Curtains for Christmas!

A bit of a desperate phone call ‘I’ve shrunk my curtains, any chance you could make some in time for Christmas?’ ‘if we are quick!’ came the reply, I think we can squeeze you in’.  Thankfully, the second fabric sample book came up trumps with the right fabric for the room, this lovely Blendworth ‘Melody’, depth of colour and the perfect green to match the sofa but a light and airy background I knew would transform the room.  The wall colour needed to change from a deep yellow and with some new poles and tracks and tie-backs from Swish we transformed the room in record time with only minutes to spare before the arrival of visitors.  The most delightful of clients and now looking forward to transforming the next room post Christmas!

White 2014 no.1   white 2014 no 3

laura ashley pattern match fabric

Pattern Match with DST

More exploits from the soft furnishings world!  Over the summer I had to pattern match 8 widths of fabric for a pair of curtains to cover a 5.3 metre pole, no mean feat I can say as each curtain drop was 2.8 metres. My client had already bought the fabric from Laura Ashley and was assured that there was plenty and as such a large quantity was ordered they sent it in two rolls of 14metres but unfortunately they hadn’t pattern matched those two rolls. That’s another story…… Back to pattern matching. the easiest way to match a pattern and keep it in place is to use the magical Double Sided Tape (DST), cheap DST is perfect as it sticks and brings two sides together but can be removed quite easily after sewing. This saved so much time and the avoidance of pins and therefore the inevitable pin pricks in the fingers.


Bespoke made to measure curtains handmade by Designs4today

Curtains, bespoke or ready made?

A friend of mine was having a little dilemma, should she buy some ‘ready mades’ or invest in a pair of bespoke hand sewn curtains, she needed them quickly (or so she thought!). Well for me the answer is obvious, bespoke every time. Window treatments are often viewed by people as a luxury and not a necessity but having just installed some new blinds in a cottage, I think they are a necessity. The windows were only eight years old but the cold could be felt through them, putting up the blinds immediately stopped the cold coming into the room. Because the property was old, the ceilings were uneven, as were the walls ‘full of character’ Visiting the property, measuring and discussing the problem with our client we were able to offer a solution that she hadn’t thought about. My client was on a tight budget so having looked at fabrics she liked which were way over the budget, we found some similar fabrics at a more reasonable price for her. With so many suppliers at our finger tips we can offer and explain the benefits or each item of hardware, information which is often hard to find when searching the Internet and time consuming to do.

So, back to my friend. Instead of buying some ready mades that in her words ‘would do for now’, We sourced some fabulous material and instead of curtains we made roman blinds which look fantastic. Extra thermal insulation has helped with keeping the room warm, the choice of fabric suits the setting and she has a product that will last for years. In her words, ‘I don’t need to think about this again’. Cost wise, yes it was more money in terms of hard cash but value wise, much greater when looking at the longer term. Not only helping reduce the heating bill but she won’t be replacing them in a hurry!

How curtains can offer a good nights sleep!

The referral of a young mum by a previous client led me to an interesting thought about curtains and window treatments.  Curtains and Blinds are not just there to make a room look homely or pretty but are also used for the very practical reason of insulation and light reduction.

This young mum sent a desperate email in need of some curtains for her young twins bedroom, having recently moved house into a Victorian detached property the renovations had been carried out and all was looking good until the clocks changed to British Summer  Time and the mornings got lighter and lighter.  With this time of year brought the waking of the twins at an earlier time each week until at 4am one morning she could stand it no longer.  Armed with fabric books, tape measure and recording book I was in and out of the property with decisions being made very quickly.  The room needed blackout lining and being the old ‘thin’ glass windows the curtains need insulating as well.  After a quick deliberation my client chose the very pretty ‘butterfly’ fabric by Prestigious Textiles with a deep pencil heading. I felt so sorry for this young mum as I can remember full well that form of torture known as sleep deprivation!!! This fabric was turned around in the workroom as quickly as possible and I’m delighted to say that I delivered a ‘Good Nights Sleep!’ and hopefully when winter comes again it’ll be a warm one too.

A very satisfying assignment and one I won’t forget in a hurry.  Sometimes the simplest things can be the most fulfilling.

Time Management & Productivity techniques and hacks online

Working as from home as a self employed person can be difficult at times. Who do you share the frustrations, burdens and dilemas with? Usually in my case its the dog but the answers aren’t always forthcoming!! Yesterday I enrolled on this course  Fantastic is all I can say, just the boost I need at the moment to keep me focused as I try to grow my business but also keep a happy home for husband, three children, two dogs and myself!  I need to find the extra few hours in my week very soon, we’re taking on the delight and fun of a pony, with the help of Diana’s words I feel I can now do this, I’ll let you  know how I get on……

Voyage cushions bespoke handmade by Designs4Today

Voyage cushions

A new commission of ten cushions came my way and the favourite was definitely the Lorient Décor Berridale fabric, four cushions in the set.  The fabric was a delight to work with, great to cut and sew and not too expensive either, so all in all great value.  I needed some bespoke feather pads made for this lot so contacted the Fine Quality Feather company in Frome who were extremely helpful and quick to deliver.