Getting to grips with the formalities of design

As you know, I have embarked upon a Curtains and soft furnishings course in order to conquer yet another of my stitching phobias (the zip gremlin was kicked into touch some time ago).

The last part of my current unit was to develop a window treatment for a fictitious client. Until I started this process I had no idea that there was a whole range of books which exist simply to give you line drawings of every conceivable curtain, blind, pelmet and pole combination you could ever think of. Part of my reading list were two volumes by Wendy Baker entitled The Window and Bed Sketchbook and The Compact Sketchbook of Blinds. Both of these gave me a very clear idea of what different curtains in all kinds of environments would look like.

I am lucky in that I can draw (though nowhere near as well as Kitty) so creating the sketch was not at all daunting. I’m sure I am not alone in spending numerous hours planning out new interiors designs on the backs of envelopes, but what I did discover is that if you draw your window/room to scale, the design you thought you liked often doesn’t work at all.
I chose a slightly awkward window, in that it is at the top of a half landing, and originally planned just a single curtain to the left. But when I sketched this out it didn’t look at all balanced and I was forced to rethink. As the curtains are never required to close, the fact that they are completely different lengths doesn’t matter at all.

I’ve submitted all of my first unit coursework now, so I am awaiting both my mark and details of Unit 2 which will involve some curtain construction. the other news is that having shown off the cushions I created for the little sewing lesson I ran, I now have multiple orders for these as well. Better get on then I suppose.

Cat x

Feeding the fabric addiction

One big, and very exciting, development in Planet Cat is that I have finally signed up for the soft furnishings course that I have been threatening to do ever since time immemorial. This means that I now have a valid excuse for buying all those interiors magazines and spending far too long in my favourite places ordering samples of beautiful and luxurious fabrics.

This is not good. On two counts… Firstly, I already have an enormous collection of a whole variety of sewing based literature (and can I ever find that pattern I was saving to make…) stashed under my bed. While Mr C was busy disposing of his old Top Gears and no longer useful cycling magazines over Christmas, I was sorting mine by type and working out how many I could store before they become a fire hazard. Secondly, I already have more samples than you can shake a stick at. In fact, for my first assignment I am supposed to get samples of six different types of fabric and write about them. Only six! I’ve got all I need but that means I don’t have to go to the fabric store, I need to up my game!

My main motivation for doing the course is that curtains really are my bête noir. I don’t know what I do to them but they really don’t like me. I suspect that one of the problems is that I over engineer them, but also I think that I have an innate fear of wasting that much fabric. I have, in my time made some pretty brilliant Roman blinds, but that’s just a case of applying maths to material and I can do that.

I’ll keep you up to date with my progress, meanwhile I’ve got fabric collections to research!