Thursday, June 22, 2017

More on hobbled shades: Ribs- YES; Pockets- NO!

My First Blog Post 1/1/2010!
Well, I just went through my blog posts on hobbled shades and discovered that my very first two posts- January 1, 2010-  featured hobbled shades!  My little retrospective showed me just how much has changed in 7 1/2 years.

And my Second Blog Post 1/1/2010

For years I made hobbled shades the only way I knew how (and probably from a Sunset book): by sewing horizontal pockets, adding tapes and rings, and inserting ribs.  I always hated making those pockets- sewing long straight lines, struggling with heavy, unwieldy masses of fabric trying to keep the layers together, and being stabbed with countless pins is not my idea of fun.  And I hated how the pockets looked.

 When I read back over the 29 posts about hobbled shades, I am astonished at the changes I've made.
It was Scot Robbins who blew my mind two years ago by saying he doesn't put ribs in his hobbled shades.  I started experimenting, and made (on faith and on Scot's promise that it would work!) two blackout hobbled shades, with upholstery weight fabric, without ribs or pockets, 104" wide by 72" long.  When they turned out well, I was converted!
July 2015
 For two years my method continued to evolve, and I now have a method that gives me the best of both: ribs but NO pockets.   Why the ribs if they're not necessary?  Well, they just make me feel better :)  ACTUALLY because without ribs the vertical rows need to be about 8" apart.  By adding ribs the vertical rows can be up to 13-14" apart.  This makes a difference on narrow shades where there isn't enough space on a headrail for more than 3 vertical rows.
Here's more detail on the shades I wrote about in the previous post for Denise Wenacur.
 I table the shade as usual on my gridded table canvas, then fold the side hems back open and apply Dofix Bortenfix tape.  I mark horizontal and vertical rows with disappearing pen and slip the ribs in place.
The Dofix tape is peeled off and the hems steamed into place.
The ribs are secured with pins.  This shade is not blackout lined, but even with blackout the stitches and pinholes don't matter because they are at the top of the folds and are hidden behind more blackout fabric- so no light shows.
The tapes have been prepared and marked in the ring spacing increments.
The rib is secured through both lining and face by taking a two-step X-shaped stitch under and over it.  I make sure to use Coats Button and Craft thread for this- it is the strongest thread I've ever found, and practically unbreakable.
The tape is secured to the lining and the thread is knotted.
The ring is attached and the tails hidden.
I work small shades down the table, letting the shade fall into my lap as I work.  That is why I baste the bottom weight bar pocket instead of pinning it!- I got tired of pins sticking in my legs.
A larger shade, like the one in the master bedroom, shown below, is made crosswise on the table and I pull it by the tapes- like reins- to shift it as I work up the rows.
This shade was about 102" wide and 65" long...... and blackout.
We made 16 hobbled shades for this home and all were made with this ribbed, pocketless method.

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