Need help to re-do drapery and valance

PhyllidaJune 22, 2014

I had a large project done, drape and valance. Unfortunately, the job was done very poorly.
The seamstress has agreed to come back, and I would like some help in telling her what needs to be done to repair the puffy valance and shirred seams.
I will be very grateful for any help provided.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's good that the seamstress agreed to come back. I am no expert. Here are my thoughts...

About the drapes:
It looks like the tension on the sewing machine was not right causing puckering along the seams. Are these drapes lined?
Also, did they cut away the selvage before sewing? I've heard that (not cutting away the selvage) can cause some puckering when sewing.
Did they insert drapery weights in to the bottom hem (at each corner & sometimes also at the bottom where each seam is )?

Maybe, a good pressing is all that's needed.

Not sure about the valance. Again, maybe pressing will help with that puffiness?

Please post back. I hope things work out.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 11:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annie Deighnaugh

Hard to tell from the picture. It may be the tension, or it may be that she stretched the fabric when she sewed it, or it may be that the fabric is very sheer and slippery and needs a stabilizer to hold it while it's sewed. Or it may be fixable with a good pressing.

Can't see the valance so don't know what needs to be done there....

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 9:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Annie,

Thanks for your responses. Here is the valance - to me it looks lumpy and unprofessional.

There's also a problem with the hem - I'm sending that in another post because I can't seem to manage to upload 2 photos in one post.

The fabric is a rather firm drapery fabric, 100% polyester, Kravet 32224.

Will be grateful for all advice!



    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 10:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Any advice gratefully accepted!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 10:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

if the seamstress didn't cut the selvedges off the fabric, pressing will only help temporarily. Ask me how I know.

Valance and hems loo like they could use pressing, but I'd bet you *don't* want hard creases on the valance you?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 12:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can't imagine a "professional" seamstress delivering draperies that look like the last pix. I would not accept such. If it is not tension, then it would appear one section of fabric was stretched to finish the ends matching. Open the seam and re-stitch..the reason for puckering will be easily recognized then...and add weights at bottom of seams and ea side. Your fabric looks very pretty.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 9:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

First for the seams, the stitch length should be set at 4 and the tension is to tight. But mainly the fabric slipped, in that the pieces were not held taut. Rip out the seam and sew again. Also the blindstitch on the hem is to tight and to deep. For the valance, you can tack them at the corners on the inside and iron flat.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 4:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'd also say the tension was too tight,and possibly too small a stitch was used.Like others i hope she cut off the selvages as well as that will cause puckering.Also to me it looks like she didn't do any pressing at all,and she's a proffessional???

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 4:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The good news: she re-sewed the drape, and added interlining and weights to the valances (not yet installed).

The bad news: she delivered the drape stained. She had it cleaned, but one large, very visible stain did not come out (:-(

Sewing friends - I have had so much aggravation with this experience that I have determined to learn to sew! I was a very good knitter, so I think there may be a chance for me! (I started a new thread asking about sewing machines for newbies.)

If anyone knows of someone in the NYC tri-state area considering an independent seamstress, email me and I'll warn you off this one.

Thanks to all!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 4:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm sorry you didn't get these problems totally resolved,she should at least give you back part of the money.Do you know what the stain is??.

There are a lot of tutorials on you tube on how to sew,and how to sew draperies.They really aren't all that hard,just time consuming and you need a very big space to work in.Always,always get references from several people before you commit to getting anything else made.

Thanks for coming back and updating us.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 8:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you decide to re-visit this one - do not use a seamstress. They are for making clothing. You need a professional drapery workroom.

I have one up here in Canada and believe me, our professional, industrial equipment makes all the difference. We use proper blind hemmers, industrial sergers etc.

I was appalled when I saw your pictures. That is about the worst drapery job I have ever seen.

The stain? Inexcusable.

Please let us know if you were able to get this project finished without further money being expended.

I do wish you the best of luck in getting things straightened out.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 8:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As previously posted, she re-did the seams (although one of the panels was stained).
Now I see another problem. The project is a room divider drape, and the seams on the "wrong" side are raw and very visible. I don't remember my old one being this unfinished looking.
She mentioned using an "overlock stitch." Is there a technique she could have used to make the "wrong" side seam more finished-looking?
Will be grateful for all responses and suggestions.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is the re-sewn drape. I still think it looks awful. The cleaner mentioned that she didn't do a "blind hem." What should she have done here? (Sorry - cannot get picture vertical.)
Will be extremely grateful for all comments and suggestions.

