Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Manipulating pattern on hobbled shades

Hobbled shades out of patterned fabric require careful planning.  When I was asked by Denise Wenacur to fabricate three more shades for this open space, I was glad I had documented my planning process for the first set!
The bay window shades provided continuity from the kitchen window around to the full-length family room windows, and really completed the flow of the space.
The new bay window shades
The original three shades in the family room
All the shades wrapping around the space from the sink to beyond the fireplace
I kept all my notes from the family room fabrication, but the best thing I did was photograph the fold layout. I was able to refer back to this and re-create the pattern placement exactly.
For this pattern, after crunching the numbers I decided I wanted to have every third fold match.The repeat is 17", so I multiplied by 2 which is 34 and divided by 3, which is 11.3".  I wanted 7" folds instead of 6".  
 Now, in order to fabricate a shade in compliance with the safety standards, we have a limit of 16.9" loop.  This means the ring spacing on the fabric plus the equal amount of lift cord cannot exceed 8.45"- and many of us just round that down and figure a maximum of 8" ring spacing.  But on a hobbled shade, there is another loop to consider: the loop created by the tape plus the row spacing.  For a 6" fold, that allows 6" between rings on the tape, and a little over 10.5" row spacing on the fabric.   That's what I usually figure for hobbled shades with no pattern.
However, for THIS shade, after adding the 7" tape/fold spacing to the 11.3" row spacing, the "loop" was 18.3"- more than is allowed.  So----- here is how I devised a way around that!
I marked the horizontal rows at 11.3", and the tapes at 7", and began sewing them onto the shade.  You can see here that I have used ribs, but not pockets.   An X-shaped stitch holds the layers together around the rib, the tape is secured, and the ring sewn to the tape.
X-stitch securing the rib
Securing the tape

Adding the ring
So here's my little trick.  Another stitch is made 3/4" down from the ring, by sliding the needle under the lining, coming up, and taking a tiny little tack to hold the tape down.  This effectively removes 1.5" from the loop- bringing the loop to under 16.9"!!!  This tack is still within the underneath of the fold area and therefore doesn't interfere with the folds as the shade is raised.
Sliding needle 3/4" down under lining only
Tacking the tape
The tack barely shows!
This is by far the fastest hobbled shade method I've devised yet, even with the extra step taken to accommodate the pattern to keep the shade in compliance with the standards.
Getting comfortable to work my way up the shade