SO.........WHAT ARE WE WORKING ON TODAY??

Need help!?

I'd like to use this page for help requests, either by me, or by you.  Use the comment section if you have a question I might be able to help with.

I'm trying to figure out if it's possible to make a balloon shade with this silhouette.  I imagine it could be made as an opera shade, but if I'm not mistaken, the weight bar would have to be cut in half with each half angling down from the center lift line to the outer ones, one ring lower.  Anybody have any feedback?

97 comments:

  1. What if you had a straight weight bar at short point AND then angled weight bar or even the plastic ribs at angled line. I'm sure that could be said better! How do I create an ID, Dlbdrapery@mac.com
    If you simply angled the weight bars might not hold shape and move around o n lifting

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  2. Thanks, dlbdrapery, I did try this and other experiments but nothing worked well enough. We are going another route- and there will be pics of that coming up soon.......
    To create an ID- I'm so sorry, I wish I knew! I've had that problem when trying to comment on other peoples' blogs. If I figure it out, I'll let you know!

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  3. What type of rod are you using to hold up your roman shades in your workroom. I would love to have one of those. It kinda looks like a camera ipod.

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    1. It's a "Workroom Valet" from Scot Robbins- Google it- once you have one you'll wonder how you managed without it ! I have 2 and would like another one.....

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  4. Can you recommend where the external weight bar should go on a Relaxed Roman with bottom trim? I usually put them in the bottom hem, but when raised, the hem raises to the inside and then the trim is hidden. Also, do you have a good supplier of the weight bars? I have found them very expensive to buy and ship. I am in NJ, so close to you. Sorry, can't figure out how to add a name to this post, but will work on it!!

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  5. I'm having trouble posting comments, too, today- testing:

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  6. Aha I tried a different server, and apparently it's Firefox that's the problem- now using Safari.

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  7. Ok, anonymous, now that I can post in comments again-
    I just wrote a long reply only to see it disappear when I clicked on Publish!
    For relaxed Romans, I add 24" to the finished length so there are extra folds when the shade is down. Start the bottom rings about 5" from the bottom. If the rings are spaced the standard 6" apart, the trim will show when you raise the shade.
    Cut the weight bar with same size as the distance between the rings, and cover it with a tube of fabric. Tack it at the lowest operating ring. When you string the shade, tie that ring and all the extra rings together.
    I'm not sure if you're a workroom or a home sewer? I get my weight bar in bulk from Rowley Co, but local drapery supply distributors carry it as well. Try Designer's Resource in Lodi NJ. Or see what you can find at Home Depot or Lowe's to use as a substitute for 3/8" rodding.
    Not sure if you're the same anonymous as in the previous comments?

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  8. Hi, another question if you don't mind tell me this information...where do you get your ladder tape from? Do you go in person to Designer's Resource (they are only about 40 mins from me), or do you order online/over the phone? Thank you

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  9. Hi Tracey- I suggest that you call Designer's Resource and ask them how to purchase. Sometimes I order over the phone and have things shipped, but I'm often in their area and stop by to pick up. So, I'm sorry you had so much trouble posting a comment- if you're using Firefox, try a different server instead. Or go to the "about me" button above, and send me an email. I'm supposed to go to Designer's Resource this afternoon, not sure if I'll go with the snow forecast!

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  10. Hi there! Hope you made it out in the nasty weather! I plan a trip over there in the next few days. Am excited to just take a look around! Thanks for the information about the extra fabric/folds at the bottom of the shade. That's a good tip. Do you use the same weight bars on sheer fabrics? I am working with really sheer just now and am worried the weight will really pull at the fabric and damage it when the shade is constantly raised and lowered.

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    1. Nope, didn't go yesterday, probably tomorrow.
      Yes for sheers I still use the same weight bar. Sheers are surprisingly tough, especially synthetics but even natural fibers. I've never had a problem. I like to line sheers shades with another sheer to give reinforcement and extra body- either voile or batiste.

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  11. Thanks again! I did risk it and am reassured by you. I also lined in another sheer and love the look. I am now trying the cord shroud tape for the first time and am going to check the Rowley informational videos as I am not sure how that works at the top. Maybe the tape is cut to the length of the shade, but shorter than the cord, so the cord can then be threaded through the lock mechanism or roller mechanism. As before, am very grateful for your words of wisdom!!

