Nina Murden - The Lewes Seamstress

Roman Blinds

Roman Blinds for Edwardian Bay

Completed set of Roman Blinds for this Lewes Edwardian home. For a 11 year old’s bedroom, so blackout deemed necessary! Also because these houses can be pretty chilly and draughty in the winter, this blackout was combined with a combination blackout insulated lining. The finish is akin to a three layer insulated blind, but at less cost.  The fabric is from the Ian Mankin range, being Oxford Stripe Navy, something that looks smart and can appeal to the young as well as being appropriate for a teenagers bedroom, so a good option to last the distance of changing tastes as children grown up.   They were the hand sewn, stab stitched option, this super smart option means that there are no visible lines of stitching at all on the fronts of the blinds.  The blinds are not fully up in this picture, to show the fabric better. Customer chose brass pulls, cleats and cord connectors.

Ian Mankin's Oxford Stripe Navy for 3 roman blinds

Ian Mankin’s Oxford Stripe Navy for 3 roman blinds

Roman Blinds

Roman Blinds for Bay Window



Roman blinds in an light aqua/duck egg coloured Italian linen fabric for this light and airy bedroom. These replaced some others that came with the house buy, but they were stained, the cords were broken and the cleats were incorrectly placed and interfered with the blinds pulling up.  My replacement blinds, were lined, but not blackout lined, so the natural daylight looked lovely coming through  into the room in the mornings.  This fabric is  a very reasonable buy  @ £18 per metre and comes in 36 shades.






Vintage Givenchy fabric – upcycling old curtains

I have a wonderfully creative and very stylish customer who happens to be French, I think this can be no coincidence…!  Over the last few years we have worked together to adapt, alter, upcycle and re-engineer some of her older beautiful curtains and blinds, many made with  outstandingly lovely Givenchy fabric.  I have just finished one such project for her;  a pair of curtains with a contrast leading edge in the older fabric, and also a further adaption to a roman blind that has had some contrasting fabric re-cycled from the older curtains.  This Lewes lady has a very individual interior to her house, that honours some of the elements from her previous house in France, whilst weaving in some new linen fabrics.  It is a delightful project to be involved in, and it is great to see such lovely fabric continue its useful life in a new way.  What is also great is that the house interior has evolved, quietly and calmly, with pauses for reflection, appreciation of each stage and time for studied decision making, whilst also of course being I should imagine a financial consideration.  It’s all so gloriously unspoilt in manner and execution.  givenchy fabric

Ian Mankin fabrics

Lovely choice of fabric from the Ian Mankin range for this Roman Blind.  A beautiful Linen and Cotton fabric, handled well, made up beautifully. Currently £34.50 per metre, but because it’s a Roman blind we only needed 1.5  metres.



Working with Vintage Linens

Working with vintage fabrics

I have a lovely job to start this New Year working week  – a Roman blind being made with gorgeous vintage French linen – original a bed sheet, and bought on ebay, by a discerning and resourceful client.  This sort of material requires careful handling , has to be pressed before cutting, and needs very careful measuring and cutting as unlike new material off a roll, straight from a factory, this sheet has obviously been laundered a good deal over the years and the weave is now not as uniform as it was when new.  Basically it has no stiffening left in it apart from the inherent properties of the fabric – in this case linen which is pretty robust, or that imparted by normal washing powders and starches. It’s ‘wobbly’ and stretchy in parts and has to be laid out gently and particular attention has to be given to the grain and how it’s lays on the table.

My marvellous metal set square bought from Fifty Sheep , is invaluable.

This fabric has some lovely embroidery on it which we’re incorporating into the design of the blind.

side view of bottom of blind

side view of bottom of blind


Roman Blinds – A popular Choice

Have been making another set of Roman Blinds this time for a Lewes artist, Dawn Stacey:

Garden Birds Roman Blind

Garden Birds Roman Blind

She is currently exhibiting at The Hop Gallery until March 13th with her photographer husband David.

She is renowned for her paintings inspired by the railway land… in keeping with her love of the natural world she chose for one a beautiful fabric by Cath Kidtson, called Garden Birds.

My roman blinds are made to measure, are carefully yet solidly constructed, and with good quality materials, for example I use wooden 9mm dowels – this means that there will be no bowing or dipping of the blind in the middle.  These can be removed easily when the blind needs to be dry-cleaned. These are also contained in their own channels, which also mean there is far less likelihood of wear and tear at these stress points.  They have a chorded hand pull system.   I have a choice of pulls and cleat finishes, brass, chrome, brushed chrome, or bronze.   I am happy to come out to advise and measure, as well as to deliver your blind once completed.


Showing Construction of Roman Blind

The great thing about Roman Blinds is that they take very little material to make, and are therefore a much cheaper option for a window than curtains and are suited to a straightforward uncluttered look to a room.