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home>>family>>home & decor 2>>create professional quality window treatments

Use these Tips to Create Professional Quality Window Treatments


(ARA) Choosing a window treatment can be a scary proposition not only will the style and fabric you choose help set the tone for the decor of your room, but you'll be spending a fair amount of money.

"We talk to women all the time who have put off buying drapes or other window treatments for years because they were afraid to make the commitment for one reason or the other," says Sue Sampson of Home Dec In A Sec. "But once they have window treatments installed, they all say they wish they had done it sooner."

One way to trim the cost of window treatments is to sew them yourself. That's how Sampson and her partner Ellen DeLucia started out. They're friends and neighbors who share a passion for home decorating and sewing. They create affordable custom window treatments through their Internet site, and they also use their experience and expertise to make home decorating patterns for McCall's.

Sampson and DeLucia say there's no reason home sewers should be afraid of making their own window treatments. "You're basically fitting a box," says DeLucia. "There's not a lot of fancy sewing required, and little mistakes are forgiven very easily."

Having the right equipment will make any sewing project easier, and making window treatments is no exception. "You'll need a sturdy sewing machine that can sew through many layers," notes Sampson. "A serger is also a great investment," she says. "We couldn't live without our Bernina serger in our custom window treatment business," she adds.

A serger makes the job quicker and easier by sewing the seam and finishing it at the same time. Choose a serger based on your experience level and the amount of sewing you plan to do. Bernina offers a variety of models with various features to fit different needs and help you achieve a professional looking finished project.

You'll also want to set up a work area. Because some of the pieces you'll be working on will be quite large, you'll need a big ironing surface. You can improvise, using a desk, dining room table or even a ping pong table covered with several layers of towels. You'll also need a good steam iron.

A visit to your local fabric store will provide inspiration in the form of patterns and fabric. If you're wondering what's popular right now in window treatments, Sampson and DeLucia say they see a trend toward drapery panels as well as an increase in the popularity of Roman shades, or even a combination of the two. Today, home sewers have increasing access to wonderful trims that give window treatments that designer look.

"There are beautiful trims now in stores at more affordable prices that home sewers can add to their projects, or even use to give a more custom look to ready-made draperies," says Sampson. Home stores also stock a great variety of hardware options, which can add drama to the look of a window treatment.

Here are some tips from Sampson and DeLucia for creating custom window treatments at home:

* Make sure the pattern you use has all the information you'll need, and read through it before you start.

* Use quilters' pins instead of regular straight pins for your project. "You'll be pinning through several layers of fabric, and regular pins just won't cut it," says DeLucia.

* Before you start sewing, mark your pieces "T" for top, "R" for right side. "Some fabrics look very similar on the right side and wrong side; you don't want to find out when you're done with your drapes that they don't match," says Sampson.

* Dental floss is great for gathering large pieces of fabric.

* A 4-foot ruler will come in handy it is long enough to go across the width of the curtain.

* Sew with a friend. "You can do your curtains and then it's your friend's turn to get help making her curtains," says Sampson.

For more information on Bernina sewing machines and sergers, visit www.Berninausa.com.

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Courtesy of ARA Content
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