Sunday, February 27, 2011

Encased cord- a faster way

This will be incredibly boring to anyone other than a workroom person seeking a faster way to sew encased cord to Roman shades.  Plus, the pictures are not great.
This method evolved over the course of a bunch of identical shades.  I won't say it's tons of fun, but it does streamline the process.

After laying out the face fabric and lining (blackout) and pressing to the finished size and securing the side hems, with purple disappearing pen I drew the vertical lines for the lift cords, then marked every 6" along the lines for the tacking points.

There were to be 8 tacks per row, so I threaded 8 needles with double 30" lengths of thread, knotted at the ends.  That amount of thread was enough to do all five rows without having to re-thread, a big time-saver.

Along the first vertical row, each needle was stabbed through all layers to the right side, 1/4" away from where the cord would be running, then stabbed back through to the back of the shade, letting the threads with the needles dangle off the table.

I laid out the tape (steam it first to pre-shrink it!!!) and weighted it down at each end, then worked my way up the row, tacking twice at each tack point.  The thread tail was hidden behind the tape but not cut yet.

After all 8 were sewn, I worked my way back up the row and clipped, leaving each needle and thread in place.

Then I worked my way along the row again, knotting each thread and stabbing it through the corresponding point on the next row until all 8 were stabbed through and sticking into the canvas grid.

I laid out the second tape and secured at each tacking point, clipping all the threads and knotting each and stabbing into the corresponding point on the next row.

And so on! until it's all done.
Do yourself a BIG favor, and as you complete each row, fish out the cord at the bottom 1/2" up from your bottom hem and attach an orb, so the cord can't pull out.  After the tacks are done, the tape will be tucked in when the pocket is sewn, and a ring will be attached.

Another BIG favor you should do for yourself is to loosely tie the tapes at the top so the cord can't get messed up up there, either.
In this photo you can see the weights holding down the area I'm not working on.

For the center rows you can neatly roll up the fabric so you can reach it more easily as you stab back up to the back of the shade.  Just be careful that the layers don't shift.  They can be pinned, but since this is blackout lining, I didn't want to use any more pins than necessary, so I just tried to be very careful.

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