Friday, September 9, 2016

Blackout shades with no pinholes of light

They might look plain, but these blackout shades for Monica Plotka Interiors are some of the best shades I've ever made.  There are no pinholes of light sneaking through the blackout.
The fabric is a thin, blueish-grey linen sheer, with a chambray feel to it.  The first step, as usual, was to pull a thread to get a line for cutting on the grain.
The inner blackout lining is Bella Notte Silky "Duette" which has an interlining bonded to one side.  The outer layer of blackout lining is "Silky" blackout.  The bottom hem is reinforced with fusible buckram, and a weight bar tube is run at the top of the hem and lightly secured with Jewel tape.
My No-Pinholes method is constantly evolving, and this is my best version yet.  All stitches are staggered so no light can peep through.
 Ribs have been sewn in, in between the rings, so they fall at the fold lines as the shade is raised.  The side hems are secured with Dofix and reinforced with the sewn rings.
The resulting shade is substantial and important-looking.  It's hard to believe it started as a delicate semi-sheer!  The method and materials used are perfect for the project, but I can also imagine how beautiful this linen would be as hand-sewn semi-sheer cafe curtains.
The shades were left up for days so the folds would train.  The linen has a memory of the folds, and the ribs in the front of the folds keep the fabric from buckling, so no dressing is needed.  I'm super happy with this job!

Friday, September 2, 2016


I've had a run on banding lately.
Decorative woven banding is by far the simplest to fabricate.  More often than not, I use Dofix Bortenfix to fuse this type of trim to the fabric.  I love the combination of patterns and colors on these shades:
I especially love the backs.....
These shades are banded vertically on each side in the same coordinating fabric in the bottom section of the color block drapery panel (not made by me.)  This is more complicated than simply applying a ready-made trim.
Much more difficult is applying contrast fabric banding on three sides, with mitered corners.
I use painter's tape to mark my band edge.  This allows me to table the shade and know exactly where the side turning should fall.  Thanks to Scot Robbins for this great tip!
I am definitely miter-challenged, so I find it easiest to just hand-sew the miter, using a tiny ladder stitch (thanks to Penny Bruce). 
At the bottom, I keep the band neat by applying fusible buckram to the hem to make a crisp fold line.
Not bad!
For Katherine Stern Design, we used two different banding styles in two different rooms.
In the dining room, a double contrast fabric band with mitered corners- oh my!  This was not easy.  Yes, the banding is two different fabrics.  More on this project another day.
Decorative banding was applied to the matelasse draperies in the master bedroom.  Sometimes you get lucky and are able to machine sew a trim- that worked out well for us on this project.
I did this post last week about this twill tape banding- well, actually binding:
And in July this 4-sided mitered-corner decorative geometric banding (whew!) was featured here: