Monday, June 22, 2009

Tutorial - Making balloon shades

I should probably start this post by saying that she had balloon shades already, made by the queen bee, Grandma K.

That's always a tough act to follow.

At the time though we only had enough fabric to make faux shades-not actual shades. (Never choose a discontinued pattern!) So..a remake was in order. These will come all the way down, and block out some light.

1st step: Measure the window width, multiply by 2.5.
2nd step: Measure the final drape height, add 4 inches. For me this includes the height from the top of the ceiling to the window. If you are hanging yours lower-- please read all of the directions prior to starting, you will need to do a few things differently.

Now the fun part. Make a panel of fabric that matches these dimensions.

Here, I've made a lining panel, the same dimensions of the fabric panel, and serged where they meet on what will be the top of the shade. Next I'm applying shirring tape. (This is available wherever drapery makings are sold, at most fabric stores.)

Note: If you are not hanging yours starting at the ceiling, you will finish the top differently. For the method I am using, the top is not going to show...

I chose a 4 string shirring tape, as I want lots of gathering.

I then sewed the tape to the top of the two stacked panels of fabric. I sew between each pulling thread. (Be careful not to catch the thread.) If you haven't made drapes before, it isn't necessary to stitch at a stitch length you would use for garments, go ahead and lengthen your stitch to 3.0 or even 3.5.

The sides of the panels are finished by bringing the outside fabric (the fabric that will show inside the room) in a foldover hem, and stitched with the lining fabric underneath.
Is is necessary to line them??? Yes. Wash behind your ears, eat you veggies, line your drapes. Enough said.

Next part to follow...

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