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  12. Yes, the encased cord tapes need to be cut as long as the cord needs to be, then you fish out the cord, and cut off the excess tape. The tape should be only as long as needed to staple to the board. It does waste some of the tape. If you use the mesh tube shroud instead, you can buy it without the cord and then run the cord through yourself, but the time that would take (and the frustration level) outweighs the cost savings, in my opinion.
    I hope your project turns out well!- let me know!
    I'll be going to Designer's Resource on Thursday afternoon. Maybe I'll see you there :)

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  13. I would love to go today....but am swamped with sewing....maybe after the weekend! Thanks again.

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  14. Another question...for 'regular' Romans using really sheer fabrics, do you still put the bar in the hem? I am worried it will pull the stitching as this fabric seems like it 'holes' easy around the stitching line, if tugged at and this lady wants to raise and lower the shades daily......maybe put an external bar at the same point as for a relaxed Roman? Have you done that before, or do you just risk it in the hem? I would love to meet you. I love your work, so next time you are heading to Designers' Resource, I will go at the same time!!

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  15. Yes I usually put the weight bar in a pocket even with sheers, but occasionally I'll tack it externally. If I put it in a pocket, I first cover it with tubing so it looks better. And making it 6" longer and tying up one permanent fold will hide the pocket. It would be lovely to meet at DR one day!

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  16. Thank you! Would you rather I send these messages via email? I realize I am hogging your blog with my silly questions!!

    I do use the tubing. Either use basic lining, if it's hidden, or will now use fabric if it's external (following your advice). If I make it 6 inches longer and tie up that permanent fold, that would hide the lipped cord trim (chosen by the customer), that is stitched into the bottom hem. Would you stitch the trim in and then maybe add the extra 6 inches (plus seam allowance) and fold that under? That would then become the extra pocket? Are you sick of me yet?!!!

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  17. Ah! I just re-read your previous message...8 Dec at 9.34 am, and I think I am getting it...it takes a while to sink in!!! If I fold the extra fabric up and secure the extra bottom fold(s) with the rings, then the bottom hem (corded, banded or otherwise) will still show below the bottom of the bottom fold. And, so you make the pocket in one of those extra bottom folds, aligned with the bottom ring? Hope this makes sense.

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  18. Do you shape your hems on a Relaxed? I don't usually, but I see you get a lovely curved bottom and I cannot get the same effect.. I am setting the bar higher and my trim is showing now, but the bottom still seems to look straighter than the relaxed curves above it....really appreciate your tips....thank you.

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    1. No, personally I don't shape the bottom of relaxed shades, but some workrooms do.
      The droop varies, depending on every design element- width, trim, weight bar placement, etc.

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  19. Thank you! I did get them to turn out nice and they curved nicely once I got them 'hung' so I could steam/dress them. Long day and night....was battling with the roller mechanisms with metal mounting unit that I got from Textol (first time use for me). Not totally sold on these. Think I will get them from Rowley next time and mount them onto wood. So far, I've only used the basic board top with screw eyes and cord lock. The roller style with beaded chain does lift very nicely though. Once these shades are installed today, I will be having a nice change on bedding and pillows!

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    1. So glad your project turned out well, Tracey! I hope your installation goes well.
      Are you a member of the CHFA Forum? If not, you should look into it. It's the most amazing resource for workroom professionals, and I don't know where I'd be without that community of peers. If you aren't, send me an email and I'll give you more information. I looked for your name there but didn't find you.

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  20. Hello there!

    I am on their Email list, but didn't sign up and didn't do any courses...I just joined though for a trial period and will join permanently after that....thank you for the information.

    Thank you again for your help.

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    1. I've never been for any courses, but the forum and publication are fantastic. Hope you get as much out of it as I have!

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  21. Thank you! I joined. I also register with Merrill Landis, to take a look at their products, and also took a look at Tech Styles...I know you mentioned them in one of your blogs. I cannot see their products online, but will call them.

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  22. I have a question about the pleats in triple relaxed romans. How big(dimensions) is the pleat. I made a 60 inch wide single pleat which was 8 inches 2-4-2.I am a home sewer. But for the 92" window I don't know about the fullness? What do you recommend.?

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  23. Hi Nancy-
    I'd do 3 sections, with the same pleat sizes as the other- to keep the proportions the same.
    Good luck!

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  24. Working that up now Thanks. love your work.

