Tuesday, November 13, 2012

More swags: gathered this time

Here's a project that definitely is not ready for a blog post, but it was so much fun to work on that I want to write about it now. 
For a wide window with a high cathedral ceiling, the designer planned raised swags on boards.  After drawing the concept to scale, I started playing with chain weight on the hallway wall to get the exact silhouettes in the right proportions.  The biggest challenge was to get the long points to not cover too much of the window, and the short points long enough to cover the molding. 

Once I got all the shapes to hit their marks, I began the pattern-making process.  I studied Ann Johnson's swag book, but the overlapping swags did not fit exactly into any hybrid that I could find, so I had to do a lot of experimenting.  The mocking-up process required a lot of cutting and re-cutting, and I finally developed a pattern that exactly followed the contours of the draped string.

Here are all the components, completed:  two small boards with the jabots, the comparatively normal center underswag, and on the stand, the nondescript-looking thing that actually is the curved board with the two overlapping swags.  At the right are three shallow swags for the back window treatment. 

We chose to gather, not pleat, the swags and jabots, so, alas, the Parkhill system was not any use for this project.  I like to hand-gather with a small running stitch.  Bulk was an issue so that eliminated shirring tape as an option.  It doesn't take but 5 minutes to hand-gather both sides of a swag. 

It's hard to remember to document projects like these- so much experimenting going on, I forget to take pictures throughout the process.  The decorator has promised plenty of photos at installation time.................. 

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