DIPLOMA in Professional Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings


17 Days
Deposit: £350 , Balance: £2645
(Balance due to be settled at least 2 weeks prior to course start date)

On completion of COURSE ONE, TWO, THREE & MAKING OF CUSHIONS students are awarded an accredited Certificate ‘Diploma in Professional Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings’. Victoria Hammond Academy is accredited by AIM Awards, which is an approved British Awarding Body, regulated by Ofqual. Students will be fully trained in the design and making of window dressings and soft furnishings. See COURSE PROGRAMMES below ..


Book COURSE ONE and COURSE TWO and COURSE THREE and MAKING OF CUSHIONS at the same time; £200 discount applicable. You can either make payment in full, or a deposit payment. A deposit payment is required to secure your place on all of the courses and take advantage of the discount. Balance payments are then due to be settled at least 14 days prior to each course start date. The discount is deducted from the last course attended. It is possible to decide attendance dates at a later time subject to availability on scheduled courses running – select from the option below ‘dates to be decided’.


COURSE ONE and TWO and THREE need to be attended consecutively (one after the other). MAKING OF CUSHIONS can be attended at any time, prior to COURSE ONE or in between the other courses.


All course fees are inclusive of specialist machinery/products, designer fabrics, comprehensive step-by-step manual and refreshments. Bovingdon village is within walking distance and has a selection of food stores. You are also welcome to bring a packed lunch. Free parking on site at Bury Farm.


Courses run from 9:30am to 5pm. Tea/coffee served at 9:15am. We are on-site from 9am.


Please do not hesitate to contact us on 01442 833110 (+44 outside UK), or email us, if you wish to discuss our courses further or require an alternative payment option.

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COURSE ONE – Professional Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings

Trainer: Victoria Hammond

Through discussion, demonstration and making samples, this course provides students with the skills to make window dressings with confidence. It is suitable for absolute beginners as well as those wishing to enhance their current skills (no hand sewing or sewing machine experience is required). This course also covers how to set up and run a successful curtain making business.


Day One:
  • Design presentation and discussion about curtain styles, decorative hardware, pelmets, and blinds, covering current trends in the Interior Design world.
  • Students will practice how to seam lining, interlining, plain and patterned fabric.
  • Students will make a lined sample curtain with pencil pleat heading, which will ensure that you will thoroughly learn and practice traditional hand stitching and curtain making methods.
Day Two:
  • Students will learn how to plan and design a window treatment, including accurate measuring, bay windows, suitable curtain hardware, and estimation of fabric quantities for plain and patterned fabric.
  • Comprehensive discussion on how to calculate accurate measurements for curtain hand headings; Triple (French), Goblet and Cartridge pleats.
  • Students will participate in hands-on window measuring, reviewing various scenarios, followed by curtain calculation exercises.
Day Three:
  • Students will make an interlined sample curtain incorporating the hand heading Triple (French) pleats.
    Demonstration on how to make other hand headings; Goblet and Cartridge pleats.
Day Four:
  • Discussion on function and design of the Roman blind, and also other blind styles available such as London, Austrian, wood venetian, roller and vertical blinds. Accurate measuring for various window shapes including bay windows.
  • Fabric estimation and accurate calculations for rod pocket spacing for standard fold and waterfall/cascade folds. Demonstration on suitable hardware, fixtures and fittings.
  • In our opinion Roman blinds look and function better if there is no visible machine stitching to the front. Students will make a fully operational hand-sewn Roman blind, compliant with blind regulations.
Day Five:
  • Comprehensive session on setting up and running a successful curtain making business, including advice on suppliers, costing, client liaison and presentation skills.
  • Professional fitting seminar; students will learn how to specify and fit curtain and blind hardware including awkward window shapes (poles, tracks, blinds, and pelmet shelves).
  • Discussion on designing pelmets, their proportions and shaping the base line to work with the pattern repeat of the fabric. Demonstration on how to make a hardboard upholstered pelmet sample with piping detail.

