Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Satin draperies

I'm going to make a Christmas commitment to you, people.  I'm going to say that I'm going to do a post every day until Dec. 23.  I'm not going to say I'm going to "try"- I'm just going to do it.  This autumn has been a very busy time for me, and I'm chagrined that the blog has been languishing!  I have such a backlog of projects to show you, with a busy 3 weeks of work ahead, that there is certainly enough material to meet my promise of a daily post.   Some might be just one photo- so think of them as stocking stuffers!

I owe a lot to this blog!  First, I've had wonderful experiences meeting so many of you, either via comments, email, or in person.  Second, this blog was the springboard for teaching opportunities that have been exciting and satisfying.  Third, I've learned that the sharing in this industry is incomparable and invaluable, and works both ways, and I thank you all for that.
So, Merry Christmas to you all, and here goes..........

I'm starting with this satin drapery project because Monica also just posted a photo and I thought it would be good to follow up with the workroom's back story.

There is satin, and then there is satin.
This double-wide nearly-white satin from JF Fabrics was an excellent choice by designer Monica Plotka.
Because there are no seams, there is no distortion or rippling- just sleek, cascading columns of beautiful fabric.  It made obvious sense to also use double-wide cotton napped sateen lining.  I wish all fabrics came with a double-wide option.  You know that all sewing creates take-up in fabric, right?, no matter how minuscule.  Eliminating that take-up shows off a fabric like satin to its best advantage.
The grey band is the perfect, understated finishing touch.  These draperies were entirely hand-sewn, and the attention was well worth the time.  After the band was sewn and pressed, we basted together the very edge of the band fabric and face fabric so the layers wouldn't sag inside after the band was wrapped.  With the lining laid in, the band was hand-sewn with an invisible ladder stitch.  Did I take photos of this process?  No, I'm sorry! But you can read more about the same hand-sewing and hand-basting techniques in recent blog posts, here and here.
 Besides being ultra-modern and right on trend, two-finger French pleats are a great heading treatment when less than 2.5x fullness is desired.  These panels were about 2.25x full, so the spaces are 4" and the pleats have 5" of fabric in them- not enough to make an attractive triple French pleat.  The pleats are hand-tacked.  We use a woven buckram, rather than a Pellon-type buckram, to give a soft, natural pleat.
When I work with a double-wide fabric, I plot out the spaces and pleats as I move the fabric across the table, so there are no calculations to do afterwards- just the side hem at the end.  This ensures perfect consistency.
And there you have it!  A beautifully designed project that exceeded my expectations- doesn't get any better than that.


  1. So beautiful...Thanks for sharing!!! Merry Christmas to you and look forward to your December blogging!!

  2. Your blog is a gift to the workroom and design worlds, and so are you. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and talents! ~SW