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  25. Hi Deb, long time no contact! Got busy and am still trying to 'play' my new supplies (ladder tape and encased lift cord shroud tape)

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  26. Forgot to ask...I can't work out how to secure the bottom three pleats together if I am using the encased lift cord shroud tape and only one ring and orb at the bottom. I have been knotting the bottom three rings together with the cord to give pleats at the bottom, even when the shade is lowered all the way down.

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  27. Tracey, that's exactly what I do, too, with the rings for the bottom stationary folds. I either tie with cord or use Rowley's split rings. I run the lift cord just through the topmost ring, with an orb if it's a clutch system.

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  28. Thank you! Do you prefer to hand stitch or do you put a few machine stitches through the tape? I looked at Rowley's instructions and on the newer style tape, they just put a few stitches through one side of the tape. I mostly stitch rings on by machine, but sometimes they need hand sewing, because the stitching is too visible on the right side, especially with plain fabrics. Also, when you use ladder tape, I think you said you use .9mm cord. What lift/locking mechanism do you use with the .9mm? I am sure I read that .9mm is not suitable for cord locks....I guess it slips through.

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  29. Hi Tracey- For most shades I use ladder tape and sew rings on by hand. Sometimes I use Rowley's mesh tube shroud which I sew on by hand. And for hobbled shades I use Rowley's encased cord tape which I sew on by machine: one tack on each side of the tape to the rib pocket.
    I usually use .9mm cord, except for shades with just 3 lift cords and a cord lock. I think the 1.4 holds better with fewer cords. More than 3 cords, the cord lock works well, and I use the .9.

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  30. Yes, I have always used the 1.4, even for 5 cords, but tried the .9m today and it slipped right through...would not lock. I should have changed the cord lock out, but assumed it was because the .9mm wasn't thick enough to make the cogs grip....will go back and change out the cord lock and try again. Thanks for your help, as always. It's always so time consuming trying things for the first time and always much easier to go back to our old tried and tested ways, but I do love the tapes you use. The shades look great on the back, as well as the front!!

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  31. Me again! When I check at Textol's website, it does say that .9mm cannot be used with cord locks. They work fine for you, right?

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    1. I have never used those cord locks- I use the 4-wire cord locks from Rowley. The only time .9 cord has not worked well with those is with very lightweight shades or shades with just 3 lift lines.

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  32. Oh, ok...I just bought a huge supply of them..!! Am looking through the Rowley catalogue now. Thank you.

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  33. Hi there. Question: Where did you get your long table weights you use to hold down your fabrics? Thanks!

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  34. Hi Deb,
    I've been reading your blog everyday for about 10 days, scouring thru page by page. Now I'm trying to find the page that had about 25 different relaxed shades all with different "sagging" factors on the bottom. I can't remember the tag line. Any way you could remember that one and put a link to it here?

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    1. Hi Laura! I think you were looking at the "gallery if London shades" which is 2 "buttons" to the left of this "need help" button at the top. It's not an actual post.
      So glad you're enjoying the blog!
      I really need to update those "gallery" pages with some more recent work!

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  35. What are J-hooks and where can I purchase them.

    Thank you.

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  36. Hello,

    Thanks for all your great ideas and tips on this blog. I am teaching myself how to make a roman shade for my dining room...It is 105" wide and 65 inches long. I have planned for 5 ribs and a bottom bar. The material is a sheer linen. Do you think I need a clutch system or can I just thread the strings through a cord lock? It will usually be in the lowered position likely not raised very often.

    Thanks for any suggestions!

    jane

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    1. Hi Jayne-
      Your shade will be best with a clutch if you'll be raising it often, but a cord lock is ok if not; you can use up to 10 lift lines if using a Rowley cord lock. Just be sure to make the shade safe by using a shroud such as ladder tape, and a cleat to secure the cord out of reach. Also Safe-T-Shade has new products for making shades compliant with the new safety standards. I recommend checking them out.
      Are you a workroom?
      Good luck with your project and let me know how it turns out!
      Deb

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  37. no, I am not a work room, just making shades for my own house! I am going to try the cleat first and see how it goes. I made a small one for the door and it looks great, I am just nervous about the width of the one for the window. Thanks for the tips!

