Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More on Efficiency

I have been working on some hobbled shades.  Since these have a lot of steps, I thought I'd showcase one shot that illustrated as many steps as possible.
For shades, as for drapery panels, I have found that you get not only the best product but also the most efficient use of time if you leave the product on the table for as many steps as possible.

For hobbled shades,  the fabric is laid face down and the lining over it, squared up, then the side hems are pressed in, but not secured yet.

The bottom will be made in various ways, depending on the style, trim if any, and the customer's preference.  For these shades I folded up a double 4" hem and hand-sewed it.

Next the fold lines for the rib pockets are marked.
Here, we use disappearing purple pens.  I don't know what we'd do without those!
And then the fold lines are pinned, pins all in the same direction. 
As long as the straightedge is right there, the marks are made for the rings.  If three lines are marked, the straightedge can be laid down to mark the remaining rows.

Now the side hems are secured.  Depending on the fabric, they might be hand-sewn, adhered with adhesive tape, or blindhemmed.  Machine blindhemming is a rarely used method here.  We've blindhemmed side shade hems maybe twice, ever.  
For these shades, adhesive tape is applied.  Look at the right side of the picture where a straightedge is holding back the opened-up side hem to reveal the tape.  I want to apply segments of tape leaving 1" on each side of the fold line without tape, because this tape is not nice to machine needles and I want to avoid having to sew over it.
The adhesive is a secure method but it is used only when some amount of machine stitching will be securing the layers somewhere- in this case, the rib pockets.

The twill tapes that will be "hobbling" the folds are laid out on the far right and marked, in this case in 6" increments, and brought to the sewing machine with the shades.

There are three steps the sewing machine will be used for. 
At the sewing machine first the folded pocket lines will be sewn 3/4" from the fold, making a right turn at the end of the row to close the pocket on one end.  I use thread that matches the face fabric, not the lining, because I want the thread to blend in at the side hems, unless it's a really dark fabric.  And then, I use white for the lining sections and color matched thread for the side hem bits.  A pain in the neck, but.  For these shades I used a pale yellow which blended in with both lining and face fabric.
The tapes, all ready and marked, are sewn behind the bottom row on the row's stitching line.

Now the rings can be sewn and ribs inserted into the pockets, and then it goes back to the straight stitch machine which hopefully is still threaded with the matching thread to sew up the open ends of the pockets. 
Ready for stapling & stringing!  The shade was on the table once, and not moved til all was marked and secured.
The indispensible tools for maximum efficiency on this project: purple disappearing pen, and the gridded canvas table cover.

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