Friday, May 15, 2015

Wide sheer balloons

Often the fabric for oversize treatments is both wider and longer than the work table.  For two tailored balloon shades, for Fabric Factory Outlet, 115" wide and 44" long, the 120" double-wide fabric needed to be cut 70" long and about 215" wide. 

I was not looking forward to cutting the fabric, hemming it, then tabling it to sew the rings on- every time the fabric is moved or manipulated, it has the chance to distort and get out of square.  That's why I like to make shades entirely on the table from start to finish.

 So- I decided to make the shade before cutting and hemming the fabric.  And I did!-  the fabric did not leave the table until the shade was 90% complete.  It's kind of backwards, but it ensured that the grain remained straight and eliminated distortion from hemming.

My awesome gridded fabric table cover made this possible.

The first step was to get the grain straight by pulling a thread across the entire width and beginning the cut there.
I rolled the fabric to the end of the table, smoothed it, and lined the selvedge up on one side and lined the fold up with the 60" grid line on the other side.
I was able to see the printed lines through the two layers, so I cut the top layer at 10" to create the 70" cut.  I cut all the way to the end of the table and removed the leftover, keeping the fabric well weighted throughout.  That gave me about 144" of my 215" and I left the roll intact at the far end.
At the near end, I folded and pressed the side hems.  I did not see any upside to actually hemming the sides.  With the rings securing the hemline, the fabric stayed in place and there was no stitching or take-up to mar the sides.
I used the selvedge as the top of the shade to ensure that the board line was straight on the grain.  I moved across the table marking every 23" for the vertical ring rows.  I was able to mark 7 of the eventual 10 rows with the fabric that was on the table.
At the bottom folded edge, I marked for the second to last ring, and the lowest ring which was 3" from the edge to allow for a double 1.5" bottom hem.
I didn't have to mark for any other rings because I could see the grid through the sheer.  I weighted the shade down and got to work sewing rings.
At the far end I was able to sew most of the rings on that 7th row.
The rings provided reference points for shifting the fabric to get the last of the fabric on the table and cut.  I pulled a thread to get the straight grain, and I was happy to note that even after shifting 6 yds of fabric, it remained straight within 1/2".   I placed the rings on their marks, weighted down the fabric, and finished cutting and hemming the far edge.  
After all the rings were on, I pressed in the bottom hem, blindstitched it, and sewed on the bottom row of rings.
We used Ring Locks from Safe-T-Shade for these sheer shades.

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