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  38. Hi Deb,
    Merlyn Corcoran referred me to your website. I needed some suggestions about a weight rod for a sheer unlined stationary relaxed roman. I was a member of the drapery forum for years and haven't done much the last couple years but did just join with the basic membership but for some reason have not been able to access the forum and no reply from Margie yet. Had emailed Merlyn and she sent me your website. Which by the way is awesome.
    Anyway my question is how to hide the weight rod in an unlined sheer stationary relaxed shade. My designer insist she has seen it done but I am at a loss. The shade is about 41 inches wide so there is a significant droop. Below are briefly the way I constructed the sample. Could you give me any suggestions?
    FW 41 inches
    Finished Stationary Drop about 23 inches
    Projection 1 1/4 inch

    Double turned hems on sides and bottom hem
    Rings starting near bottom on both sides about 1 1/2 inch in from sides and about 5 inches apart vertically
    Using acrylic weight rod (which has not arrived yet so experimenting with wood dowel) which I tacked to the side hem about 5 inches from the bottom thinking it would be hidden.
    With the amount of droop I have I just don't know if it is possible to hide the weight rod with the sheer fabric.

    Would love any suggestions!

    Best regards,
    Amy

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    1. Amy, hi! I wish I had a solution for that situation, but, I don't! For relaxed shades, I put the weight bar in a fabric tube, and tack it with the rings that are tied up at the bottom. For a sheer shade I do the same thing and yes you can see it from the front through the sheer fabric. I wish I had an answer for you, so I will keep thinking about it and maybe I will have some new insight into relaed shades! I hope the acrylic weight bar is helpful. Where did you find that? Are you the same Amy I have corresponded with in the past?

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  39. Hi Deb,
    Thanks for you input. At least I know I have exhausted my options and everything still points to the fact that you will probably see the weight rod. I am finishing them up this weekend so we will see.
    I order acrylic baton used for pulling panels to try. I needed it longer so had United Supply ordered it from Forest Drapery Hardware because I needed it longer than the Kirsh baton. Little thicker than I would like but going to drill a small hole through it to attach at the site of the rings.
    Don't think I have corresponded with you before. You might be thinking of Amy Burton who was a friend of mine when she had her workroom. Kind of lost contact with her since she doesn't have a workroom now that I know of and I haven't been doing as much either.

    Thanks for your response and when my designer goes back and looks at the sheer relaxed shades where she swears the weight rod is hidden I will share the trick with you!

    Thanks again and have a good weekend! Amy

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    1. Good luck, Amy! Let me know how this turns out. Maybe there IS a trick to it!

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  40. Try using theater tape weight in the hem of relaxed roman shades. Then use only a light weight spreader bar when needed to keep the shade from collapsing inward.

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  41. Hello, I love reading your blog. Many of your posts have been a great help in my workroom. I am wondering what is your favorite method for roman shade valances. I have 3 projects coming up which means making 12 valances all about 18" long in varied widths. Do you put in rod pockets, rods and rings? or is there a simpler way to put these together. Thank you for your help. Kathy

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    1. Thank you, Kathy! It means a lot to me.
      When you say Roman shade valances, do you mean pleated like permanently pleated valances, like hobbled shades? Or do you mean shades that are tied up and just look like Roman shades that have been pulled up? Lately I have had no orders for the hobbled looking type. But I do have a lot of people who say they want a Roman shade valance and what they really mean is just something looks like a shade that's been pulled up. After going back-and-forth on this subject with a lot of my clients, my policy now is, I make a shade. It's just a shade just like I would make it if it were going up and down. I often tie up three or four rings at the bottom, then use a cord lock, so they can adjusted slightly. When I do that I only have a very short operating cord like 3 inches. This way seems to work out for everybody. I charge as if it were a Roman shade because that's what it is! – And I have a minimum square footage.
      I hope I have understood your question and my answer helps somewhat! If not, get back to me and we'll talk about it more.

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    2. Thank you for the answer. yes, I was talking about a shade that looks like it is pulled up. I did make a couple of them today with 4 rod pockets and tied them together. I like your idea of a cord lock. I was hoping for a simpler method, but you are right - it is a shade. Thanks again.

