewing than a computer that can do 2500 different stitches. In fact I
regard the computer element as a liability - they usually die long before
the mechanics give out.



Second question:

I've only turned up curtains before. If making lined pencil pleat ones, does
one:

1) Hem the material and sew, hem the lining and sew then sew both together
or

2) Hem both with pins temporarily and sew the lot together in one operation
(sounds fiddly)?



Third question

Does the lining go right to the top, ie under the pencil pleat tape?



Fourth question:

Assuming cotton, or a high % cotton mix, if I prewash the material first,
would I expect that to cause most of the shrinkage the curtains will ever
see? In other words, could I expect them not to shrink much further after
that with occasional wet washing?


Sorry - lot of newbie questions...

Thanks anyway!

Cheers

Tim

--
Tim Watts

Managers, politicians and environmentalists: Nature's carbon buffer.


Re: Curtains and new sewing machine


Tim Watts wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it
<snip>

I share those religious beliefs. :)  

Do you have any local sewing machine shops?  You really ought to try some
machines out before you commit to one.  You are looking for a good
mechanical machine. I prefer mechanicals as well.  Like you, I'm concerned
about the computer parts giving up on me AND mechanicals are (by and large)
Oh so easy to maintain yourself.  Start by finding a local shop. Take your
mom's old machine with you.  Investigate what it cost to have it cleaned,
timed, etc. (what is that machine, BTW.)   Sometimes the oldies really are
goldies and worth keeping hold of.  If it's really time for it to go to the
great sewing room in the sky, it may have some trade in value as far as the
shop owner is concerned.  Look at your options.  

OR!!  Tell Kate where you are. She's also in England. And she knows where
all the best machine shops and other goodies are. ;)  She might could give
you a good lead on where to look at the very least.  (just don't make any
Mad Hatter cracks right now. LOL)

Now, as for your curtain questions.  You need to look for this book:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)

It's a wonderful book. Tells you how to measure, figure yardage, make the
curtains and even how to hang them.  Even helps you figure out hardware for
them.  Lots of "work sheet" pages.   Those are great help.  I've had a copy
of that book for years. Used it so may times it came apart and I had to put
it in a 3 ring binder. ;)
We can (and will) help you here. But you seriously need something right
there, in your hands for this first curtain project.

Sharon
--
Never try to teach a pig to sing.  It's a waste of time and just annoys the
pig.

Re: Curtains and new sewing machine



"Sharon Hays" wrote...
Quoted text here. Click to load it

She (or her husband) might even give you one of her surplus TLC ones... ;->
(See, no mad hatter crack!)

U.



Re: Curtains and new sewing machine


Ursula Schrader wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Himself would certainly like to see one go!
--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Curtains and new sewing machine
UK=92s leading supplier; curtain fabrics, ready made curtains, made to meas=
ure curtains roman blinds curtain poles & tracks. A Curtain fabrics special=
ist. Check More here http://www.curtains2bedding.com /

Re: Curtains and new sewing machine


Whois Results:
Registrant:
Curtains2bedding
5/4 Wetherell Place
Clifton
Bristol, BS8 1AR
GB

Domain name: CURTAINS2BEDDING.COM


Administrative Contact:
Barrett, Lloyd snipped-for-privacy@wiggan15.freeserve.co.uk
10 The Green,
Little Acton
Wrexham, N E Wales LL12 8BH
UK
0041978354316
Technical Contact:
Ltd, Webfusion services@123-reg.co.uk
5 Roundwood Avenue
Stockley Park
Uxbridge, Middlesex UB11 1FF
GB
+44.8712309525 Fax: +44.8701650437



Re: Curtains and new sewing machine
On 23/09/2012 09:10, BEI Design wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
Not a lot of help for someone wanting a new machine to make their own
curtains outside a radius of 50 miles from Uxbridge - one of the less
interesting location in Greater London!  ;)

Maybe the spammers will make him a bit happier...

--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Curtains and new sewing machine


On 3/11/2010 4:47 AM, Tim Watts wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
Tim, If you use drapery material I wouldn't wash it but rather dry clean
it first. Having said that, I never pre=shrink drapery fabric because I
hang my drapes out several times a year and vacuum them frequently to
remove loose dust.I'm posting a website here to give you and idea of how
to make the drapes.
http://www.villageworkroom.com/html/measuring_guide.html
  Remember you want to use a drapery weight fabric so that you get them
to hang well.
As to your sewing machine, I also use a mechanical machine. It works
well and has given me a lot of years of good service.As Sharon  said
talk to Kate, she's a great source for information. She post herre all
the time.
I hope this has been a little help to you.
Juno

Re: Curtains and new sewing machine


Juno B wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I, on the other hand, prewash ALL fabrics as soon as they come into the
house.  If they shrink significantly, I do it again.  We have dust
allergies, so I want all my curtains to be machine washable and dryable.