This post was edited by Phyllida on Fri, Aug 8, 14 at 10:20

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

First of all, an unlined curtain should have a french seam and secondly, if it's being used as a room divider, where both sides are seen, it should be made as a Portiere (a double sided curtain). They used a serger, which is fine if they were lined and hung on a window.
If they didn't blindhem it, then we'd need to see a closeup pic of the inside hem, to see what they did do. Maybe they used the blindstitch option on a home machine rather than using an industrial blindhemmer. Can't tell from the pic.
This person doesn't sound like a professional and you shouldn't have to tell them how to do their job.
Don't know how much you paid, but I'd return them and get my money back, if possible.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 11:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, shadylady. I will certainly try to get my money back, but it will not be easy, and I paid for the fabric myself. I may be able to get her to do it over so I can live with it, and I would at least like to be able to tell her what to do. This is the way she did the hem. It seems wrong to me, and it certainly looks awful.

Any and all comments and suggestions will be very gratefully received. Many thanks to all.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 4:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Many, many thanks, Canadian Lori. I wish you could have done my project! (And I have other work that I need done, alas . . . )

Best wishes.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 4:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Personally i'd save these post,ask her for a refund,and if she doesn't comply,i'd take her to court,and i'd take these post with me.Of course you'd probably have to get permission from those of us who replied,but i personally don't have a problem with that.

Always ,always do your homework before you have anyone do any sewing etc for you.A lot of folks think that just because they can sew a simple skirt,that makes them an expert~~~~~~~~~~not so!!!

If you get your money back,can't you just go somewhere and buy them,sure would be a lot less frustrating.Good luck to ya.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 5:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Many thanks for the support, Kathi. Much appreciated; this experience has been quite trying.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 8:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What did this woman charge you for this job?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lori - I paid $1,025 for the labor and $300 for the installation. I bought the fabric myself, 33 yards @$47.90/yard.

Wonder how this would compare to a project in Canada. Was a competitive price here in New York (and this woman was praised to the skies in a local guidebook).


    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 7:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You paid more than I would charge - and I use all professional equipment and notions. You should have gotten pro results! I hope this woman refunds your money.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 9:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lori - go ahead, break my heart - what would you have charged for the job? (Room is 12.75' wide.)

Or maybe not broken - if I get my money back (or even if I don't, possibly), I want the job done over. Maybe something could be worked out between us...

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 9:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have lots of contact info but only for Canadian workrooms. Shadylady- aren't you a pro? I seem to recognize you from.the pro forum- or I could be wrong- but if I'm right, perhaps you can help Phyllida find a pro in her area?

As a guideline, workrooms charge by the width of fabric. That is for each column of fabric from top to hem. So if you have two joined together, the charge if for two widths of material, two and a half is counted as three, etc. The reason the 1/2 is charged as a whole is because it takes just as much time to seam a 1/2 piece as it does a whole.

Or, your cleaner might know a workroom?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 7:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Lori. Just curious as to what price would be in Canada. This was 7 panels, 96" high + two pleated valances 12.75' across. (I don't know why she did 7 panels ; my old one was 8, ie 3 fullnesses, but . . .)

Cleaner did refer me to a workroom. I think they're extremely expensive - eg quoted $290 to fabricate a 100" round tablecloth (doesn't include fabric). (They said would be lined, but I don't need a tablecloth to be lined!)

May be unusual but I'm wondering if worth fabricating in Canada and getting my own installer down here.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 8:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I still can't see how the hem was stitched because the thread is the same color, so can't really comment. However, which ever way they sewed the hem, there's way too much pulling and tightness there.
Just thought of another problem you'll encounter. If you get your money back for the labor, what about the COM fabric? I'm thinking they should compensate you for that, but you'd probably have to go to small claims court, as this person probably won't give you that willingly.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 10:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey there Lori! Yes, I'm from the pro forum. You're missed over there.
Sad, it's a bit on the slow side.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 10:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

An average width price is $50 per - that is for panels that are not over length (longer than 96") That is for fabrication only.
Try a search under "drapery workroom" and your location. I am sure you will find someone nearby that isn't asking an outrageous price,.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 7:35AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Seamstress Needed
Hi, Is there any experience seamstresses in Illinois...
Should I buy this old Singer?
... Can you tell me how I find when it was made? It's...
Dog house pattern
Does anyone have or know where I can find a pattern/instruction...
fabric for a pant suit
I have been wanting to make a periwinkle pant suit...
Can anyone help identify these fabrics? {PB Brooklyn in Lavender}
Hi there, I absolutely love the PB Brooklyn Crib bedding...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™