Making a TREE SKIRT
Sewing a CURVED Double Hem
The Beauty of HAND-SEWN HEMS
THREE STRIKES, and I'm OUT!
The Great FABRIC SEARCH
''I put down my scissors, take off my tool belt and walk away.
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Click here for complete step-by-step instructions.
Jann Newton is the owner of Newton Custom Interiors, which opened in 2000 and is located in Bloomington, IL. Newton Custom Interiors is an award-winning drapery workroom that offers custom window treatments, pillows and bedding. Jann is a former student of the Custom Home Furnishings Academy and has written articles for the Drapery & Design Magazine. In 2013, Jann started a blog where she shares home décor DIY tutorials with her readers.
Learn more about Jann in episode #62
of the Sew Much More podcast.
How To Make A Tree Skirt
Love the details!
From this frog closure, to the knife-pleat ruffle around the outer edge, this project tutorial is loaded with fabulous detail and clear step-by-step techniques.
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promo code PR17SRMA
Welcome to the Library
the new home of the
Drapery & Design Network
On Friday, December 15th, members of the Drapery & Design Network were invited to login to the new Curtains & Soft Furnishings Resource Library as PRO-level members to begin enjoying the new platform.
If you are a current member of the D&D Network, please check your email for login instructions. Email Sue@CSFpro.org if you have any questions about your membership.
You’ll love the new easy-to-navigate framework for posting new questions and participating in conversations, surveys, and product support
You’ll enjoy expanded search capabilities that include searching conversations, magazine archives, webinars, you-tube videos, and podcasts
You’ll have the option to add your business to the FIND A PRO page that is viewable by the public and searchable by location and services offered
You can view the Library-exclusive series: PRO-RETROSPECTIVES, that feature recorded webinar discussions of interesting or challenging projects, published within multi-media e-docs
You can join Library CIRCLE TIME to participate in live Q and A sessions on educational topics
You’ll continue to automatically receive the Drapery & Design Digital Digest in your email in-box
And, each month, more curated content will be added to the searchable archives (First up- the most popular chapters of the M’Fay Workroom Manual!)
The Great Fabric Search
In the soft furnishings industry, most of us have come across a decorative fabric that a client falls in love with, only to find it discontinued. Riding on the promise of a sale, we then search diligently across many avenues to no avail. True, you can use the reliable Google image search tool to scour the internet for another source, ask your colleagues on social media or visit your local design center for an alternative, but what a hassle!
What if I told you there was a secret way to search the stock of various fabric companies in which you already have access? It’s true. I have gathered email addresses for the research departments of my preferred vendors. When I come across a fabric I need help with, I blind copy (bcc) the contacts on the list. Those representatives search their systems for the actual fabric or a suitable alternative. Then they share their search results in a follow-up email to me!
Here is a list to get you started-
RM Coco AccountRelations@RMCoco.com
Stout Brothers e-csr@Stout.com
Michael’s Textiles Customerservice@michaelstextiles.com
When Eileen Zimmerman was just twelve years old, her love for fabrics and sewing began with her first sewing project in Home Economics. She received her degree in Fashion Merchandising from Kent State University. She later went on to work in the family business, Paint & Pattern Centers, for more than twenty years in many different positions. When mini and vertical blinds became fashionable, Eileen became an expert in that field. Soon, customers began requesting valances to cover the headrails of their blinds. Eileen’s next venture was to work in a drapery workroom as the office administrator. Soon after that, she went on her own and Well Dressed Windows was born in May of 1995.
"What if I told you there was a secret way to search"
thru December 31st, 2017
This limited time offer includes one Bostitch Fabric Stapler and one Bostitch Magnetic Staple Remover. The fabric stapler is made with steel components for extreme durability. It has a jam-free design for maximum productivity. The staple remover has an ergonomic design for comfortable use and the magnetic staple grabber eliminates loose staples. Click here for bundle.
click below for
Industry Leader for Custom Shade Operating Systems.
