Friday, December 16, 2016

Heavy-weight French blackout shades

Upholstery fabrics make stunning shades, and I have a few techniques for working with the extra bulk.
These shades are extra bulky because they are lined with French blackout.
Double side hems, the default standard, would've been really thick, so I improvised to create a single hem.
 For French blackout, interlining and dense black cotton sateen are layered between the face fabric and white sateen lining.
I fold the layered lining, then cut while still folded, to grade the layers and avoid a blunt, thick edge.
To reduce bulk, instead of a double side hem, I sewed twill tape to the edges, then hand-hemmed.  (I always hand-sew side hems when I use interlining.)  One of the two shades was just 3" less than the width of the fabric, so I didn't have enough to make a good hem anyhow, without piecing it, which would've been even bulkier.  I kept the selvedge and sewed the tape over it.  For the other shade, I trimmed down the side hem and added twill tape to create a single hem.

  In this picture you can also see how severely I graded the bottom hem to keep the white lining from bubbling up from the bottom fold.
It looks pretty cool, I think!
I baste the layers before stapling bulky fabrics to a board.  This helps them grade themselves as they fold over the board edge.  Since a shade is flat all the way across, I don't cut out the inner layers of interlining as I would with a treatment that is pleated onto a board, where thick layers build up and look lumpy.
I'm loving the new grey lining.  It's available from both Angel's and Hanes.


  1. Beautiful! I see you also sewed the rings on with the pattern in mind - "pleating to the pattern" you could say. Lovely!

    1. Thanks, Karen! Pleating to pattern, yes- always!