Curtains, everyone!

Collection of samples of window treatments

I hope you all enjoyed meeting Nina and Sonny last week – aren’t they both lovely. I’m back this week and totally fizzing with enthusiasm for the world of soft furnishings. Last week I was introduced to making Roman blinds, cushions, padded pelmets and swags and tails. I was really nervous about the last two – they always look so elegant in beautiful Georgian interiors and must be impossible to make, surely?

Whilst fiddly, they turned out to be great fun to make. My tail, particularly, was a more modern take on it but I hope you will agree that the lovely fabric worked really well.


Curtain tail in blue horizontal striped fabric
No, cats – not that sort of tail!
Curtain swag in a green and pink fabric
My swag would look better hung but you get the idea

Talking of fabric, you must all be wondering what I did with the James and the Giant Peach fabric – I turned it into a Roman blind and it was a perfect choice, even if I do say so myself!

Roman blind in white fabric with a peach design
I’ve laid it out as a cascade blind here to show off the fabric better

Surprisingly, it was the cushion where I really struggled – who knew that putting in a zip could be that difficult! Fortunately, the tutor was on hand to show me where I was going wrong – again and again and again. Then, at the end of the day, she showed us an alternative way to do it which looked a whole lot easier and I can’t wait to try it for myself.

Padded pelmets were also quite straightforward (the one in the picture is a half-pelmet sample). The hard bit would be cutting the shape from plywood with a jigsaw. Fortunately, as you all know I have a very handy, practical and supportive chap at home, who is on the case, researching chamfered edges as we speak. He’s such a star.

Padded pelmet sample in white fabric with stars
Half a padded pelmet

It was great to see everyone again on the course, too, and catch up with what they had been doing. They were a supportive and incredibly talented bunch of people and it was a privilege to learn with them. There were a couple of trainee tutors there as well, one of whom took a group picture of us on the last day. She suggested we all wave our swags (not a phrase you hear every day), but we decided we preferred to keep it simple!

Group of 8 women outside a building
Here we all are, on our last day together

It was good to get home, though. D was waiting with a big hug and a glass of wine and Calamity was glad to see me (until she realised I hadn’t brought her treats, anyway). The Princess, however, appears to have totally switched loyalties during my time away and keeps walking straight over me to reach D’s knee instead. I confess to being a touch jealous – the Princess and I have always had a special bond. I have to hope that she remembers that too over the next couple of weeks and I can have my regular cuddles again.

So, I suppose the question is, where next? I should finish the course totally before Christmas and then, apart from waiting for my certificate, I will be a fully qualified curtain and soft furnishings maker. I am making tentative explorations into setting up a business but it is a scary world out there (especially today, in light of the results of the US election) and it takes more than being handy with a needle to be successful. Will I be brave enough to jump in with both feet? Who knows, but I certainly wouldn’t mind at least going for a bit of a paddle …

In the meantime, I am looking again at our own curtains and feeling ever more certain that I have a lot of sewing to do. A blind for the landing, a curtain for the door, pelmets in the kitchen and curtains in the living room and bedroom bays. My biggest problem is where to start! So many exciting projects, so much beautiful fabric to choose from and so little time …

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