Operating Systems Guide for Roman Shades
MYL 100% Cordless Shade System
MYL Shield Spring System with Rollease Acmeda Easy Spring Plus
Rollease Acmeda Easy Spring with Ring Locks System
Safe - T - Shade Pro Lift System
Rollease Acmeda SS38 Roman Shade System
Rollease Acmeda Workroom 3/8”Shaft System
Rollease Acmeda R Series
Rollease Automate Li-ion 1.1 Motor with Ring Locks
Rollease Automate Li-ion 2.0 Motor with Ring Locks
Rollease Automate Li-ion Switch Wand Motor SW1.1 with Ring Locks
Safe Zone Shade Sizes Chart for Spring Operated Shades
Roman Shade Operating Systems
Sewing A Curved Double Hem
For a 1” doubled hem, using matching thread, stitch at 1” and 2” from the cut edge of the curve. Use your machine’s longest stitch and have the wrong side of the fabric facing up so that the bobbin thread will be on the right side of the fabric. If your fabric doesn’t hide stitching well, you may want to use a contrast thread so that you can more easily remove the stitching at the outer edge when the project is finished.
Press in 2” all the way around the edge of the coverlet, following your stitching line on the curve. Pull up on the 2” line of machine stitching if necessary to keep it flat.
On the straight edges of the coverlet, press the raw edge under to create the doubled hem. Don’t press the curves yet.
Tuck the raw edges of the curves under to start creating the double hem. At this point you can see that it won’t lay flat.
Pull up the basting stitches of the 1” line until it is gathered in enough to tuck under and lay flat.
Work from both outer ends of the curve, adjusting the gathers until they are even and the curve is flat. The sharper the curve and/or the deeper the hem, the more you will need to gather.
Press the hem in place.
Add lining if using and pin the hem in place for stitching. The hem can be machine stitched or hand sewn if desired.
Nancy Letts started Pine House Drapery, an award-winning full-service workroom serving interior designers in the lakeside resort communities of northwestern lower Michigan, in 2001, with her husband Rob joining the business as an upholsterer in 2008. Nancy is a Workroom Tech and CWC instructor, a 2012 CHFA Alumni Showcase winner, has written how-to articles and presented webinars that can be found in the Curtains & Soft Furnishings Resource Library, and is a member of My Designer Concierge. You can find Nancy on Facebook and Instagram as Pine House Drapery and on Twitter as @nbletts.
click arrows to view slide show
For a bedding project I did recently, the designer specified a turned-up hem on a lined, matelassé coverlet. The corners at the foot of the bed needed to be cut on a curve so that the length would be the same all around. Turning up a doubled hem on a curve might take a little more time than binding the edge, but it’s a good alternative if you don’t have a binding attachment and gives a nice looking, sturdy finish to the edge of the coverlet.
Click HERE to apply for an account
Anderson Fabric Workroom is a leader among COM CUSTOM WORKROOMS. We fabricate bedding, draperies, top treatments, shades, swags & cascades, pillows, cushions and much more! With over 35 years in the industry, we pride ourselves by not limiting your creativity.
Ordering, estimating, information on hardware, Graber blinds, and our complete retail labor catalog are all conveniently available on our website.
Contact us today for more information at 800-328-1791 or email@example.com
Ask about our Digital Newsletter, Website, and Social Media services
Only $60 per year for silver level membership through 12/31/17
My Designer Concierge understands that operating a small business is challenging and we are here to help. Be a part of our buying group with access to over 100 companies, many with discounts. Additionally, we offer several business services such as premium digital newsletters, website set up and maintenance and social media assessment and management to help you cultivate and increase your client base. Email us!
With your yearly membership, you can take advantage of all our vendor accounts, saving you hundreds each year. Join now!
It is our goal to help you grow your business. We are here to help you succeed, just “call the concierge!”
Fabric & Trim
Lamps & Lighting
Tools & Supplies
Social media assessment/management
Up to 20% off your purchases
Workroom Tech is owned and operated by Susan Woodcock and Rodger Walker, owners of Home Dec Gal and producers of Custom Workroom Conference. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Tryon, NC, Workroom Tech is at the center of a charming town, within easy walking distance of restaurants, shops and galleries. Contact Susan Woodcock for more information at 828-859-2854 or Susan@WorkroomTech.com.