COURSE TWO – Professional Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings

Trainer: Victoria Hammond

This course covers further training for students who have completed our COURSE ONE. Measuring, calculations, costing, client presentation, important refresher making of a full size curtain and dressing and fitting the curtain. This course shows students further design options for providing a bespoke service to include making eyelet, integral valance and London blind samples, incorporating mitred borders and embellishments and trimming detail.

Day One:

Making of a Full Size Curtain

  • This is an important refresher day after completing Course One. Students will take part in making and designing a full size curtain (including how to move a curtain on the table). This involves measuring of a window on site, calculations, designing curtain style, choosing fabric, make up, fitting and dressing of the curtain to existing fitted pole.
  • Further comprehensive advise on preparation of an Estimate of Costs for window dressings, when running a business.
Day Two:

London Blinds

  • London blinds dress a window beautifully, and are an alternative option to the Roman blind. Discussion on London blinds, their suitability and fabric quantities required.
  • Students will design and make a fully operational London blind, with ribbon detail, followed by a fabric covered batten from which to hang the blind.
  • Pleating to pattern – discussion/demonstration on the importance of pleating to pattern when working with the horizontal repeat of the fabric.
Day Three:

Eyelet Curtains

  • Discussion on designing curtains with contrast borders.
  • Students will make an Eyelet heading sample curtain designed with mitred contrast borders to leading edge, hemline and outer edge.
Day Four & Five:

Trimmings & Embellishments & Valances

  • A comprehensive session on trimmings and embellishments available in curtain making.
  • Discussion on valances (soft valances fitted to a pelmet shelf and integral curtain valances) and their proportions.
  • Students will design and make a sample curtain with an integral valance, incorporating hand heading Goblet pleats, with inserted and attached trimming & embellishment detail.

COURSE THREE – Professional Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings

Trainer: Victoria Hammond

On completion of this course students will be fully trained in the design and making of window dressings and soft furnishings.

Day One:

Wave Curtain

  • Silent Gliss will provide a seminar at Victoria Hammond Interiors on their wave system, so students have a full understanding on the system’s components and how it operates. The wave curtain has become increasingly popular; it’s a neat and very stylish window dressing.
  • Students will make a sample ‘wave’ curtain in sheer (voile) fabric, that can be fitted to the Silent Gliss system.
  • Sheer curtains are traditionally used behind heavy curtains to provide privacy while letting in some light. Nowadays interior designers will specify sheers as the main fabric, when curtains are not required to provide insulation or block light. There are some stunning sheer fabrics, which create a delightful, airy effect to a window area.
Day Two:

Bed Dressings

  • Discussion on how to approach the design of the bedroom, where the window and bed dressings compliment each other.
  • Students will make a lined bed valance with kick pleats.
  • Discussion on bed covers, bed runners and other bed dressings supported by full instructions on how to make up.
Day Three & Day Four (1.5 days):

Swags & Tails

  • This historical and traditional window dressing is back in fashion, and can make a beautiful statement to a window using modern fabrics and trimmings. Discussion on swags and tails; various designs that can be applied, proportions, construction and fixings.
  • Students will learn how to create and construct their own perfect swag template, and go on to make a contrast piped interlined swag.
  • Students will learn how to create and construct their own perfect tail template, pattern matching to their swag sample, and go on to make a contrast lined and piped, interlined tail.
Day Four & Day Five (1.5 days):

Arched Windows

  • Discussion on the complex arched windows and dormer windows that are shaped into a triangle.
  • Students will template an irregular shaped arched window and explode the template.
  • Students will go onto make a sample interlined single arch shaped curtain with a Goblet pleat heading.

Italian Stringing 

  • Discussion on various ways to fix window dressings to complex window shapes. Students will learn about the sophisticated ‘Italian Stringing’ and finish off their Arched curtain sample with Italian Stringing fixing.



Trainer: Victoria Hammond

Basic hand sewing and machine skills are required for this course.

  • Discussion on different cushion shapes and styles and how to match to a room scheme.
  • Over the two days students will make three different cushions, all incorporating a zip fastening:
  1. A square cushion with trimming detail.
  2. A bolster cushion with starburst ends, and piping and button detail.
  3. A box cushion with piping detail. As well as being used as a scatter cushion, box cushions are suitable for window seating and chair padding.