Monday, January 20, 2014

Sheer Roman shades

Sheer roman shades were practically unheard of 15 years ago, but now, we make them all the time.  Most of the time we line them with a plain sheer, for extra support and body.
This set of four gave the opportunity to show some of the techniques we've developed to make them.
Three of the shades were just 29" wide, so they fit sideways on the table, side by side.  I like that I can be sure the spacing will be identical on all three.  Since the grid can be seen through the fabric, there's no need to mark the fabric for rings.  Fabric and sheer batiste lining were cut and tabled.  All the side hems were pressed and hand-sewn; bottom hems pressed and pinned; ladder tapes run and clear rings sewn.  We wanted one extra permanent fold, so the ladder tape ends at the first ring up after the hem. 
It's a good idea to check sheer fabrics to be sure there's no lint or thread caught in between the layers.  My inspection revealed a little fleck of red lint, so I covered the end of a yardstick with masking tape, slid it in between the layers......
Got it!
When it was time to sew the bottom weight bar pockets, I was dismayed to find that the presser foot would pick up and pull the loose threads that created the pattern.  This is the kind of thing that happens more often than we'd like.
I laid a flat metal hem gauge next to the presser foot and held it down tight to keep the loose threads in place so they wouldn't get pulled.
One great thing about bottom trims is that it can provide a clean bottom line when the fabric is a little wobbly.  I decided to glue this trim on so the shade could be tabled and the trim aligned to the grid.
The permanent fold is a great device for sheer shades, to hide all the stitching and other clutter that is necessary to make the shade work.  Instead of tying two rings together, I just folded the fabric up and stitched the weight bar hem to the first ring.
I covered the weight bar with natural color fabric tubing before inserting it into the pocket.
The weight bar is slip-stitched closed, and the ends of the trim tucked in and the bottom of the hem sewn shut.

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