Hands-on Training for Workroom Professionals
Custom Workroom Technical Center (AKA Workroom Tech) provides professional training courses led by experienced industry professionals. A sample of upcoming winter and spring classes is listed below. Visit www.WorkroomTech.com for the complete class schedule, and to plan your 2018 education investment.
Valances and Top Treatments: Level I with Susan Woodcock
Cornice Board Construction: Level I with Annie Davis
Historical Pattern Drafting Workshop and Pattern Drafting Swags with Ann K. Johnson
Pricing Without Emotion with Michele Williams
Create Your Brand and Engage Your Tribe with Michele Williams
Color-Blocked Drapery Masterclass with Donna Cash
Custom Shades: Level I with Susan Woodcock
Pillows and Cushions with Nancy Letts
The Funky Little Chair Upholstery Workshop with Cynthia Bleskachek
Window Treatment Design Workshop with Monique Becker
Custom Draperies: Level I with Susan Woodcock
Hobbled and Austrian Shades Masterclass with Deborah Cronin
TheDenton Drapes English Curtain Masterclass with Penny Bruce
of Hand-Sewn Hems
I love the quality of hand-sewn hems. Hand stitching is considered a high-end technique in the drapery making profession, not because it is technical, complex or unique, but because it is so simple.It is the simplicity of the stitch… the intimate, personal attention and care given to the materials while cradled in the sewers hands.The process of hand stitching has a slow rhythm and personal connection that shows, with each stitch, respect for traditional skills and craftsmanship.
Hand sewing is more expensive because it takes more time, and in the drapery workroom time equals money. It can't be rushed and is worth waiting for. Plus, the stitches can be easily removed without harming expensive fabrics.
Tools and supplies mentioned in the video:
Kai 6” Straight High-Leverage Shears
Prym Glass Head Pins and Magnetic Pin Bowl
John James Hand Sewing Needles, Long Darners #5 or #7
Coats Terko Satin Thread
Susan Woodcock has been a workroom professional for over 25 years, offering sewing and design expertise to the trade and sharing her passion through HomeDecGal.com. She’s the author of Singer® Sewing Custom Curtains, Shades and Top Treatments, and an instructor for Craftsy.com. Together with her husband, Rodger Walker, Susan co-produces Custom Workroom Conference, an annual educational event and trade show. Her latest venture is custom workroom technical center, a hands-on training facility in Tryon, North Carolina.
Re-set your business out of Mistake Mode
I make mistakes. I make small mistakes every day. Sometimes I make big mistakes - ones that cost me in time, resources and/or dollars. Each mistake creates stress by adding cost out of my pocket, time out of a carefully managed schedule, and embarrassment.
Luckily, the big mistakes are few and far between. But sometimes, once every 4-5 years, the big mistakes come in a wave. That is, three or more large, costly mistakes occur within a week or two. When the third mistake happens, I know I am in Mistake Mode. They may have been mistakes made three months before at a measure or when quoting. It may even be someone else’s mistake. But all of a sudden I am slammed with three or more at once that I have to fix and I feel out of control.
The third mistake initiates Three Strikes and Out!
I put down my scissors, take off my tool belt and walk away. (If there is an absolute deadline within next 2 days, I will finish that one job first). I go play for the rest of the day. A long walk, dinner with a friend, binge watch tv, read a book. I walk away from work.
The next morning I sleep in. Pour coffee and sit down at my desk. I clear all papers off the desk: pay bills, file paperwork, finish quotes, etc. Clearing my desk clears my head. I then pull all the folders of current and pending jobs and I go through all of them carefully, reviewing all the details and making a to-do list of supplies, hardware and materials to be ordered, measures to be scheduled, fabrics or hardware that have not yet showed up, calls to make, etc. This careful review of jobs catches missed details and gives me a short list of clean-up items. I clear that list, then I go play for the rest of the day.
The second morning I go back to work. Refreshed, clear-headed and ready to tackle the work. What had seemed insurmountable now is quite manageable.
You will find walking away from a heavy work load the hardest thing to do in your business. The pending deadlines and extra stress of fixing mistakes will try to pull you back in to get them finished. I CANNOT stress enough the importance of walking away when overwhelmed. But once you try it the first time, you will fully appreciate the wisdom of walking away. Think of a car mired in a bit of mud. It is stuck. You stomp on the pedal because you have to get moving, and the tires spin. Yet, when you get out, lay the ground work of plywood or sand underneath the wheel, then gently push the pedal after you have relaxed bit, the car will move forward and out of the pit.
