Custom Sewing for Drapes & Furniture

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Parent Q&A

  • Fabric store plus seamstress

    (3 replies)

    Hi all, I am looking for recommendations in Albany, El Cerrito, Berkeley for a fabric store and a seamstress, tailor or dry cleaner for the purpose of making curtains.  The problem: a very large front window in our home; requiring two curtain panels measuring roughly 80" W x 84" L each.  Many attempts to find panels online in a color and fabric that we like have come up empty, prompting us to go the DIY route.  We recently went to Joanne's Fabrics and came up empty, so we're looking for other fabric options.  Looking forward to any recommendations for either the fabric or the sewing!


    RE: Fabric store plus seamstress ()

    Have you tried Discount Fabrics at Ashby & San Pablo in Berkeley? ( Their selection varies widely, but I like to say that although I don't always find exactly what I went in looking for, I always find what I need there. And the prices are good, too, especially on big pieces.  (Or if you want to go totally custom, design what you have in mind and have it printed at!) 

    RE: Fabric store plus seamstress ()

    Discount fabrics at the corner of Ashby and San Pablo is awesome, cheap, and huge.  Maybe task rabbit or craigs list for the sewing?  Or definitely ask at Discount fabrics - perhaps they have a bulletin board. But I also agree you might find someone at a dry cleaner who already does alterations willing to do it.  It sounds simple.

    RE: Fabric store plus seamstress ()

    I recently had curtains and cushions made by a lovely seamstress named Charmaine Sifert. You can reach her at 510-381-5724. Charmaine guided us to fabric shops, told us how much to buy, and the results are perfect. She also shortened some other curtains and sheers, plus made some throw pillows. She works fast and charges reasonably for high quality work. Tell her Judith sent you.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Need someone to shorten/hem our curtains

May 2011

We just moved to a new house and I would like to shorten our old, inexpensive curtains to fit our new, smaller windows. This seems like an easy enough request for this non-sewer (just need to cut, then hem a straight line, right?) but our local alterations shop said it would cost $22 per curtain and suggested buying new instead! So-- can someone recommend a seamstress who would be willing to take on a small job (10 single panel curtains-- nothing fancy or complicated) and not charge an arm and a leg? amy

Try Teal Major, her website is

I haven't used them yet, but Snow White Cleaners on Piedmont Ave. said they would shorten simple curtain panels for $12 a panel. anon

Custom sewing of drapes and seat cushions

May 2011

Hi, I'd love some updated recommendations for someone who can sew drapes with blackout lining and durable seat cushions for us. We're willing to pay a bit more for good quality workmanship. Thanks so much! anon

Teal Major from Slips Upholstery did some great cushion covers and cafe drapes for us. Teal Major fan

2007 - 2009 Recommendations

Where to get custom drapes and roman shades made

April 2009

Can anyone recommend a reliable place to get drapes and roman shades made? The reviews in the archive are really old and there aren't very many. I approached Blinds and Designs in SF but they have flaked on getting back in touch and the Yelp reviews of Calico Corners scared me off. Has anyone used the place on Alcatraz in Berkeley? Anywhere else? I need a store with fabrics to chose from rather than a seamstress because I'm starting from scratch. Thanks so much! anon

Hi, I'd like to recommend the group that i work with most- Leong Interiors. They do all types of window coverings as well as custom bedding, pillows, etc. Call Doreen Leong at (510) 841-0886 Thanks! Mary Jo

YES, I *highly* recommend Jennifer (her last name may be new since she just got married last Sept) at Alcatraz Shades (at Alcatraz and Telegraph in Berkeley). She absolutely saved our skins when we got ripped off by Smith & Noble (cataloger) whose own measurer mis-measured our windows and then didn't want to refund our money (under their 100% perfect fit guarantee) when the custom blinds could not be installed in our window frames. Jennifer gave us great advice on some very tricky window covering situations, she has impeccable design instincts, she is prompt, reliable, courteous and automatically delivered ideas to stretch a budget. She is a good communicator, swift to follow-up and completely trustworthy. - A Happy Alcatraz Shades customer

We had both drapes and roman shades made by Draperies by Susan, in Emeryville. They were very professional, came to our house to measure and make color suggestions, and did the complete installation. They had an incredible selection of fabrics to choose from. We also bought new hardware from them for the drapes. Everything looks fantastic, although it was expensive.