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  42. Hi! LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog and all the help and photos!
    I've got a workroom in New Braunfels Texas and have a customer that wants relaxed roman shades, but with returns (using a 1 x 4, outside mount). What do you suggest I do for this? Just make a small flap (maybe 6") to add to the dust board, or actually move the rings in and make the finished width to include the returns? I am thinking that option will look weird, with the rings sewn nearly 5 inches in from each side (more like a london shade with tails at that point). Please help!
    Thank you, Lisa LaChance

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  43. Hi Lisa- so glad you find the blog helpful! I love to hear that. re: your relaxed shades- yes, that's a dilemma. I've often made relaxed shades with returns, but I set the rings in just a big further than the width of the board- i.e. for your shades I'd set them in barely 4". There IS a droop, it's true. If you browse through relaxed shades on the blog, you'll see plenty of those. One alternative is, for the "extra" folds at the bottom, add rings to the very edge of the return and tie them up, so that would somewhat mitigate the droop. Something else I've never done but have seen is to run rings ALL the way the length of the shade right at the very edge of the return, treat them just as you would the other rows of rings and string them. That will keep the returns drawing up as you raise the shade. BUT I don't know if that's compatible with new safety practices. Or, make a return flap as you mentioned. Personally I don't mind the droop of returns on a relaxed shade as long as the rings are nearly all the way to the edge of the board.

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  44. I have less then 1 " to fit inside mount roman shade. Is cord lock my only option or there is a clutch system that fits into 1"? Please advise.
    Thank you,
    Nina

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    1. Hi Nina-
      I'm not positive, but I think the Dofix clutch might fit onto a 1" board. Also check out Textol's RBS- I don't know but it's worth inquiring. Rollease used to have a system called VersaRail that fit onto 1" but I'm not sure if that's still being offered. This is something I've been planning to research myself but haven't had a chance to yet!

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  45. Hi Deb,
    Thank you for an instant reply. Your work is awesome and I admire the noble effort to share your mastery.
    I checked Textol - they don't have anything. But Dofix does have some interesting clutch that might fit my project, I'm waiting for their reply to get an access to their support.
    I have another question: what is your favorite blackout lining for roman shades (French blackout sounds great but I don't think it is right for this project).
    I'm so excited that I found a place where I can ask questions and get expert answers, thank you very much!

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  46. Thanks, Nina-
    Blackout: I like to use Bella Notte Silky blackout. I also like their Duette- Silky plus a bonded poly flannel.
    I hope Dofix has a clutch that will fit your needs!
    Deb

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  47. How do you determine which clutch system to use? Which do you use most often and where do you purchase them?
    Thank you,
    Kathy

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    1. Hi Kathy-
      We mostly use Rollease's traversing clutch. We make a lot of shades, so we buy components and assemble them ourselves. Designers' Resource Group in Lodi NJ is a Rollease distributor and I live close enough that I can usually pick up the components at wholesale when I'm in the area and eliminate shipping charges. It's a fraction of the cost that way.
      Rowley Company also sells components for this traversing clutch system in smaller quantities.
      But if you don't use them often, you might find yourself climbing the learning curve every time!- and might be better off buying your clutches pre-assembled. From Rollease, you can get the traversing clutch from their Expressly Yours program.
      Other clutch systems include a variety of offerings from Dofix, Rowley, Safe-T-Shade, and Textol, as well as other Rollease systems.. You can buy most of these either pre-assembled or as kits.
      I have in my workroom kits for ALL of these systems so I can gain experience with the unfamiliar ones, but I'm afraid now they'll have to wait until after the holiday rush for me to have time to experiment.
      We've been assembling so many Rollease traversing clutches for so long now that we can do them very quickly, and have experienced every conceivable glitch so troubleshooting is straightforward.
      Factors influencing which system to use:
      Aesthetics- if you can see it from the outside;
      Available mounting depth- some need quite large boards or headrails and others are very compact;
      Weight- some have weight and size restrictions;
      Ease of assembly;
      Installer's aptitude;
      Cost, including shipping charges;
      Need for special tools or equipment.
      I hope this helps!



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  48. Hi Deb,
    Another dilemma...I am working with a very "stretchy" linen. When I hold the fabric up, if I'm not holding it completely straight across the top, then all patterns are askew. I'm worried it's going to droop in certain areas or the patterns will not be in a straight line. Is there something I can use to stabilize the fabric before making it into a roman shade...maybe a weight bar will help solve the problem, too?

