Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Box Pleats just keep on kicking

It's been the Year of the Box Pleat Valance aka Kick Pleat Valance- you choose.
I like Danny's take on the style: he likes to put a contrast insert in the pleats, and leave a space of 1/2" - 1" between the main sections to show off the contrast.
Especially with thicker fabrics, like these, the fabric on top of the board may bulge upward where the pleat fabrics are layered.  There are a number of ways to deal with this; one is to layer cardboard tacking strip in between the pleats to build up the center portions of the main sections so they're even with the pleat areas.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Littlest Shade.....

This silk shade is, I think, the smallest shade I've ever made, the finished length a grand total of 20" long, for a small powder room window.
There are only 3 rings in each row, yielding just 2 pleats.
The bottom is trimmed with a ribbon and glass bead trim that will brighten the room when the sun shines through it.
 I devised a cord pull using the bead and two antique brass cord condensers.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

More banding!

SuElyn Chase of Cottages to Castles had the enviable job of designing the window treatment for this gorgeous master bath.
And I had the enviable task of fabricating it!  The slightly overlapping lead edges are trimmed with a 2" band out of a delicate pale yellow, and a coordinating lip cord defines the top edge.

 I treated the band as if it were a binding: a scant 8" strip was sewn 2" from the raw edge, then wrapped around and folded in, then hand-sewn on the back.  So there are 4 layers of the yellow band which gives it extra substance and eliminates the chance of marks left by the iron from a seam allowance. 
Single shirring tape gathered the triple-full fabric so it could be stapled onto the board.  The fabric was 118" wide, and the hoped-for finished length was 117".  Without trimming off the selvedge, we made a tiny machine-stitched rolled hem for the bottom, and at the top nudged the shirring as far forward as possible on the board, and got perhaps 116" out of it.  Where there's a will, there's a way!
I like to tie off the shirring cord and secure it to the board with a staple or two, before hiding it all with the dustboard cover.  Just in case the panels ever need to be taken off, they can be ungathered and regathered without having to sew on new tape.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I've got some catching up to do!

We have had a whirlwind of projects ever since last fall, with barely a moment to breathe, so I am just now cleaning up iPhoto and discovering some work that has not yet been shown in the blog, as well as a few projects that need updating with professional photos.  I'll be featuring these over the next few weeks, in between current work.

Window treatments were the last component to be installed in this living room and adjoining family room, in time for an eldest son's bar mitzvah last October.  Denise Wenacur applied her painterly approach to these rooms and they now glow with warm, inviting fabrics, textures, and colors.
Roman shades, for privacy and light control, are softened with one-way tied-back pinch pleated draperies on poles.  In the family room, the same style was executed with coordinating but different fabrics.
My involvement was, of course, just for the window treatments, but in this photo, with a glimpse of both rooms, you can see Denise's big picture approach to the project, from floor to ceiling and everything in between.  

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Some folks do love their banding.....

Here is a way of using grosgrain ribbon that I can live with.

Notoriously annoying to apply, grosgrain is easy to work with as a binding, which in essence is what this banding is.
The face fabric and lining were cut to the exact finished size; the pink ribbon was top-sewn to the front and then wrapped to the back and secured with hand-stitching.

A little scrap of ribbon covers the ends of the board. just in case they are visible.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

First post-vacation job delivered.....

My first post-vacation day back at work was mostly on the road, visiting some clients and bringing back a car full of gorgeous fabrics for new projects, yay!

I also delivered an order of four shades: unlined, relaxed romans, made from plain-weave medium-weight cotton with a lovely drape, two singles and two doubles.

The little details on the back make these special.  I got brown ladder shroud from Designer's Resource, brown lift cord from Rowley, and unobtrusive clear rings from Textol.

I like an external weight bar pocket for my relaxed romans, and for these shades it had to be made from self-fabric.

The board also is fully covered with self-fabric- taking up virtually every inch of the cut-offs!  I couldn't have made a change purse with what little was left over.
What do you think about using adhesives in carefully crafted hand-made window treatments?  I believe adhesives certainly have a place at times.  For these shades, I thought hand-sewn side hems would be unnecessarily obvious, so I used Sealah adhesive tape to baste the hems, knowing that the ring stitching provides security.  The bottom hem is hand-sewn, but that can't be seen from the front.
There was less fabric to make these than I normally like to work with, so I improvised in order to get one extra fold at the bottom in case the shade is ever fully lowered.  The bottom three rings are just 4" apart rather than the normal 6" spacing; it creates just enough volume in the droop to look great.

Friday, July 5, 2013

One more post, then... vacation!

I was really looking forward to working with this fabric.  I chose the rust colored band motif for the top of the drapery panels.
The curtains- side panels- turned out even better than I had imagined them.
Airy gauze, lined with napped sateen, alternated with woven horizontal stripes that had a vaguely southwestern feel.
The fat pleats are hand-sewn around the front of the three fingers.  If I'm going to make draperies by hand, I want them to LOOK like they were made by hand!
Ivory thread stood out like a sore thumb against the rust band at the top of the pleats...... I colored it in with watercolor pen.  It's good to keep these around in a variety of colors.
And now, off to Cape May, New Jersey!  There's an annual decorators' showhouse around the corner from where we're staying this year, so maybe I'll be doing a blog post while I'm away.  If not, see you in a couple of weeks!