We also bought pleated ''honeycomb'' shades for one bathroom from Draperies by Susan, which are still in perfect condition a few years later. We had bought a few sets for other rooms from Smith & Noble online at the same time. The Smith & Noble pieces were noticeably lower quality, and most of the pulls were broken or out of alignment within the first 30 days. But they were cheap! The only type I would recommend from Smith & Noble is the ''cordless'' variety of shade, where there is no pull. Good luck! Elizabeth

I highly recommend Draperies by Susan in Emeryville. They will come to your house and measure, but going to their showroom is highly inspirational also. Great service, have been in business for many years. fan of Draperies by Susan

Slipcover for leather couch

May 2007

Hi - I am looking for someone who can make a slipcover for my monster of a leather sofa. Recommendations in the Albany/El Cerrito/Berkeley area especially welcome. Thanks! Christine

Teal Major, tealmajor [at], makes quality slipcovers, window coverings and more. She made fabulous Roman shades for my living room and dining room and I'm very happy with the quality of her work. Tricia

I second the recommendation for Teal Major-she has made slipcovers for many people in Berkeley, and she is great.

2004 - 2006 Recommendations

Nov 2006

For all your craft and sewing project needs, I highly recommend that you give Maureen Dixon a call. She provides very high quality workmanship and attention to detail at reasonable prices and truly loves her work! Curtains, pillows, custom upholstery, she does it all. She recently made me a fabulous reversible diaper bag, messenger style, and even used the extra fabric to make a matching one for my toddler!! You can contact her at (510)332-2194 or at mdixon856 [at]

Window coverings and slipcovers

April 2006

I'd love some updated recommendations for seamstresses who can sew a variety of different window treatments and also make some slipcovers. Thanks! Anon

Try Teal Major at Slips. She still does quality slipcover work and she might do curtains too. She's the best. lydia


April 2006

We have a few great chairs that need new slipcovers, maybe even re-upholstering. If you know a affordable, reliable, quality conscious seamstress or other source for such work - PLEASE share your knowledge! We also need to make cushions for a kitchenette bench. thanks a bunch YaVette

Trumaine Biggers recently made new covers for my Dutalier glider and I love them. I knew I'd be spending a lot of time in that chair and didn't like the covers that came with the glider I'd bought on BPN. I wanted something more elegant and was really happy that I could get something custom made. Trumaine works at Discount Fabrics at Ashby and San Pablo. I can't find his number but you could call and see if he's working and talk to him on the phone. We did all our transactions while he was at work (e.g. I brought him the fabric I'd purchased and the cushions, etc). I got some beautiful fabric at Poppy but there is, of course, lots of fabric where he works. I thought he charged a very reasonable price and would definitely reccomend him. Have fun picking out your fabric!

Need covers for kitchen chairs

Feb 2006

Is there someone who can help me make washable covers for my upholstered kitchen chairs? sewing challenged

I have gone to a few tailors in the area, and have finally found someone who is both reasonably priced and talented.

Her name is Tuay (pronounced Twee) at Eclipse on Piedmont Ave. She ownes the large shop where she also sells cloth, and imported clothes, along with various things she sews.

Her business is: Eclipse Custom Embroidery; 4299 Piedmont Ave, Oakland; 923-9639. Andrea

I want to add Doan Tailors to your list of recommendations. They have made small and large repairs for me and their work is always excellent. Their prices are reasonable and they are open on Saturday. They are located in downtown Oakland at 725 Washington Street, Oakland, phone 510 268-0666, Lori

Jan 2006

I would like to recommend Annie O'Donnell Dillon Soft Furnishings!!!! She made custom slipcovers and curtins for us and was comparatively inexpensive. Plus, when I washed everything, it is sturdy and still fits! She is good with odd sheped furniture. She started making slipcovers as a young mother, and used safety pins to keep the work safe around my toddler, which I really appreciated! Her # is 510-841-6934 dillonanniema [at]
A satisfied customer

Seamstress to embroider baby blanket

Nov 2005

I'd like to have my niece's name embroidered on a lovely baby blanket I just purchased. Do most seamstresses do this...or does anyone have a recommendation for one around North Berkeley/Albany/El Cerrito? anon

I checked and Quilt Mamas in Berkeley can machine embroider names on quilts. Quilt Mamas are two crafty arty women who work out of their homes in Berkeley. They offer all kinds of quilting services. I've had the pleasure of seeing their work, it is worth looking at their website: Ruth

Want to have pillow cases made from silk

Aug 2004

Hello, I received some wonderful pillow cases for smaller children's pillows. I don't know where to buy smaller than standard size pillows. These pillow cases are from Europe. Any suggestions? I also was given some beautiful silk material I wanted to have made into pillow cases or coverings. Where or Who could I take this type of project to? Thanks for your thoughts and recommendations. Lori

For a variety of pillow sizes, check out The Company Store at They can even make you a custom pillow if their array of pillow offerings don't work for you. Regarding having pillow cases made from your silk, you could try a dry cleaners or alterations shop, or even an upholsterer/drapery shop. Christina

Poppy's (and I am not the type to pay big bucks). a do-it-yourselfer with no time

2003 & Earlier

Someone to sew curtains


Can anyone recommend someone relatively inexpensive that can sew curtains? I just need some basic sewing done on fabric I already have. Someone in the North Berkeley, Kensington, El Cerrito area would be best.

