Monday, April 24, 2017

Turban swags

Before I had the recent shade marathon, I had a swag sort of half-marathon.  The last proper blog post was the final installment of three about an arched swag treatment.  At the same time, I was drafting a pattern for Turban swags and also some Austrian swags.  So I had a big swag immersion week or two!
Of course the first thing I did for the Turban swags was drape chain weight, following the instructions in Ann Johnson's book.  The vertical chain drop marks the specific short point at the crossover.  Turban swags are hybrids: one side of each swag is a traditional board-mounted swag, and the other side is a boxed swag.  Ann shows how to combine two styles of swag to create this and other hybrid swags.
 Draping the chain weight took a lot of experimenting.  The board and legs were set up on the edge of the table so the chains could easily be adjusted to get the right silhouette.
The Turban swags presented a challenge because the fabric was a woven vertical stripe and the designer wanted the stripes to run horizontally.  Swag patterns are not rectangles- they are weird curved trapezoids- so the stripes would've been cut at an curve at the bottom and I didn't like how that looked.  Therefore I improvised.  The swag was possible by making a more informal look.  On the sides the stripes are pleated, but because the swag wasn't cut as it should've been, it wouldn't hold its folds.  I had to allow the fabric to do what it wanted, yet guide it into pleasing gathers.   The casual gathered look worked well with this heavy woven fabric.
These swags were being mounted on a window which ran straight into a door opening on the left, so the return couldn't be the full length of the swag on the left side.  I made a short return, then a fascia board to support it and provide a surface to wrap the bottom pleats around for stapling.
 A lot of stapling and unstapling and re-stapling went into the process of pleating the swag to achieve a pleasing look.  This is one of many incarnations of the return:
 Finally the swags were pleated attractively, and the returns were finished.  We added velcro and sent along a flap of fabric that the installer could position to conceal any gap, if that proved necessary.
I was on pins and needles until the phone rang- the designer and homeowner LOVED the treatment!


  1. Wow...a beautiful piece of work...congratulations on a job well done!! :)

  2. Very creative! Success! Amazing what we can come up with when given a dilemma.