Monday, February 9, 2015

Tricky toile with lead edge flange

I was excited to receive this Schumacher toile for one pair of draperies, a width and a half each side.
The blue tape indicated the area of most color concentration across the width, and the designer wanted that area to be at around eye level on the finished panels.
Joining widths was the first challenge.  This fabric has a half drop repeat, but also a match that began about 7-8" in from the edge.  I decided to join all three widths first, and then determine where to cut up the middle for the half widths.  I used double-sided tape to ensure a perfect match, then serged the seams.
I was glad I did, because in addition to the half drop and the set in match, there was a considerable pattern drift as well, requiring some re-assessment of the pattern placement.  This pair of panels took as much time in thinking as it did in sewing!  Finally I was ready to split the middle width.
Next challenge was to plan a method for inserting a contrast flange into the lead edges, made from a 60%cotton 40%silk sateen.  The designer wanted the purple fabric to be padded.
The strip was cut to 4" and a fusible interfacing applied.  Then it was pressed in half, and a strip of fusible webbing ironed in, to keep the layers from shifting.
My biggest concern was how to control take-up from sewing the flange and facing to the face.  To mitigate that as much as possible, the flange was hand-basted in to place before being machine-sewn.  Those cutoff strips from the inset pattern match were not wasted- they became the facing for the lead edge side hems. 
I haven't seen this treatment yet in its new home, but I did see the really cool Houles tiebacks chosen for draping the panels!


  1. Mercy me, whew. That made my brain hurt and I wasn't doing it! BRAVO to you! Using the double sided tape was genius on your part! Lovely piece of toile!

  2. Hi Deb, Beautiful work! That's a tough looking pattern repeat!
    I had two questions:
    You said you used double sided tape and then serged the pieces together.
    Does your needle get all bogged down or gummed up? What manufacturer's tape do you use? The one I've used can't be sewn with the serger or it gums up the needle! Thanks in advance

    1. Laura, in this case I used Sealah and I used a skinny width so I was able to see the seam as well as serge without catching it with the needles. I didn't try to get a tiny seam allowance, just wanted it overlocked and neat. Yes it causes a big mess if you sew over it!!!