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    1. Oh, yuck! that's awful. There IS a fusible fabric stabilizer available from Rowley, and while it will add some bulk to the fabric, it's a nice bulk, and it also will add stability. I'd recommend trying it. They sell it in small rolls so it's not too bad to buy the minimum. It'll eventually come in handy for other projects- I always keep it in stock. You just have to be super careful not to get a little crease in it as you iron it on. Also be sure you don't shift the pattern around as you iron the linen..
      If you don't want to use that, then I would try ironing the linen out on the table so the pattern and grain are straight, add interlining and then lining, carefully ironing each layer as you add it, stab-pin it to the table, then baste it really well all over, before continuing with fabrication. Keep the tension on the long basting stitches loose enough to not cause take-up and shrinkage. The reason for interlining is, it gives a soft surface for the linen to "marry" to. If you can't interline the shade, then do the same thing using napped sateen instead.

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  49. Hi Debb,
    I have someone wanting London shades with a coordinating fabric as the pleat. These will be raised and lowered, not stationary. Is there a way to keep the shade looking neat at the bottom (i.e. pleat remains together) when it's lowered? Is it just a matter of stitching the pleat together at the bottom hem?
    Thanks!

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  50. Hi Katherine- honestly I've never had to deal with that issue. Maybe I would tack the permanent pleats- the extra ones below the weight bar. But I'm not sure I'd do anything with the pleat in the main part of the shade. Maybe a little tack partway in, not right at the crease of the pleat? Personally I don't think I'd like the pleat to be fully closed- why have the contrast if it's not going to show? You can try tacking them different ways with a tag gun, and see how they work, and see if the client likes them that way, then take out the tags when you decide which way to go. I'm sorry I don't have anything more helpful to say about this! I've never done it myself. Good luck, let me know what the decision is!

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  51. Thanks for all of your help!!! Do you usually keep them open at the bottom? Aren't they alot wider because the pleat opens up completely?

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  52. Katherine, go to the topic index on the left side of the blog, and scroll down to London Shades- there are a lot of photos there- all different sizes and shapes of London shades- some in the workroom, some after installation. That'll give you a feel for what my London shades look like! I have never tacked the pleats closed. The installer or decorator dresses them. If the fabric trains well, the pleats shouldn't need a whole lot of dressing every time they're lowered and raised.

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  53. Hi Deb,
    What type of wood do you use for cornices? I have one that will be about 95" long and need something lightweight? Any suggestions?
    Thanks!
    Kathy

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    1. Hi Kathy- well, actually I don't make actual wood cornices myself; sometimes I make something sort-of cornice-like, like soft cornices, which are made with buckram or chipboard. I have used firmaflex from Rowley Co in the past and recommend it for lightweight cornices. Rowley's website has info and videos and instructions on how to use it. The only reason I don't make wood cornices is- I have a friend who makes great cornices whereas I'm just not that good at it, so I sub them out!

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  54. Hi Deb!
    I love looking at your awesome work and am in awe of your talent! I'm hoping you can help me figure out ring placement on a flat roman shade with ribs. I want to pleat to pattern with the safety standards in mind, but the vertical repeat is just a bit too small I think. What's the minimum space that will stack well on a flat Roman shade when using the safe t shade's ring locks? My test piece pleated to pattern will have the ring spacing just under 5 1/2" apart. It's a polyester and poly/acrylic fabric that has knit backed with 2 layers of lining - Apollo dimout and napped sateen. See the fabric here: http://www.norbarfabrics.com/Product/Detail/DANDY!EBONY%20175?type=FAB
    As you can see, it would look best if it was pleated to pattern. Would it be best to skip the ring locks and use the encased lift cord shroud tube? I don't want the shade to stack up odd and not fold correctly. Does that make sense? Thank so much for your help in advance!!
    Joy

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  55. Thank you, Joy!
    I looked at the fabric and absolutely yes that should be pleated to pattern! I understand your concern about 5.5" spacing with Apollo and Sateen linings. Ring locks will reduce the stacking possible; there are two rings locks: the original ones and the "short stack" but even short stack will add up. I'm concerned about mesh tube or encased cord tape with the bulk of the 3 fabrics; the folds might drag and not raise nicely. Ladder tape with rings can work- just don't worry about the spacing of the ladders- leave some ease if necessary in between rings.
    Or, here is another thought. Pleat to EVERY OTHER pattern: 5.5 x 3 = 16.5 divided by 2 is 8.25" spacing. If your shade is long, the bigger spacing will reduce the bulkiness of the folds. I've done that sort of thing often. I'm sure I've posted photos but I'd have to look for them.
    If it were me, and assuming the shade is not very short, that's the direction I'd go in: 8.25" spacing for every other pleat to match. It's a great look.
    Please let me know if you have more questions. My email is in the contact information if that's easier than using the comments.
    I hope to hear from you to find out how this turns out!

