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Spruce up your home as we show you how to make your own curtains 

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This step-by-step guide from John Lewis shows how to make lined pencil pleat curtains.

It covers everything from working out how much fabric you need to how far apart to place the hooks in your finished curtains.  

What you’ll need 

Curtain fabric, lining fabric, matching thread for the face fabric and the lining (for patterned fabrics choose the dominating colour), pencil pleat heading tape, sewing machine, scissors, tape measure, ruler, and pins  

Measuring and estimating fabric quantities 

1. Measure the width of your curtain track or pole and multiply this by the required fullness. For pencil pleat heading, multiply this by 2 – 2 ½ times depending how full you would like your curtains to be.

2. Divide the answer by the width of the curtain fabric, this will be the same for the lining.

3. Measure the overall finished drop that you would like for the curtains and add on the hem and heading measurements (add 16cm for the hem and 5cm for the heading).

4. To calculate the amount of fabric required, multiply the overall figure by the number of widths and this will give you the total amount of curtain fabric and lining you require.

For example:  

– If the curtain track length is 206cm x 2.5 for the pencil pleat heading = 515cm 

– Then divide the width of the curtain fabric which is 137cm by the curtain track length which we have already worked out is 515cm = 3.75 widths (round down to 3 for double fullness or up to 4 for extra fullness)

– Then measure the overall drop required 134cm + 16cm for the hem + 5cm for the heading = 155cm this is the cut length. Then multiply by my 3 widths = 465cm. Round that up 5 metres of fabric and 5 metres of lining)

– Then work out how much heading tape is needed by multiplying the width of the curtain fabric, 137cm, by the widths needed, 3, = 411cm. To be on the safe side, and to allow for turnings (to hide the heading tape), round this up to 5 metres of pencil pleat heading tape.

Making lined curtains 

1. Cut the fabric to the required cut lengths and cut the required number of drops and repeat this with the lining. If there is a half width per curtain this width will need to be split into two up the length of the cut. This can be done by folding the length selvedge – the finished edge – to selvedge and then cutting along the fold. It is a good idea to mark the fabric with a small arrow in both the top left and right corners of each cut, chalk can be good for this as it can be easily removed when you are finished. This is useful for indicating the face side of the fabric and the direction of the fabric.

2. Join the fabric together with a flat seam. Use approximately a 2cm seam allowance.

3. Repeat this process with the lining fabric.

4. Measure the overall width of the curtain fabric and the lining in each curtain. The lining fabric will be slightly wider than the curtain fabric, you will need to cut this down so it’s approx. 16cm narrower than the curtain fabric. This will allow the curtain fabric to turn back onto the finished curtain down both the leading (inside) and trailing (outside) edge.

5. On the lining fabric, fold and press a double 5cm hem (turn fabric over twice) along the bottom edge and using a sewing machine run a flat running stitch with a matching thread to the lining colour. Repeat on both curtain linings and put aside.

6. On the curtain fabric now fold and lightly press a double 8cm hem(turn the fabric twice) along the bottom edge of both curtains and hold in place with pins. This can be sewn several ways depending on how confident you are. It can be hand sewn using a herringbone stitch, sewn using a machined hemming stitch or machine it through with a flat running stitch. The choice is yours. Make sure you use matching thread to the face fabric colour.

7. Lay the curtain fabric right side up on a flat surface. Now lay the lining fabric on top, right side down, setting the bottom of the lining hem 4cm up from the bottom of the curtain fabric hem. Aline the selvedges or raw edges together and pin in place along one side. Machine stitch with a flat running stitch down this side starting at the edge of the lining and sew from the hem towards the heading. Repeat this process down the other side of the curtain. It will appear that the face fabric is wider than the lining and this is correct. Repeat with the other curtain.

8. Turn the curtains right side out and then fold/roll the sides of the curtains to show 4cm of curtain fabric on the reverse of the curtains down each side. It is a good idea to pin down the sides to hold this in place while you complete the next stages.

9. Neaten off the bottom corners by folding the curtain fabric under itself creating a diagonal line from the corner of the curtain fabric to the corner of the lining. This can either be invisibly slip stitched to hold it in place or held with a single large tacking stitch created by threading double tread through a needle, bring the ends together and tie in a knot so you have four thicknesses of thread to sew with. Sew a single stitch over the fold attaching it to the double hem but not going through to the face side of the curtain. Go over this a couple of times to hold the fold in place. Do this close to where the lining hem is. Repeat this on all four bottom corners of the curtains.

10. With your curtains lying flat, with the lining fabric on top fold over the curtain fabric and lining to the required drop, Pin this into place and repeat this on both curtains.

11. Now trim back the excess lining so you have a single 5cm fold along the top edge. Take the heading tape and place this along the top edge about 0.5cm from the top with approximately 10cm excess tape at each side of the curtain. Pin this in place.

