Friday, June 28, 2013

Fab Fabric Friday!- and the shades we made!

What a brilliant balance of color and design:
Kravet's "Exotic Travels"- embroidered faux silk
I enjoyed making shades for this laundry room.
And a seat and back cushion for the mud room.
I have a new method for making ribbed shades, at least some ribbed shades.  I make pockets on the inside of the lining, and press them downwards towards the bottom.
I fold the side and bottom hems over and sew the bottom and one side.
For these shades I used Rowley's mesh tube shroud; when it was all done except for the side I did not hand-hem yet, I slid in the weight bar and the ribs;
Then hemmed that last side border.
The last row of mesh tube shroud is a little awkward to sew, with the rods and ribs in place, but it goes quickly.
The result is a nice, neat back, especially important on the smaller of these 2 shades which is mounted on a door.  Whoa, I forgot to take a picture of the back!  Here's one of a different shade in the same house, with ladder tape rather than shroud:

Monday, June 24, 2013

Notching up on Shade Safety

A very special client is having a baby any day now.  The crib is between two windows and this expecting mom was really hoping for beautiful London shades.  Knowing full well the safety issues with shades, I was determined to find a way to make her the treatment she wanted.  However, I had to find a way where I would 100% certain the shade could not possibly present any danger in this room.  I do not want to spend a single moment wondering whether or not I did the right thing.  While ladder tapes and shrouds provide complete compliance with the new standards, I wanted an over-the-top level of assurance for these two windows.  I did not want to lose a moment's sleep wondering about them for the next 5 years.

I'm not ready to show the fronts of the treatments yet- those will come later in the summer- but I do want to share the backs, and the solution I arrived at.
I sewed by hand a 7" wide strip of winter white voile over the rows of rings and lift cord.  Ta-da.  That's it.  That's it!  The first question regarding shade safety is: Is there an exposed cord in the back?  And the answer is, no!  No exposed cord = no risk.  It cannot be accessed.  Holy cow, it is such a simple solution.
Because the sheer is so, well, sheer, it's practically invisible, and, it just scrunches up with the fabric as the shade is raised.  When I first started thinking about it, I thought I'd have to line the whole shade with this sheer.  But as my thinking evolved, I realized that it just needed to be wide enough to be flexible.  From the front it raises up in its folds just as usual.
I sewed it by hand because the shade needed to be fully made first.  I suppose if I planned well ahead of time, I could sew one side by machine first, then add the rings and string and hand-sew the other side, but I was still experimenting, so I did it all after the shade was made, and sewed by hand, not too tightly so it would remain flexible.
At the bottom, where the weight bar is tacked, the strip is sewn across part-way.  At the top it's left open to allow the lift cord through.

I think this would work with any shade except for a flat Roman: Londons, relaxed, dog-ear, or balloon shades, modified as needed for specific styles.
I was inspired by the double-sided shades made by my CHFA Forum-mates Scot Robbins, Mary Ann Quinn, and many others over the years.   I thought I could adapt that concept to this application.  Many thanks to them for sharing their ideas and photos. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

And now for something different.....

Sometimes we get calls for interesting, one-of-a-kind projects, such as this request to repair an exquisite, hand-painted silk chuppah, about 9' long, in time for an upcoming wedding.  I snipped out a damaged section of silk, then Camille and I meticulously hand-sewed a new panel in its place.  It seemed overwhelming when we started, but once we got into the swing of it, it went easily if not quickly.  It turned out great, and actually was a real treat to work on!  These are the tiniest stitches I've ever made in my life! 
Here you can maybe see the eensy-weensy stitches.  Because this long side of the panel was not anchored to the lining, I made itty-bitty backstitches, for extra strength.  On the other long side the silk was secured to the lining and we were able to use a tiny blind stitch.

I took some close-ups of the beautiful painting for you to admire.  Mazel tov!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Technically this should wait for Fab Fabric Friday- this amazing textile from Bart Halpern: sheer linen pleated to order with their "Wave Pleat" onto a stabilizing backing.  That Samuel & Sons tape is pretty awesome, too!   
I was lucky enough to get to make 3 ribbed roman shades out of this, for Liz of Paris Interiors; here is the smallest of the three.   
Today they were installed along with the beautiful tree sheer shades featured in the previous post.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fab Fabric Friday!

Another sheer tree fabric! - this by Calvin- "Shimmering Aspen" color "Golden bark."  The fabric is Trevira; it's lined with sheer poly batiste; braid-wrapped top lip cord; bottom olive green square glass beads.  Chosen and designed by Liz at Paris Interiors.  Can't wait for this installation to see all five shades together in one room!