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    1. Great info! Thank you so much for your help today! After spending lots of time playing with placement, the designer and I finally settled on one that'll work and make the shade look good when raised and lowered. Thank you again!!

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    2. Joy I hope you'll post a picture when it's done in one of the group thread so we can see what you decided on. Good luck!

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    3. Thanks Deb! Hopefully it'll turn out like I'm planning. Appreciate your help!

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  56. Hi Deb,
    I enjoyed your class on Shade Efficiency at the CWC earlier this year! I have a few questions for you. For Inside Mount shades (hobbled), what deductions (if any) do you take for the mount board and shade itself? When making Hobbled shades, do you prefer using the encased lift cord tape or twill tape/rings/ring locks? Lastly, do you use stop brackets? I am doing an IM blackout, hobbled shade (70x70) using the Rollease Traversing system. Thank you for your help!

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    1. thanks, Marlis!
      To answer your questions:
      On most shades I take no deduction on the fabric and 1/4" on the board. I prefer twill tape, rings, and ring locks, though right now I'm making some with ladder tape and rings to keep the stack tight- I'll do s blog post about these. I do use shade stops. Good luck with your project. Let me know how it turns out!

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  57. Thank you so much for your guidance and I will!

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  58. Dilemma!!! I made 13 foot valance for a customer and it's actually 2 very wide curved (at the bottom) pieces meeting in the middle with a pleat. I want each of the curved pieces to lay flat but there's a slight "swag" on each side. Is there some sort of stabilizer I can use to that it hangs completely flat?
    Thanks!
    Kathy

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    1. That's a common issue, Kathy. Here are a few ideas. I sometimes make this sort of treatment as a soft cornice, with Skirtex (wide buckram) in the face sections. Or if there is bulk on the board at the pleat, sometimes building up the edge of the board between the pleats will take away some of that "swag" effect. If you lined with blackout, possibly you could slip a slat or rib in to keep it rigid, though I'm not sure if that would negatively impact the curve. I hope this gives you some ideas to try!

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  59. I am interested in attempting a Catherine valance but either with a rod pocket or board mounted. I am finding difficulty in accessing a pattern as most I see are on rings. Is there any pattern you can direct me to?

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  60. Hi there Unknown! You can adapt the Catherine to mount on a board. I don't think a rod pocket would work. Just extend the top seam allowance up a bit so you have some fabric to staple onto a board. I've done it! I don't remember the exact details of the modification, but you can do a mockup out of inexpensive lining and experiment- that's what I did. The Catherine valance is one of my all-time favorite top treatments. If you do it, please let me know how it turned out, ok?

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  61. Hi Deb,
    Your work is divine. I enjoy seeing all your beautiful creations!

    Do you have a recommended method of designing a blackout Roman shade to keep the light from peeking in at the sides? I am planning an outside mount, but can't envision a design that will hug the window trim enough to keep the streetlights from coming through.
    Thanks,
    Susie

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  62. Thanks so much Susie! Check out my blog post from Feb 10. To get the shade closer to the window, I used a reverse mount on an RBS clutch lift mounted under a board with a valance over it. If you need more info then email me at stitchlore@gmail.com and we can discuss it further. Are you a diy sewer or a workroom?- that'll help me know where to direct you for the supplies you'd need.

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    1. Thanks so much! I am a home sewer with family members who sleep only with complete darkness. Until now we used curtains, but I was hoping for something more stylish in the next house! I will take a look at Rowley, I think I can purchase at retail through them, unless you know of another supplier? Thanks again.

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  63. Hi Deb,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to educate us with your blog. I have found it to be very helpful! I have made many Roman Shades in my first year as a workroom, but I have not found a method of tying/sewing rings that I like. My rings always look messy. Your rings look very tidy in the pictures. I think I've read just about all your posts, but I don't see where you describe your method for sewing on rings. Please share.

