Taking the next steps in soft furnishings...
Come and browse the virtual shelves and discover some ‘new to you’ titles that you might want to buy or borrow.
Merrick & Day
384 Pages

This book is often referred to as the curtain makers’ bible. It starts with some history and design information including lots of colour photographs, moves through measuring windows and choosing curtain hardware, then goes on to a further three sections.

The first covers all sorts of curtains, trimmings, top treatments (pelmets, valances and swags), tiebacks and various styles of blinds. Details of how to measure, plan and make them are all included with clear line drawings to illustrate them.

The second covers beds, tablecloths and cushions, while the third gives information on the fitting and care of curtains and furnishings.

Susan Woodcock
232 Pages

As well as the basic projects like lined curtains and roman blinds, this brand-new book (October 2016) has several more unusual sections. It has been written by an experienced American soft furnisher, who also teaches and runs industry events in the USA.

There is an excellent section on making contrast borders and bands, as well as creative techniques such as adding pleats to eyelet headings, and making arched curtain panels which hang from medallions. The chapter on relaxed (soft) roman blinds is also clearly written. There are lots of colour photographs and clear diagrams to accompany the instructions.

As it is an American publication all instructions use imperial measurements.

Maureen Whitemore
192 Pages

This is a really comprehensive, professional book. It covers planning, measuring, all the steps in making soft furnishing and has many projects. There are clear instructions, lots of colour photographs and plenty of professional advice. The sections on piping and inserting zips are particularly good. You will learn techniques that you will carry with you through your career.

As well as classic items there are other more unusual projects such as a reefed blind, voile swag, variations on a tabtop curtain and cut away goblet heading.

Wendy Shorter
160 Pages

This book starts by covering equipment and techniques and then moves on to a range of projects from basic to more complicated. As well as curtains (including eyelets) and roman blinds, it also covers tieback variations, bed valances and throws and a loose cover for a dining chair. There are clear diagrams and colour photographs of the projects being made.

It also has an interesting section on tucks, ruched effects and lattice smocking, as well as decorative edges.

Sunset Books
128 Pages

Although this book was first published several decades ago, it is full of techniques and projects you can use today. It’s an American title so some of the terms are unfamiliar and it uses imperial measurements. The diagrams and instructions are clear and it includes more unusual items such as Turkish and butterfly corners. There is plenty of information on different types of filling, making piping (welting) and various ways to insert zips.

Sunset Books
119 Pages

This is in the same series as Simply Pillows and is of the same vintage. Although the photographs are dated, the techniques and instructions are clear. It covers how to spot a difficult project, how to choose and calculate fabrics, as well as how to measure furniture and make the covers. The bedspread section includes throws, quilts, fitted bedspreads and bed valances.

Clifford L Blodget
338 Pages

This is an extremely comprehensive guide to take you from machine fundamentals through how to make adjustments, right up to maintenance and repair. It covers vintage and modern machines, as well as domestic and industrial variations. There is also advice on setting up a sewing room, and where to buy machines and parts.

The photographs are black and white but sharp, the instructions are clear.

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