I second the motion on having your old sewing machine serviced, it is
very possibly better than just about anything on the market today.

Olwyn Mary in New Orleans.

Re: Curtains and new sewing machine


Tim Watts wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Bernina 1008.  I have one to test at the moment, and I love it.
mechanical and smooth as cream.  :)  Goes for just under 600 here in
the UK.  It'll last forever.

or you could look for an older model like the 1005 (I have one of thoose
too) or the really old 807 and 707 models (yes, all mechanical, or
lovely, and I have working models of those too!).

Quoted text here. Click to load it

One makes up the lined curtains, hangs them for a while, and then hems
the lining and outer separately.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yes.


Yes.  Allow for 10%-15% shrinkage.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

You're welcome!

Welcome aboard.

--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Curtains and new sewing machine


  wibbled on Thursday 11 March 2010 18:11

Quoted text here. Click to load it

That does look like a fine machine. Bit out of my price range. I think I
will have a look at my Mum's old Singer (that had all the features,
including free arm). The flex was knackered, but as electrical work is my
specialism, I'll replace that and see if the mechanics are still good.

I could be worth paying for a service on the machine. It was a solid little
lump and very reliable.

I seem to remember Necchi (sp?) used to be highly rated - is that still
true?

Cheers

Tim

--
Tim Watts

Managers, politicians and environmentalists: Nature's carbon buffer.


Re: Curtains and new sewing machine


  wibbled on Thursday 11 March 2010 09:47

Quoted text here. Click to load it

General follow up:

Thanks to everyone who replied.

I just found a rough how-to on the web for doing lined curtains - seems
straightforward - as usual, it is all in the preparation - marking,
trimming, ironing, pinning. The actual assembly doesn't seem too hard if one
can stitch straight with a machine (I can).

As there isn't a consensus in the pre-washing theory, I must admit I prefer
my things to be wet-washable - so it seems to make more sense to preshrink
the material first then work with a stable medium. I live in the middle of
nowhere and dry cleaning is an expensive hassle.

As mentioned to Kate, I'll see if my old Singer is serviceable - if so it is
well up to anything I'll ever do. Otherwise, a decent machine seems quite
expensive, and I generally don't like buying cheap rubbish - it is usually a
false economy.

Found some quite good fabric shops online which will give me a feel for
price - it would be better to buy what I can feel in a real shop, but if I
know the expected price then I won't get "done" (I use this philosophy with
all the building materials - no-one marks up products worse than a builder's
merchant! - except maybe a timber yard).

I've got the basic specification for the curtains - cream/plain fabric (type
undecided), heavy linings (thermal or blackout) and pencil pleat tops.

If this works, I might have a look at how to do roman blinds - SMWBO has
requested them for the kitchen.

BTW - I'm 30 mins from Tunbridge Wells, and there is a good machine shop
there (World of Sewing IIRC).

Many thanks,

Tim

--
Tim Watts

Managers, politicians and environmentalists: Nature's carbon buffer.


Re: Curtains and new sewing machine


On 3/12/2010 4:40 AM, Tim Watts wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
It sounds like your moving in the right direction. Curtains and drapes
are not difficult, just a bit time consuming. I like making them because
they fit just the way you want. BTW most online stores will have a way
for you to get a sample swatch. Our Kate also will be able to recommend
so go places to find nice fabric in the UK.
Juno

Re: Curtains and new sewing machine


Juno B wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
Indeed.  The Fabric Warehoue in Ashford is great.  I know more places...
  Online and RL.

--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Curtains and new sewing machine


Tim Watts wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
I'm up near Sittingbourne!  :)  30 miles as the crow flies, an hour by
road!  You can't get there from here...  Kent is grat if you want to get
from London to the coast or Paris (or brussels!), but not if you want to
get from Sittingbourne to Tunbridge Wells!

But if the old Singer doesn't come up shining (which model is it?  I
love old machines), I have a spare prehistoric Bernina in good working
order that Himself will be glad to see the back of...  Ex Harringay
school machine, bit scruffy, but sew a treat.

World of Sewing are fabulous and do a fine line in used machines.  Ask
about older Necchi (yes, good old ones are available) and Elnas.  I've
bought several used machines from them, and they are always good to deal
with.  They will be glad to service the old Singer for you, or give you
an honest opinion about whether or not it can be saved and how much
it'll be if not.

If you want the Bernina, give me a call.  I'm in the Yellow Pages under
Dressmakers.  We'll get something sorted this weekend.

--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Curtains and new sewing machine


  wibbled on Friday 12 March 2010 15:02


Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks - a most kind offer.

I've got flu, so I won't be able to check my machine for a few days (it's in
storage) but I'm hoping to rescue it and if it still spins freely, I'll
change the flex and take it to World of Sewing for an opinion.
 
How much would you want for the Bernina?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

--
Tim Watts

Managers, politicians and environmentalists: Nature's carbon buffer.


Site Timeline