Try checking with some of the staff at Poppy Fabric on Broadway, across from the Safeway complex at Broadway and Pleasant Valley. They have a custom sewing department of their own, which may be pricey--but I get the impression that many of the people who work there simply love to sew, and perhaps you could find someone interested in picking up a bit of work. Also, some of the younger staff at Popply are students at CCAC. You could probably put up a notice in the textiles dept. of CCAC and get a student with lots of stitching experience. Darcy

Carrie Bishop has made me curtains, recovered chairs and she also makes slipcovers. She's reasonable and has great taste. 6529224 --Lisa

I am looking for someone to sew some basic draperies for me. I have the material but not the time. I live in North Oakland. Does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks, Donna

Stone Mountain and Daughter have a book in which local seamstresses post listings. Toby

Bonnie Carpenter on Piedmont Avenue helped me make drapes out of bedsheets for a really reasonable price. 510-652-6936 Ilana

August 2001

I have searched the UC website but have come up with nothing current for a recommendation for someone who can make me a professional looking slipcover. I have the fabric and am ready to go..just need a suggestion. Barbara

Try Cushion works in SF 415-552-6220. They don't do slip covers but they have a long list of people that do. Liz

try: They are a professional slipcover manufacturer. May not be custom made, but they have lots of choices. Nancy

Carrie Bishop has made me curtains, recovered chairs and she also makes slipcovers. She's reasonable and has great taste. 652-9224 Lisa


I am looking for someone to make slipcovers for several chairs that have been attacted by our cats. Since we still have the cats, this will be an ongoing need so make that an inexpensive slipcover maker.Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks -Jeannine

You are not going to find an inexpensive slipcover maker. I highly recommend Teal Major of Slips (in Berkeley). She is very reasonable, but not cheap. Her work is very high quality, and, in my opinion, you get great value because what she produces is so great looking, is washable, and lasts. If you want cheap slipcovers, try Ikea. Lisa

I saw some cute slipcovers for sofas and chairs in the BryLane catalog . . . $60 - $100, depending upon the size. Try the web site and you can select slipcovers at Becky

I recommend Nae (510 848-4444), who is in Berkeley. She did a great job making curtains for our nursery and has very reasonable rates. Nomi

I also used Teal Major to make a slip cover for our brand new leather love sofa. It was mainly to protect it from our son, who was just about to walk around when we asked her. She makes a pattern from your couch, so it fits very well. You pay her a fee, plus a cost of fabric. It turned out to be a bit expensive (around $550 with a fee and fabric. We spent about $200 for fabric.) But it looks absolutely beautiful. We love it. If you would like to see her work before deciding, you can go to her house to see some of the cover she made to her own couches.

One thing I should mention is that I felt she is sometimes not so careful. When she makes a pattern from your couch, she uses small pins to test its fitting. When she did it at our house, we found lots of small pins around a sofa after she left, which was not so safe for our son who was still crawling at that time. We also found very small short line drawn on a sofa cushion. The line is hidden underneath the arm rest area. When she makes a pattern, she used a pen to draw lines to while fabric laid on to my couch. While I cannot say for sure if she did it (to our brand new sofa), it was also probably hard for my son to draw a line to such a hidden corner. I felt that It was most likely by her. Although she did not say that that was her fault, she said it could be something she did. She referred me to a professional dry cleaner to get a consultation on how to remove it. Although I was unhappy to see that permanent line on a sofa which we wanted to protect, at least I felt comfortable about the way she handled the situation. Mika

A friend of mine, Dawn Atkins, does custom sewing. She said she'd be glad to speak to you about your job. She is happy to sew for either money or barter. She doesn't have a set rate, and prefers that you contact her directly about your job. At that point, you can both agree on whether she will be the right person, and what the rate will be for your particular situation (usually by job, rather than hourly). While it is not her main profession (she is a writer), she has sewn professionally for many years, and is certainly up to the task of slipcovers. You can reach her by e-mail at: Dawn Atkins Hope this is helpful to you. Dawn