Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My new method for shade bottom hems

When I learned to make shades, it was out of a book- probably a Sunset book- and the way I learned was my method for years.  Gradually I experimented with variations, and at the same time industry standards were evolving and everyone was making window treatments of higher quality.
I was never comfortable, however, with a shade that I knew would have frequent use, that didn't have the rings attached at a sturdy line of machine stitching.
After many experiments, I've now hit on this method, which mostly solves the issues that gave me misgivings.
I remembered to take photos during fabrication of this beautiful shade.
A double hem is turned and pressed.  It's a good idea to draw a line at the top of the hemline so the ring location is accurate.  Ready-made weight bar tubing is laid in behind the hem.
I catch the tube, ladder tape, hem, and face fabric with very sturdy thread.
At each end I continue hand-sewing the pocket to the fabric for that inch and a half.
The bottom rings are sewn, and then the weight bar is inserted and the ends are sewn shut.
The weight bar tubing keeps a nice straight line.  The beauty of this method is that the shade NEVER leaves the table, and thus is not subjected to shifting. 
From the back the bar is unseen.  The front is clean, with no stitching.
By the way, how about the double trim?  Isn't that cool?


  1. Deborah, so the hem is stitched down only at the ladder tape/ring points and 1 1/2" on each side where it hits the side hem? Otherwise the hem is not attached? How far apart across the width to you put your vertical "ring" rows? Does the rod at this position help to keep the hem from drooping between tacks? Love that you share this with us! Frances Pusch

    1. Yes that's correct- hem is not seen across. It works! I keep my vertical rows between 8-10" apart with this method.

  2. So, Deborah, the bottom hem is only tacked, not sewn all the way across at the ladder tape/bottom ring points and where it crosses the side hems? Thanks for sharing your discoveries...

    1. Hi Frances, see my previous reply... Sorry my reply took so long! I was having some problems with comments.