Working From Home

Welcome to Curtains and cushions, I hope you find this Blog interesting and useful. I am a curtain maker who has worked in the soft furnishing trade for many years now.
I work from my own home and I have been working from home for several years now. I have my own sewing workroom where I make curtains, cushions and other soft furnishings.
As I only have a certain amount of room in my workroom , I do not have any space to keep a lot of stock. I do keep a certain amount of curtain making sundries, such as threads, tapes, buckrams etc, but I do not have room for fabrics, linings or interlinings. There is no room for anything bulky which means that the customers have to bring their own fabric and lining for me to make up.
In a way, this is good because then the customer has the choice of where they can buy their fabric , thus giving them the chance to take advantage of sales and bargains. They bring the fabric of their choice with their measurements to me so that I can make it to their requirements.
I always ask the customer to measure the width of the pole or track where they are going to hang their curtains, and the finished length that they would like the curtains to be made to. This gives the customer the choice of  how long they want their curtains to be . All windows and rooms are different and some windows suit long curtains and other rooms suit a shorter pair of curtains.


Make Money from Sewing at Home
The best way to earn money from sewing at home is to research the subject first. There are several ways it can be done and you just have to find the right business plan for you

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We were all very surprised when Susan told us that she would be working in the large posh department store when she had finished her exams at school. Susan had never been near a posh shop in her life so we were all very interested to know what she would be doing there.
Susan had been to the careers office earlier that week and the careers office lady had asked her what she wanted to do when she left school. The year was 1976 and we lived in a small town where there was a lot of unemployment at the time. Susan was a bit vague because she did not know what she wanted to do. So the careers lady asked her what her hobbies were. Susan said that she liked to make her own clothes, although this was not completely true because she only made her clothes because she could not afford to buy them. Susan`s aunty was a dressmaker who was working from home at the time and she would give Susan the offcuts from the jobs that she had been working from. As soon as Susan expressed an interest in sewing, the careers lady became a bit more interested in her
 The careers lady knew that there was a job vacancy at the local department store . This job had not been popular with other applicants and she had referred several other girls but they had not lasted long there, and many girls at that time were not interested in the job that was being offered. It was not the glamorous sort of job that people thought of when the name of the department store was mentioned. This is because the job being offered was that of a Curtain Maker, or rather at that point, a trainee curtain maker. It is not surprising that the job had not already been taken because how many 16 year old girls are interested in curtains. Not many I suspect with most girls wanting to work in fashion , with children ,or in offices .
So this is how Susan first got to hear about the job. She decided she was interested and the careers office arranged an interview later that week.
 Susan went off nervously to the interview because she was a shy and quiet sort of girl and she did not have a clue what to do when she got there and this was her first interview. Anyway , she must have done something right because she passed the interview and got the job. She started work the week after she left school.
To begin with, Susan found the job really hard because she had to be at work by 7.30 and then do an 8 hour day. Her working environment was not brilliant because although she was working for a posh shop, the workrooms where the tradespeople had to work were not at all comfortable. These workshops were situated behind the shop and were little more than sheds. The workshops were cold in winter and too hot in the summer. Susan often felt lonely at work because the people she worked with were all a lot older than she was and she had nobody of her own age to chat with. Not that there was much time to chat anyway because as she was only a trainee , Susan had to do all the chores in the workroom such as sweeping the floor, picking up pins, shopping, making tea , washing up etc.
Susan soon got used to her new job and she soon got into a daily routine. She found that she was interested in the curtain making trade and the more sewing she got to do, the more she enjoyed it. She worked for the department store for many years and learned the trade well. She learned how to make curtains, cushions, blinds, bedding, loose covers, upholstery, and much more during the time she was there. When the department store closed the workshop, the people that Susan worked with had all decided that they would work for themselves. Some of them decided that they had been in soft furnishings too long and they went on to do other things. They were all able to start their own business ventures because the department store had to give them all a generous redundancy payout because they had all worked there for many years.
By this time Susan was in her thirties , married to her childhood sweetheart and buying her own home. She had a spare room at the back of her house which they turned into a workroom for Susan. Like many of her co-workers Susan had built a bit of a client base doing sewing for people she knew. She asked these people if they would tell all their friends and family that she was starting her own curtain making business . They were all happy to do this for her and she also place an advert in a couple of nearby shops . To start with, business was quite slow but as she started to get better known, she soon had a busy trade going. The telephone was always ringing and there was always somebody bring her some fabric to be made into curtains or whatever. She got to know her customers really well and over the years some of them became good friends.

Of course Susan was lucky because although she found the work hard to begin with, she did get a good training in curtain making and upholstery sewing. Nowadays there are not many shops that have a curtain or upholstery workroom where people can learn to make curtains. However there are people (often ex curtain makers or upholsterers themselves) that run courses for people to learn new trades and skills. These courses have to be paid for but the people running them really know how to teach their pupils everything that they know of the trade.
 Some upholsterers and curtain makers will hold courses at local schools and colleges. These courses take place in the evenings. This is another way to start your own business from the trade that you have learned . Some tradespeople have decided to work from home by running the courses from their own homes if they have a workroom big enough to hold several people at a time.