Maybe the problem wasn't your measurements. Sometimes the deck fabric can stretch causing the bed skirt to become too long. Been there? Done that? And I'll bet you went back to the workroom with an alteration, seriously cutting into your profit margin. The Solution: Instant alterations. By using large safety pins or upholsterers' twist pins you can correct the problem on site. I always carry pins with me when I deliver a bed skirt because occasionally this problem still occurs.
Fold the center of the deck into a tuck so the skirt is the desired length. Pin the tuck with safety pins to secure. By using twist pins, you can keep the bed skirt from pulling the pins apart and you will prevent the skirt from shifting out of place.
Note: Whenever you use twist pins, be sure to install them far enough from the edge of the box spring so they are not disturbed when the bed is being made up. Usually 18 inches from the edge is sufficient.
The Problem: The white deck. Often with bed skirts, even if they don't shift around, the white deck shows. This can be unsightly, especially if white isn't part of the room's color scheme. The Solution: Banding. You can eliminate this problem by adding a four-inch banding around the perimeter of the deck. Cut the deck to the desired size. Then add banding in three sections.
I usually sew the sides, then the bottom overlapping at the corners. Then I trim the corners rounding them to fit the box spring. Once the skirt is sewn onto the deck, the banded edge gives a much more finished look, and marks a clear distinction between custom and ready-made.
The Problem: Bed skirts that are too short. Oops, I hate it when that happens! No matter how much you tug and pull, the skirt is too short. The Solution: Hems or two-section decks. One solution is to make sure you always have enough fabric in the hems to lengthen the skirt. I make double 2 1/2-inch hems.
Another solution is to change your fabrication method. Sew the deck in two sections, with a vertical center overlap. This allows you or the client to adjust the skirt length on each side of the bed. Secure the overlap by using twist pins.
The Problem: Bed skirts for soft-side waterbeds. Many clients are choosing soft-side water beds today. The problem is that unless the bed is drained, you can't lift the mattress to slide in the deck portion of the bed skirt. What do you do? The Solution: Eliminate the deck! You can skirt a water bed by fabricating a wide banding (about 12 inches), like a three-sided picture frame. Sew the skirt onto the banding.
Because the "box spring" of a waterbed is actually a wood box covered with padding, the skirt can be stapled into place right into the wood. I usually staple the banding section. If you can't feel the wood through the padding, other options are to use hook and loop fastener or double-stick carpet tape. Often the weight of the mattress is enough to keep the skirt in place. Pam Damour is an award-winning designer and author known for her willingness to share her fabricating secrets with competitors and consumers.
Have your own dilemmas? Send them to Pamela Damour, 220 Main St., #4, Colchester, VT 05446, (802) 872-2746, e-mail: Decor8d@aol.com.
Pam Damour is an award-winning designer and author known for her willingness to share her fabricating secrets with competitors and consumers. She travels extensively lecturing at both consumer and trade shows and has produced two step-by-step videotapes. Damour also offers consulting and in-house training to the trade.