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!


  1. Just beautiful!!! What headrail system did you use?

    1. Thanks, Sue!
      I use Rollease traversing clutch. I get all the components from Designer's Resource in NJ.

  2. The shades are beautiful and your direction on the use of lighter weight fabrics is so welcome! I'm a home sewer and am not familiar with some of the products you used. Would you please explain: What is jewel tape?; what is the size of the fusible buckram you use in the bottom hem?; and what are those clear things I see attached to each ring in the last picture? Thanks!

    1. Hi! I'll be happy to tell you more about those products. I'll get back to the blog later today or tomorrow latest, with links to resources, ok?

    2. that's fine. I'm so grateful for your details and great pictures. Always excited to see a new post on your projects!!

    3. Hi again-
      Jewel tape is one of several available double-sided sticky tapes. I order it from Dondar Design
      The fusible buckram size is equal to the size of the bottom hem. Usually that is 3" or 4" but can be any amount. I just trim it to the size I need. I get it from Rowley Co
      The little clear devices you see on each ring are called "Ring Locks." They were developed by Safe-T-Shade as an alternative to cord shrouds or ladder shrouds in order to comply with the Shade Safety Standards. They are effective and easy to use. I get them from Safe-T-Shade
      which also sells compliant lift systems. Even home sewers should be aware of and implement the safety standards especially if there are children in the home. Safe-T-Shade makes it easy for anyone, from home sewers to factory workrooms, to make a shade safe.
      I believe that all 3 of these resources sell not only to the trade but to the home sewing market as well, so I am pretty sure you can order from them all.
      If you do make some shades, please tell me about them! My email address is in the contact information here on the blog. Send me photos- I'd love to see what you do!

  3. Thank you for the info. I sew mostly for my kids for their own homes. I'll see if there are any good pics of those projects.
    Thank you again for the info on these items and all your posts!

  4. Are there ribs installed on both sides of the blackout lining? It looks as if there are ribs behind the face fabric on the edge of the folds facing out as well as in the folds with rings? Or am I just imagining that?

    1. On this shade the ribs are in the front of the folds- halfway between the rings. No ribs at the rings.