Taking the next steps in soft furnishings...
Tea break
A great place to relax, read, feel inspired about sewing for pleasure or discover places to visit.
Tea break - tips and tricks
Here are some tips & tricks that can make your life easier.

Some customers are surprised to hear that many aspects of soft furnishings are hand sewn — here are some top tips to help the process go smoothly.

When working with fabrics and making soft furnishings there are various points where it’s important to hold layers still, keep trims in place or secure folds before stitching. The obvious thing would be to use pins - but sometimes this can be time consuming for large areas, or you might not want to pierce delicate or blackout fabrics. There are various options available:

In a previous Tip we outlined how to use double-sided sticky tape (DST) when making joins in blackout bonded interlining. Once you have some tape in your workroom, there are various other jobs it is good for. It’s also worth mentioning that there are various strengths of tape.

Many makers use bonded blackout interlining in roman blinds, placing the blackout layer against the back of the face fabric. This means the side turnings and hems can be herringbone stitched to the ‘fleecy’ interlining layer without piercing the blackout. After folding the face fabric around the bonded blackout, the lining with rod pockets is added to the back as usual.

A good colleague kindly shared her excellent method for joining the bonded interlining for larger blinds. This is ideal when it can be railroaded so the join is placed at the top or bottom of the blind away from the rod positions.

These instructions place the extra section at the bottom of the blind.

Perhaps you think of YouTube as full of music videos and comedy clips — but it’s worth looking again as there are lots of useful soft furnishing and upholstery resources to be found too.

There are lots of situations in soft furnishings when we need to use or make a template - here are some top tips.

Once you are ready to consider having a dedicated workspace for soft furnishings, the thing that really improves your workflow is a dedicated worktable.

All curtain makers know to use a metal tape measure when measuring windows, but they’re not always easy to manage single-handed or on large windows.

I am working on a project where there is very little space either side of some patio doors — which curtain headings need the least stackback?

You may have come across fusible interfacing if you’ve done any dressmaking or stabiliser for machine embroidery, but there is also a fusible stabiliser specifically for soft furnishings. It’s well known in America where it is supplied by Rowley Company, in the UK it is available from Colly Brook Fine Furnishings.

I have a customer who wants a single curtain across glazed doors which are almost 280cm wide. She wants something more decorative than a track ...... all the poles I find need a centre bracket.

A colleague recently set up their first large worktable and asked others how to best set up a power supply to use their iron safely.

Whatever project we undertake in the workroom we rely on our hands to complete various tasks. Some people find that working with interlining, or FR treated fabrics irritates the skin on their hands or causes contact dermatitis. This prompted some research into the care of working hands.

Following our last article, it seems logical to investigate how we can best look after our backs.

“I am fairly new to curtain making and struggle when trying to pattern match seams — any tips?”

Which board to choose when you are making a Velcro-attached pelmet?

When fitting a pelmet outside the window recess there are various ways of securing the returns securely.

Sometimes you will work with windows where you want to fit a pelmet inside the window recess, or inside a dormer window.

The top edge can still be attached to a board or batten with Velcro, but what do you do to hold the ends in place?

From time to time we all need to deal with marks and spots on fabrics — but don’t panic.

A colleague was recently presented with the challenge of dealing with fitting a track up against a pitched ceiling. The garden room had replacement windows running up to the ceiling and the client did not want the track flush to the frames.

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