I might also suggest that you set aside one time every two weeks or once a month to clear your desk and review your current jobs before the mistakes begin. Put it on your monthly calendar. I still need to take this step myself. It is part of my 2018 resolution list for my business.
I first applied this strategy in the data processing world as a Programmer Analyst. It can be applied in many phases of our lives.
I hope you never need to use this strategy. But if you do, I know it will help you get back on track and become productive again very quickly.
Ann K. Johnson
Ann K. Johnson owns Sew Easy Windows LLC, a wholesale workroom in Ohio, established in 1992. She is the author of The Professional Workroom Handbook of Swags I & II, and publisher of Kitty Stein's Price Your Work With Confidence! Ann offers private workroom training, seminars, and hands-on classes in workroom fabrication, pattern drafting, efficiency and pricing. Her topics are always packed with time saving tips and techniques, delivered in a relaxed and light-hearted style. Find information at Sew Easy Windows. Ann is an instructor for The Workroom Channel and Workroom Tech, a webinar instructor for WCAA & The Curtains & Soft Furnishings Resource Library, and a speaker for CWC. She is a member of the Greater Cleveland Drapery Professionals and WCAA.
See how thorough and fun online education can be. Join engaging instructor, Ann K. Johnson, for an in-depth course on SHAPED TOP TREATMENTS. She covers everything, including drawing templates, building frames, choosing hardware and advanced fabrication techniques. Course includes a detailed, 100+ page supplement with photos. Click here to view course catalog.
Three strikes, and I'm out!
New, Used, and Rebuilt Sewing Machines
138 Klein Drive, Salem, NH 03079
YOUR SOURCE for industrial sewing machines, parts & accessories!
For 110 years, Kirsch has set the standard for style and design in drapery hardware, combining colors and materials to highlight and accentuate any window. The new Buckingham® Collection builds on this tradition and expands the offering to give designers, decorators, and consumers even more choices to make the perfect complement to their soft treatments.
New program highlights include:
New 1 3/8” Finials – 16 new finials at a smaller diameter to better fit medium-sized windows.
Three new 1 3/8” end caps – additional choices for finishing poles in corners or tight spaces.
Two new finishes – Ash and Cottage White. Ash brings out the finer points of the finial with a beautiful taupe glaze, while Cottage White has a gorgeous gray wash to highlight the details in each style. These new colors are available in all Buckingham® products.
Three new 3” finials – new selections in our largest size.
·Three new 3” end caps – to give more options in this very popular style.
The Buckingham® Collection now has a complete line of 1 3/8”, 2”, and 3” finials and end caps. Each size comes with coordinating poles, rings, brackets and accessories. As you may know, the Buckingham® Collection is hand crafted in High Point, North Carolina. Our launch kit pays homage to this heritage as we highlight the effort of American workers to imagine, design, and develop the next generation of this collection. The process starts with skilled professionals hand carving wood models for each individual part. When models are complete and approved, the mold is created and first articles are made. Then the process of hand finishing begins to get the perfect combination of colors to accentuate the details in each piece. We hope you enjoy the new additions to The Buckingham® Collection from Kirsch!
Scroll down to learn more about the latest additions to the Buckingham Collection
To contribute or advertise in an upcoming issue reach out to:
Jill Ragan Scully, Content Coordinator
My Designer Concierge
December 2017 photo credits
Jann Newton, Newton Custom Interiors (cover)
Nancy Lets, Pine House Drapery
Susan Woodcock, Home Dec Gal
Liz Kelly, The Workroom Channel
Love this e-pub? Don't miss a single issue!
The Drapery & Design Digital Digest is a collaborative effort between the Curtains & Soft Furnishings Resource Library and My Designer Concierge. Together, our mission is to showcase the outstanding work of custom home furnishings professionals, spotlight quality products, and share educational resources.
To learn about education at the Library reach out to:
Jeanelle Dech, Founder
Curtains & Soft Furnishings Resource Library