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Tools and materials
For measuring up and fixing
• Step ladder.
• Steel tape measure use a long metal tape rather than a fabric one which might have stretched with use, and measure in centimetres.
• Notepad and pencil for recording the measurements.
To make up curtains, plenty of space – ideally a large table – is essential. If the table is not large enough, lay a big board on it to provide a larger work area.
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• A sewing machine, and supply of needles any machine with a pedal action or electric pedal control will do so long as it does a straight running stitch.
• Fabric, lining, interlining and trimming (although all of the last three are optional).
• Thread for tacking (in a dark colour if the fabric is light, light if it is dark); and also for sewing – plenty of it in a colour to match the front fabric. Always use thread of the same fibre and similar weight as the fabric itself.
• Weights to help curtains hang well, weights can be inserted in the hem. Alternatively, a special weighted tape can be sewn on.
• Sharp scissors in various sizes.
• Dressmaker’s pins these must be sharp and rust-free. Glass-headed ones are more easily noticeable and less likely to get lost in the curtain. Do not leave pins in fabric for long as they might leave holes.
• Tailor’s chalk for marking cutting lines.
• Steam iron to press material flat before and after making up.
Keep your sewing equipment orderly, tidying up at the end of each day so that you can find things when you start again. A tray or box in which to keep all loose equipment is useful. Heavy weights for holding fabric in place, such as bricks wrapped in scrap interlining and sewn into scrap cotton, are a good idea. Sew a handle on the top of each for easy lifting and moving as you work will drape on the floor add 15 25cm (6 lOin), depending on how much curtain you want on the floor; for ones that will just skim the floor deduct 6mm (Min). Finally, add a hem allowance of 16cm (6Min) for lined curtains or 10cm (4in) for unlined. The total figure is the working length of the curtain.
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