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    1. Hi Dana-
      I'm so glad you've found the blog to be helpful. You're in business a year! Congratulations! Are you aware of the many resources available for us workrooms such as Facebook workroom groups and various organizations? I'd be happy to send you a list of networking and educational resources you should check out. Re: ring sewing. Actually just yesterday I was teaching a full-day seminar on roman shades in Massachusetts, and spent a lot of time demonstrating how I sew rings. I do have a couple of videos I've made for a webinar but they're not on the blog or online anywere, so I told the WCAA members at the seminar that I'd find a way to post them as soon as I can. You can keep an eye out here on the blog, or email me at stitchlore@gmail.com and I'll notify you when I get them up. Also if you email me I'll respond with a list of the resources I mentioned, if you're not involved with them yet. Thanks again for the kind words about the blog!

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  64. Do you have a standard hem depth for relaxed roman shades that have trim? I saw your note about adding 24 inches to the finished length - unfortunately I don't think I bought enough fabric for that...hoping I can still make it work depending on the hem depth. Thanks for any guidance! Love your work!

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  65. Do you have a standard hem depth for relaxed roman shades that have trim? I saw your note about adding 24 inches to the finished length - unfortunately I don't think I bought enough fabric for that...hoping I can still make it work depending on the hem depth. Thanks for any guidance! Love your work!

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  66. My hem depth usually is half the ring spacing- for 8" spacing I usually make a 4" hem. With trim, I add the width of the trim to the hem. I don't know where the note is about adding 24". Is that for relaxed romans?

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    1. Yes - it's for a relaxed roman- I read it in this posting-

      hudsondebbDecember 8, 2013 at 9:34 AM
      For relaxed Romans, I add 24" to the finished length so there are extra folds when the shade is down. Start the bottom rings about 5" from the bottom. If the rings are spaced the standard 6" apart, the trim will show when you raise the shade.


      I'm just wondering if I somehow reduce my hem​ depth​, I might add some length but then I still want my trim to be visible.​ I'm kicking myself for not buying extra fabric. . .

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    2. Oh I totally missed that it's a relaxed! Sorry. Well, you can add extra in any increment of your ring spacing. 24" gives 4 extra folds at 6" spacing. You can even get away with zero extra folds and it'll be flat when down. One extra fold is ok if you have 6" extra to spare. The key to the trim showing is to start the rings up half the ring spacing plus a couple of inches. Hope that gives you some helpful guidelines. (I'm on vacation so I don't have any resources with me, just my phone....)

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    3. Thanks! That helps. I want to have a bead fringe trim along the very bottom edge of the fabric. I am planning on just hand tacking it onto the fabric by only catching the main fabric so I don't get pin pricks of light in my blackout lining. I can't decide if I should do my rings 6 inches apart and go with a 3 inch hem or should I do a smaller hem that would be covered by the bead fringe? What do you typically do when adding a bead fringe? Thanks again!

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    4. Yes, I'd make a smaller hem, so the bead trim will cover the sewing and that'll help keep light from coming through.

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    5. I really like your blog! I'm trying to figure out a new way to add dowels to my shades. Right now I secure them inside. I dont make pockets, since that might be too time consuming but I secure them inside the side hems. I feel like it makes the shade look a little bulky along the side hems where the dowels are inside, so I'd prefer them on the back. I don't want stiching across the shade either. I'm considering trying the iron on rib tape again. Have you used that? I had bad luck and worry it will come off. Also How do I find out more about Dofix products? I went to their site but not much info. Also what is your secret to stiching without getting pinholes? I currently have a method but I'm interesting in what yours is. Thanks!

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    6. Hi! Wow that's a lot of questions! Why don't you email me at stitchlore@gmail.com for a more detailed response. re: ribs: I tack them to the interlining at the folds. I don't want to do or see any stitching, pockets, or tape. I've tried them all and like my tacking method best. Re: no pinholes: I use a method with two layers of blackout and staggered stitches; this is a big subject and the method is complicated to explain but also fool-proof. On the blog I've documented quite a few projects with these methods in the past 2 years; if you check the topic index for recent posts on "no-pinholes" and "ribs." And actually when I do no-pinholes I also automatically include ribs at the folds. I've been teaching these methods a little bit lately; if you're interested in getting a class together, email me and let me know. Dofix: I agree- the website IS NOT too helpful about extolling the myriad of possibilities with their products. Getting a Dofix changed my life. I took a full-day class with Beth Hodges 2 years ago. Are you a member of any Facebook workroom pages that you can do a search for her and find out her class schedule- I know she has at least 4 workshops lined up for the next couple of months- well worth the time and money.

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