Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Plaid Bias Banding

What's not to love about plaid banding on the bias, especially on a curved edge?

I do enjoy working with bias banding.  Visually I find it very appealing; but from a fabrication standpoint, it is just plain fun to do.  There are many ways to do binding, but here is how I did this 1" bias plaid banding, on these valances.

First, the band is cut to pattern, so the same part shows everywhere.
The face has been seamed together and cut to shape, and layered wrong sides together with the lining.  Then the band is sewn 1" up from the edge on the right side, easing evenly around the curves, and keeping an eagle eye on the seam guide to make sure it's even. 

The banding is pressed down over the face, easing in the fullness and getting the seam line nice and crisp.  At this stage it looks warped, but that's normal.

The banding is pressed to the back, again being careful to ease in fullness.  It's like magic how the band sort of snaps into place once it's all turned.  The distorted lines make weird swirls which I love.
The raw edge is turned under, pressed, and hand-sewn in place.  Here you can see that the horns were lined with the plaid even though they don't really show; but, just in case.

It's also acceptable to top-stitch the banding into place instead of hand-sewing, and sometimes fusibles or adhesives are best. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fab Fabric Friday!

I've worked with both of these fabrics before, but here they are together on one job:

Woven leopard stripe: Malabar/Aqua from Colefax & Fowler; embroidered silk from Schumacher is Colette/Rose.
Let me backtrack.  Susan Marocco has been redesigning a master bedroom, every little detail from walls to fireplace.  Our contribution was shades and bedding.  Although there was  quite a crowd of people- plumbers, upholsterers, etc- working on their own projects in this as yet unfinished room, we managed to install our window treatments yesterday. 

The headboard hadn't been delivered yet, but we put the pillows on the bed just to admire them.

The tailored bedskirt was made from the same fabric as the shades.

Trims: Samuel & Sons.  Fabric:  Cowten & Tout Kelsey/Aqua.

Two bands were sewn together to create one trim for the bedskirt.

The hobbled shades were blackout-lined because the subtle woven pattern just washed out with sun shining through it. 

To make my cuts for the shades, I used the cut-off selvedge to create a mock-up of the folds, so the same motif would be placed identically on each fold.   I marked the motifs with Sharpie pen, and tape marks the areas I wanted featured on the folds.  I pinned each fold, to make sure I didn't make any mistakes.....

The last fold is actually a valance with returns, the pattern centered the same as the folds.  I mark the mock-up with explicit instructions to myself!   From planning to stapling, it's easy to forget my train of thought; this mock-up is more useful than a page of mysterious notes. 

Here you can sort of see how the top "fold" works for an outside mounted hobbled shade. 
Yes, there is lip cord at the top of the board.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Double banding

Seen one banding, seen 'em all?  Whoa there- have a look at these two silks banding a cool linen print:

We took apart a stretch panel and added two shades of purple dupioni- and believe me, this was WAY easier said than done; the linen was all wobbly, ditto the silks.  Getting straight lines and keeping them was really a challenge.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fab Fabric Friday

A blast of color and texture!  This collection of pillows is for an otherwise neutral-toned master bedroom. 
The embroidered flowers remind me of candied citrus slices.
Light from five windows (3 singles, 1 double, and 1 triple) on three sides of the bedroom is filtered with delicately embroidered sheer shades lined with batiste.

The light is caught and reflected onto the colorful bedding pillows by solid glass beads.  White fabric tubing disguises the weight bar inside the pocket.

For inside mounted shades, top lip cord helps fill in any gaps between the shade and the window frame.

Before sewing the woven braid frame to the yellow velvet pillow, first I "basted" it with double-sided adhesive tape to keep it from creeping.  After one row of stitching is complete, the tape can be removed.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Another project for our Busman's Holiday.....

These shades are for our nephew and his family.
I raided my own stash of fabric and found a two that worked well in their home and were nearly enough, but not quite, so I rummaged and found more fabrics to make 5" bottom bands to extend the length of the shade.  When the shades are raised, only 2.5" of banding shows, and I found that I really like the looks of this banding method. 
Maisie dances her way through her universe, and here flits before my camera just as I snap the picture......
This very striking fabric is hand-printed to order.
The polka-dot was a lucky find.  I have enough leftover to make a pillow.
For the dining room, a quilted cotton with a sort of starry Moroccan-looking geometric banding fabric:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Busman's Holiday, and Fab Fabric for a Wednesday

In the last post I referred to our holiday "break" but the truth is, we used some of the off-time to go to the studio and make shades for our own home............. truly a busman's holiday!

John got a new lamp for Christmas.  Hand made by Luna Bella, I'd been drooling over similar lamps at Archipelago At Home in Cold Spring NY for a year or so, and finally chose this one just in time for Christmas.  We live in an old house, and this lamp is just perfect for us.

Naturally we had to make new window treatments to replace the hastily-made blackout monstrosity I threw together when we moved in.  The fabric I picked up at a Brunschwig warehouse sale a few years ago was perfect.

I had a scrap of Larsen's "Winter Tree" in the off-white colorway, but split in half it was too narrow for the windows, so instead of wasting precious millimeters on hems, I made binding out of the wrong side of the shade fabric to stretch the panel just enough to fit the space.

The little grommets in the bottom corners allow us to tie back the tree fabric diagonally and secure it on a little cup hook, when we want to see out the window.
John thinks he wants a valance out of the shade fabric; I can see his point, but I'm undecided......

About that Fab Fabric: "Matera" from the Venezia Collection by Scancelli- my friend Josh and I picked up a half roll from a Brunschwig warehouse sale, for a fraction of the original cost.   Printed on both sides, the grey-green is more like a chalky paint than dye.  The mottled and crazed pattern on reverse side just glows through when the sun is shining on it.  We used thermal lining and still plenty of mottled texture shows through.   It's the most fantastic fabric!   I made Josh's shades two Christmases ago and John and I have been waiting a couple of years to finally use it for ourselves.

The Winter Trees by Larsen- I've raved about THAT one for years on this blog, and it's the backdrop to my blog profile photo- 'nuff said!  It's love forever.  We're SO happy to have a scrap of it hanging in our own window!

These treatments for us weren't the only things we made for our two-family house: upstairs, our nephew & niece and their two little girls got a bunch of new shades, too!- but that's a whole long post in itself, for later in the week.  Stay tuned.......

Thursday, January 3, 2013


We're off to a great start for 2013- plenty of exciting projects in the house already and more on the way.  After a week and half off, we're revved up and looking forward to plunging right in to a new year.

We finished up 2012 with a Ripplefold curtain for an L-shaped window that was 17' on one side and 4.5' on the other.   Kim Freeman chose a wool blend sheer which was hand-sewn, and a custom brushed nickel L-shaped cord-drawn ripplefold pole system by Xentric from Lancaster & Associates in Dallas TX.  I'll have more on the hardware and the drapery fabrication in a later post.

Over the past three years, Kim designed and LDC fabricated all the window treatments for this beautiful and spacious home; the TV room was the very last untreated area.  The curtain project softened the light and transformed this space.