Saturday, December 10, 2016

Afternoon light, scones, four-finger pleats

Who else is working today?  It would be such a lovely day off, but, so far, I've encountered plenty of working people today: a drapery maker (other than me), a psychotherapist, a postal union official, a landscaper, a coffee roaster, a potter, a gas station attendant, my personal farmers Pam and Melissa- and I'm grateful to be two weeks away from Christmas and having steady, satisfying work.
The late afternoon light in my studio is superb.  How could I want to be anywhere else?
Right now I'm working on shades, with this lavender and cream casement stripe.  "Lavender and cream" yum to me it sounds like a scone.  Or a bar of soap.
While I've got your attention, I'd like to ask: who says pinch pleats must have three "fingers?"  We all routinely do two-finger pleats nowadays, but what about four?
Especially with a button.  Four fingers gives me a nice snug spot to nestle in and secure the button shank.

Friday, December 9, 2016

The elves are at work.....

To give you an idea of what we're up to: I've cut all the lumber, weight bars, and ribs, and prepared some of the clutches for every job that needs to be finished by Dec. 16.  We have ripped all the lumber that needs ripping so the lumber is stacked on the bandsaw and tool chest.  The weigt bars and ribs are labeled and bundled.  More clutches need to be assembled and a few RBS systems still to be ordered.
I take my skill saw to Home Depot with me to cut down oversize pieces in the parking lot, so they'll fit in the car:
Finished shades are starting to accumulate.
And these 9 relaxed romans are ready to be mounted and strung, to go out tomorrow afternoon:
Ho Ho Ho everyone!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Party day

Late post tonight!  I spent the afternoon in New Jersey at the NJ WCAA Chapter's holiday party. 
All the way home I thought about the network of resources and support within our industry.  I'm so happy that I found my way into this community!
The NJ chapter is composed of both designers and workrooms.  Whatever path led each of us to the Window Coverings industry, we all share a love of making things beautiful or making beautiful things, with fabric. 
When I got back, I found some treats awaiting me.
A package arrived with a batch of 3 supple, sophisticated drapery wool from Holland and Sherry.  These will become window treatments for a wonderful mid-century home filled with a glass collection of a lifetime- I'm looking forward to this project for a number of reasons!
To trim the pale blue striƩ, this Zimmer and Rhodes embroidered linen trim, which will be hand-sewn to the lead edges of ripplefold panels.
This trim is so beautifully made that even the back is impressive.  And the end is sewn to prevent raveling!
What excites me most is the rod we'll be ordering from J L Anthony via Ona Hardware: can it get any cooler?  This 124" silver finish square pole will be ceiling mounted.
The other package I received was pretty exciting too: a box full of Jewel Tape- double-sided adhesive tape from Dondar Designs. 
And now-

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hobbled shade with ladder tape

I have a little more to say about the hobbled shades I showed the other day.
HEY, by the way, it's one whole week and I've posted every day!  I said I would- so far so good!
These shades are hobbled with ladder tape which also serves as the cord shroud.  However, I also sewed rings.  You might wonder if the rings are redundant, but there is a reason I chose this way.
Because the folds are 4", there are 50% more folds than usual, which means the shade can't stack up as compactly as it would if it had 6" folds.
Using traditional tape with rings would necessitate ring locks, which would add significantly to the stack in addition to the extra stack due to the short folds.
Therefore, I used ladder tape plus rings, to get the least stack I could.

After preparing the shade, I marked the ladder tape in 4" increments with purple disappearing pen.
The rows for the rib pockets are marked and pinned, and the ladder tape pinned to the bottom.
After sewing the bottom row and securing the ladder tape, I began working my way up the shade, sewing across the ladder tape as I sewed the pockets.
This hobbled the shade as I moved up the rows.
The rings were sewn on by hand, the ribs and weight bar inserted and secured, and the shade was strung with a stringing needle.
There are other ways I could have made these shades (there were 5) but after weighing all the options, this seemed the best to me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Uptown River View

John and I drive right by this building on Riverside Drive every time we go into the city, so it was cool to work with Denise Wenacur to create the  window treatments for this newly renovated apartment with an uptown river view.
The finished lengths were slightly different, so we worked with the pattern from the top down, and fudged the bottoms just enough to ensure the pleats were all the same.  Besides marking the fabric, I like to take a reference photo of the board line pattern placement.
With this pattern repeat, we were able to pleat to pattern matching every other motif.

The kitchen window is deeply recessed and hard to reach, so the shade will not be raised and lowered.  This finished length really didn't allow us to have the pleats fall the same as the living room shades, but it's far enough away, it doesn't matter; consistency with the board line pattern placement was more important.
I hope by now the homeowner has had time to unpack!

Monday, December 5, 2016

More Bordeaux?

I love the M'Fay Bordeaux valance because of its understated swag and graceful jabot.  I also love its versatility: with three basic shapes you can cover spaces of different sizes and achieve a unified look in a room.
Not shown on the pattern cover, however, is the beautiful single swag.  Just in time for Thanksgiving, we made 5 of these.  For the interlined silk in the dining room, we've extended the width to 45" and shortened up the jabots.
A bit of the jabot's curvaceousness is lost by shortening it, but it's still really pretty, and the tassel trim enhances the silhouette.

And for the adjacent living room, the same style in a different fabric is extended out to 52" wide.
With at least 3 sections, however, it's possible to use the center dip swags flanked by the tapered side swags, separated by a 5-pleat tail. 
For even wider areas, there are further possible combinations.  These were designed to follow the arched window.
But my favorite version is still the double tapered swag with a center tail- my workroom sample!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Indigo Dip-Dyed Shades

This order came with strict instructions on how to lay out the fabric for each shade.
The fabric is a beautiful dip-dyed-look linen that made my heart skip a beat.
The 4 shades are installed as 2 pairs, with the light side in the center of each pair, deepening outwards to that gorgeous blue.  I don't have photos of them in their new home, so this messy workroom shot will have to do.
 I had fun choosing which thread color to use for each column of lift lines.  I found 5 colors in my collection of buttonhole threads from Wawak.

The fabric grain was shifty but the weave was straight, so I basted along the board line before stapling.  I use masking tape to indicate which shade is which.  Did you notice in the photo above that the shades have "return flaps"- half of which match the pale side, and half of which are deep blue?