Friday, August 3, 2012

Grosgrain ribbon

Grosgrain ribbon is hot stuff right now.  It's shown up a lot lately, but my most recent personal favorite was this lime green shade with navy ribbon in two widths.

This was easy to apply using double-sided adhesive tapes.  I use my clear rulers from my patchwork days to keep the rows straight.

Doubling up ribbons is popular right now, too.  I loved this combination of brown and purple for a Roman shade.  Yes, that is an upholstery weight fabric.  It turned out fantastically well.

A more difficult application was white grosgrain on ivory wool sateen.  We hand-sewed the ribbon on 6 shades..... a big investment of time!
Adhesives of any type were inappropriate for the wool- whether tape or liquid.  White glue just stiffened up- it felt like cardboard.  Double-sided tape that did not need steaming showed a shadow, and also made the wool pucker.  And for fear of shrinking the wool I did not want to use a tape that required steaming.  And machine sewing distorted the wool.
So out came the John James needles and my favorite Coats & Clark Dual Duty Button and Carpet thread (also the favorite of Alabama Chanin for hand-sewing!), and a pleasant day with my friend Camille ensued as we hand-sewed ribbon in a U-shape around 6 shades.  We each did 3, and there was a serious learning curve.  My first shade took nearly 2 hours, the second one 1 1/2 hours, and the last one maybe an hour and a quarter.  Yes, I got faster, but I bet if I measured the stitches, I'd find that they got a little longer with each shade........

Other recent grosgrain applications for shades: this was a linen blend fabric......

and this is wool- not quite a sateen, more like a suiting weight, and unlined.

And of course the Greek Key version.....

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