Sunday, May 17, 2015

New Shades for my Sewing Room!

I've been complaining forever about the curtains in my sewing room, especially since I moved my cutting table in front of the window.  It was such a pain to get them closed at night and when I have an alteration customer change I need to close them as well.  I decided that a roman shade would be the best solution since I can easily close it and can lower it halfway to keep the sun from shining in full blast when I like.

That was the easy decision - then I had to decide on fabric, purchase all the odds and ends needed and actually take the time to sew it together.  When I went shopping for fabric I was really overwhelmed by all the choices.  I knew I wanted something pretty, but didn't want it to be crazy busy.  I saw some large flowers that were gorgeous, but decided to go with something a little more on the simple side.  A nice aqua and white pattern caught my eye and I decided to go with it.

Unfortunately, my window is a few inches wider than the fabric was!  So I decided a little decorative trim would work, plus it will coordinate with the valance that I am planning.  The valance uses some of Moda's Honeycombs along the bottom and I had enough pieces left to use on the sides of my shade as well.  And they go great with the color of the shade, so it's like it was meant to be all along (wink, wink).

It's been a few weeks since I bought the fabric, so I've been moving it around my sewing room - I've found that if I want to get something done I need to keep it in plain sight so it doesn't get buried!  I had a couple days with no projects looming, so decided to get this one off my list.  I decided to machine sew the trim on since there will be a bit of wear with raising and lowering the shade and I want to make sure it holds up.

Working with the Honeycombs as a trim is really kind of fun.  I sew them together in a line, making sure not sew past the 1/4 inch seam allowance at the corners.  I press the seams open and press the edges down 1/4 inch.  (A shot of Best Press helps them stay put!)  Since these needed to finish as a straight line, I trimmed off the far edge, then pressed that under 1/4 inch as well.

Then I had to attach the trim to the shade.

This took a little juggling because I had to sew some lining fabric to the edges first to make the shade wide enough and add enough to wrap around the back.  I pressed this so I could see what the finished width of the shade would be.   I then had to attach the trim at the inner edge.  I pinned it down reall well, making sure that the straight edge lined up with the edge of the shade.  Then I topstitched on my sewig machine using white thread.  After I did that I had to fold the trim out of the way in order to add the blackout lining to the back and sew the back seam down where it wraps around the edge of the shade.  Then I had to sew the outer edge of the trim on the edge of the shade!

And now for my rant.  Why are fabrics printed so badly these days?  I could square up the fabric so the shade hangs straight, but then the print is slanted.  Or I could square up the print and then the shade hangs skewed?  Of course it is more important for the shade to hang straight, so the print slopes down.  UGH!  I guess it's not that bad, but it does kind of bug me.  I have encountered this almost every time I make drapes.  Frustrating.  I think it will look better once I get the valance finished.  I don't have much to do on it, so I should try to finish it today, but I do have a few more things on my list to get done!

Back to the shades.  Once I got the body of the shade sewn I had to add the casing at the bottom for the weight rod, add the rings (using a zigzag on my machine it was easy and fast), staple the mounting board on the top and thread the lines.  I use the instructions in the Singer sewing book - Sewing For the Home.  I don't use glue on my knots though, I take a needle and thread and stitch through those things.  Less messy and I know they will not ever pull out!

Three screws and my handy drill and I had a nifty new shade installed!  Of course it made my sewing room look so nice that I had to do some cleaning and straightening - much needed.  Of course, that reminded me of how many projects I have that need to be done.  But hopefully a tidy sewing room will help encourage me to get those projects done so they can be put away.  At any rate, I can now enjoy the view out of my window when I want and close the shades easily when I need to - so I count it well done for the day!

Now back to quilting...

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