Thursday, March 27, 2014

Salvaging a disaster

We were asked to remake panels that had never been hung.  Unfortunately the workmanship had been so substandard that the homeowner kept them in her closet for several years.  She wanted to be able to use the Swedish Home cotton print since bedding and other items had also been made from it.

I salvaged what was usable of the main fabric, and Kim Freeman worked with the homeowner to choose a coordinating fabric and trim.  Samuel and Sons' amazing skinny lip cord in blue defined the line between the main fabric and the bias checked band.

The original curtains were ambitious, but much had gone wrong.   Banding around 3 sides was trimmed with lip cord with the lip removed and applied with visible hot-glue.  The mitered check did not match anywhere, and attempts at repairing it with hand-stitches were obvious.  The pleats were not sewn; a slip of buckram was tucked into the back with a single tack. Interlining had been roughly cut, unhemmed, and didn't reach the face fabric hemline, which, incidentally, was topstitched, unevenly.  The lining hem varied from 1" to 3" and was crooked.  Masking tape had been left on on the wrong side, and left orange stained stripes.  To top it off, one panel had been made upside down!

Once the panels had been dismantled and cut evenly, banding was needed to add to the length.  Skinny lip cord edged the top and bottom, between the face fabric and bias checked banding.

Two-finger pinch pleats are pleated to the check pattern, rather than the print, because the floral motifs were unevenly distributed across the width.  I love fat, interlined pinch pleats!  The pleats are tacked  invisibly, at the lip cord, with blue thread.

Underneath, an inside mount flat Roman shade, French blackout lined, is trimmed in the same lip cord and bias band.

In an adjacent bedroom, French blackout roman shades were made from ticking, also from Swedish Home.   Here Kim chose a horizontal striped banding for the bottom.


  1. Thank you for posting how you brought these back to life. I am dealing with a similar situation and this will help me so much! Thanks again, Karen

    1. Glad this will help, Karen! There's (almost) always a solution.......

  2. Impressive work here. Workmanship is gorgeous.

  3. Excellent reworking of these drapes.

  4. The Swedish print is so pretty, I'm glad you were able to create such a lovely window treatment.

  5. I love the blue check and would love to have some curtains out of that! I can only find the blue checks or Buffalo checks in black, red, or gray. You did a great job and these are beautiful.