It recently occurred to me that, whilst it may appear that I’ve spent the last 40-odd years decorating houses, what I
have actually been doing is solving problems and translating concepts and dreams into reality. No two houses,
projects or sets of curtains are the same and so over the years I have researched and experimented exhaustively to
achieve the desired effects. The result is a broad ranging and encyclopaedic knowledge!
I hope that you find this series of short articles, drawn from just some of my experience, both helpful and
The Problem of Making a Sofa to Fit a Curved Bay Window
I’m currently working on a flat in North London that has presented a particular challenge for our furniture maker Derek. The sitting room has a 10 foot wide curved bay window and we have been asked to create a sofa that will fit underneath to provide a comfortable seating area.
The initial problem is to design and make a curved sofa that large, a feat of mathematics and very precise carpentry, but entirely do-able as you can see from the pictures below of the frame taking shape and the finished, beautifully comfortable, sofa.
However, as the property is a London flat, we also have the problem of how to get this huge curved sofa into the room – the doorways and hallways are extremely narrow. To get around this problem we made the sofa in sections that will be bolted together on site – truly a unique piece of furniture!
How to ..... Curtain Headings No. 1: Hand-gathered Headings
Welcome to the first of my (time-permitting) weekly blogs. I thought it might be useful to cover some of the basics of curtain-making and hanging.
Hand-gathered headings are like smocking and very simple to make.
(1) Run two or three rows of gathering stitch all the way along the top of the curtain and then pull it up to the required width.
(2) Stitch on, very tightly, a heading tape to hold the pleats in place
(3) Sew hooks on to the heading tape and then cover the backs of the hooks with a strip of fabric for a perfect finish.
How to ..... Curtain Headings No. 2: Pinch Pleats
Pinch pleats can be achieved using tape but the result has an ugly machine line across the top of the curtains so it is much, much better to make them by hand.
- For single pinch pleats allow fabric 1 ½ times the width of the window width (or the width that you want to cover – allowing fabric to extend beyond the window)
- For double pinch pleats, twice the width of the window space
- For triple pinch pleats, 2 ½ times the width of the window space
Subtract width of window space from width of fabric and surplus fabric goes into the pinch pleats.
Fully make up the curtains, stitch each pleat by hand and then attach a sew on or pin-in hook.
Flowers from the garden looking summery in our Showroom
Lovely new lampshades in lots of colours available now from Fermoie