12. Fold the excess tape under itself enclosing the fabric fold between the two layers of tape and hold in place with a pin. Repeat this on all four corners.

13. You are now ready to sew the heading tape into place. First, machine along the top edge on the tape side as close to the edge of the tape as possible. Now remove all the pins and sew along the bottom edge of the tape.

14. On the leading edge of each curtain pull out the strings and knot them together with a double knot. Machine sew the open end of the tape on the leading edge and repeat this on the trailing edge but don’t sew down the open edge as this forms a pocket for you to tuck the strings in once you have gathered the curtains up.

15. Repeat this process on the second curtain remembering that the leading and trailing edges will be opposite handed.

16. Gather each curtain up to half the length of your track or pole plus approximately 10 per cent to allow for the curtains to meet in the centre without springing back open. Tie off the strings, wrap them up neatly and tuck them into the open pocket at the end of the tape.

17. Insert the curtain hooks into the tape at approximately 10cm intervals. If they are to be hung from a pole then use the top pocket and if they are on a track and you wish to mask the track, place the hooks in the bottom pocket.

18. Now your curtains are ready to hang

 

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Tungsten and BC Partners launch €296m industrial JV (GB)

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Tungsten Properties have signed a transformative €296m (£250m) JV funding agreement with BC Partners. The newly formed joint venture company will target single and multi-let industrial opportunities across the UK, which will range from last-mile to big box logistics warehouses with a GDV of greater than €29.6m (£25m). Tungsten Properties will act as asset and development manager for the joint venture. With a strong conviction in the underlying occupational fundamentals of the industrial warehousing sector, the joint venture has already identified a strong pipeline to initially seed the partnership.

 

Jeff Penman, managing director, Tungsten Properties said:“This is a significant step in Tungsten’s expansion strategy to continue to deliver industrial and warehouse space to create growth, jobs and investor returns. This transformational JV agreement with BC Partners will provide reliable capital to continue delivering strategically located, environmentally friendly buildings across the UK. While there is volatility in the capital markets, both Tungsten and BC Partners believe that the industrial market’s long-term fundamentals remain strong. With a fighting fund behind us, we look forward to securing further opportunities.”

 

Laurian Douin, partner, BC Partners said: “The UK industrial and warehouse sector has strong secular fundamentals. Given Tungsten’s strong track record and like-minded approach to development, we are thrilled to partner with them to jointly invest in this asset class. The joint venture intends to deliver well-located, exceptional schemes to meet occupier demand, with a particular focus on schemes’ environmental credentials in-line with BC Partners Real Estate’s commitment to ESG.”

 

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Four homes for sale with swimming pools: With price tags from £1.1m to £190k

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Owning a property with a swimming pool might seem like one of life’s luxuries that is reserved for millionaires.

But, as our pick of homes for sale with swimming pools proves, you don’t have to have a multi-million pound property to have one.

That said, you may still need deep pockets for their upkeep, which can be costly, particularly if you want to keep your swimming pool heated to a comfortable temperature.

While water shortages and hosepipe bans are hitting the headlines, a pool that is already filled with water will not draw on resources but may be forbidden from being topped up by hosepipe in the case of a ban.

Our pick of four properties for sale with swimming pools are for various budgets, ranging from £1.1million to £190,000 (scroll down for more information about the house pictured)

Our pick of four properties for sale with swimming pools are for various budgets, ranging from £1.1million to £190,000 (scroll down for more information about the house pictured)

Here, we take a look at four swimming pools at properties for those with a range of different budgets.

At the top end is a six-bedroom house in Ramsgate, Kent. with an acre of land that includes an outdoor swimming pool. It has a price tag of £1.1million.

At the other end is three-bedroom property in Ashington, Northumberland, with an empty indoor swimming pool and an asking price of only £190,000.

Daniel Copley, of Zoopla, said: ‘With Britain currently experiencing a heatwave, it’s no surprise that homes with swimming pools are proving to be increasingly popular.

‘Whether your budget is more in the deep or shallow end, some homes with pools may be more affordable than you think.

‘While the rise in energy bills will have a very real impact on those wanting to heat a pool, at this time of year a refreshing dip may be just what’s needed.’

Four properties with swimming pools… 

1. Six-bed house, Ramsgate, £1.1m

The most expensive house in our list of properties with swimming pools is this £1.1million home in Ramsgate, Kent, which is being sold by Miles & Barr estate agents

The most expensive house in our list of properties with swimming pools is this £1.1million home in Ramsgate, Kent, which is being sold by Miles & Barr estate agents

The property is called Pond Cottage and it boasts a large outdoor swimming pool that has a curved slide at the side

The property is called Pond Cottage and it boasts a large outdoor swimming pool that has a curved slide at the side

Inside the property, the entertainment facilities continue - with a cinema room that has black chairs and a red carpet

Inside the property, the entertainment facilities continue – with a cinema room that has black chairs and a red carpet

The most expensive house in our list of properties with swimming pools is this £1.1million home in Ramsgate, Kent.

It boasts more than an acre of land that includes a large outdoor swimming pool, a patio and a pool area.

The property is called Pond Cottage and it is being sold by Miles & Barr estate agents.

2. Five-bed semi-detached house, Welling, £625k

This semi-detached property in Welling, Kent, may not look like it can house a swimming pool from the front aspect

This semi-detached property in Welling, Kent, may not look like it can house a swimming pool from the front aspect

A slimline swimming pool has been added to the rear of the house and it has been covered to protect it from the elements

A slimline swimming pool has been added to the rear of the house and it has been covered to protect it from the elements

The Kent property is on the market with a price tag of £625,000 and the sale is being handled by estate agents MS Estates

The Kent property is on the market with a price tag of £625,000 and the sale is being handled by estate agents MS Estates

This semi-detached property in Welling, Kent, may not look like it can house a swimming pool from the front.

But a slimline swimming pool has been added to the rear of the house. It is on the market for £625,000 via MS Estates.

3. Five-bed house, Ripon, £450k

This three-bedroom house in Ripon, North Yorkshire, was once a barn and has been converted into a family home with a swimming pool

This three-bedroom house in Ripon, North Yorkshire, was once a barn and has been converted into a family home with a swimming pool

The curved shaped indoor swimming pool sits below wooden beams and has a separate bar area for entertaining

The curved shaped indoor swimming pool sits below wooden beams and has a separate bar area for entertaining

The barn conversion has a colourful interior and is on the market for £450,000 via Solo Property Management estate agents

The barn conversion has a colourful interior and is on the market for £450,000 via Solo Property Management estate agents

This three-bedroom barn conversion in Ripon, North Yorkshire, boasts an indoor swimming pool and bar area.

It is on the market with a price tag of £450,000 and the sale is being handled by Solo Property Management.

4. Three-bed house, Ashington, £190k

This three-bedroom house in Ashington, Northumberland, is the cheapest in our list of properties for sale with swimming pools

This three-bedroom house in Ashington, Northumberland, is the cheapest in our list of properties for sale with swimming pools

The 1930s detached property has an indoor swimming pool that isn¿t currently being used because it has been left empty

The 1930s detached property has an indoor swimming pool that isn’t currently being used because it has been left empty

The three-bedroom property is currently for sale for £190,000 and is being sold via Rook Matthews Sayer estate agents

The three-bedroom property is currently for sale for £190,000 and is being sold via Rook Matthews Sayer estate agents

This three-bedroom house in Ashington, Northumberland, is the cheapest in our list of properties for sale with swimming pools.

It is a 1930s detached property with an indoor swimming pool that isn’t currently being used as it is empty.

The property is for sale for a relatively cheap £190,000 and is being sold via Rook Matthews Sayer estate agents.

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Barwood Homes invests in Woodville resi scheme (GB)

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Harworth Group plc has completed the sale of an eight-acre land parcel at Woodville, Derbyshire to Barwood Homes for the delivery of 73 new houses. This represents Harworth’s first transaction with the Northampton-based housebuilder. The land parcel forms part of a 53-acre regeneration site which is owned by Beepart Ltd, part of Dyson Group, the Sheffield-based former manufacturer of industrial materials. Harworth is promoting the site on its behalf through a Planning Promotion Agreement. In April 2022, South Derbyshire District Council granted outline consent for the creation of up to 300 homes on the site, in addition to a c.30,000ft² local center with convenience retail and leisure amenities and over 150,000ft² of employment space for a range of uses.

 

The wider site has been unlocked by the delivery of Derbyshire County Council’s Woodville to Swadlincote Regeneration Route, which opened to traffic in December 2021, providing better access to Swadlincote and traffic relief in Woodville, as well as improved connectivity across the site. Preparation works will commence shortly for the next phases of residential and employment land sales at the development.

 

Ed Catchpole, Regional Director for Yorkshire & Central at Harworth, commented: “This sale is a fantastic start to the development at Woodville and we are pleased to welcome Barwood Homes to the site, who will deliver high-quality new housing for the local community. Our focus is now on bringing forward the rest of the development, utilising our extensive experience in the remediation of complex sites, including earthworks and infrastructure, to ready the remaining residential and employment land.”

 

Luke Simmons, Managing Director of Barwood Homes, added: “We are delighted to be working alongside Harworth on this exciting development. The team is looking forward to engaging with the local community as we gear up to deliver a scheme of excellent quality in design, build and service.”

 

Gavin Rosson, Managing Director of Dyson Group, added: “This first sale of a residential portion of the site is an important step in unlocking the full development potential of the whole, something we have been trying to achieve for many years. Such development will help regenerate Woodville and the surrounding area, somewhere we have had a presence since 1967 and are delighted to participate in.”

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