Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Want to make draperies? Why weight?

Drapery weights are one of the little trade secrets of drapery making.
Covered or uncovered weights are slipped into corners and tacked at seams.
Hidden inside the window treatment, most people don't even know that they are there.

What is the purpose of adding weights?

1. When sewing seams the stitching can cause the material to slightly draw-up.  Adding weight at the bottom of the seam helps to keep it neat and flat.

2. The material along the edges of a drapery is double-folded to form side hems which creates take-up and makes the side hem appear slightly shorter.  A weight is added to help compensate for this.

3. Light weight fabrics flare and are difficult to train.  Weights can help to keep the panels hanging straight.  Bead weight chain provides an even weight across the entire hem.

A lead-free weight is tucked into the side hem of a lined drapery.
Click here to order.
There are many weights to choose from in a variety of sizes. Traditionally drapery weights are made of lead but now lead-free weights are available which are safer for your family and eco-friendly.  See Video

Lead-free drapery weight options include 1" x 1" square uncovered (#SW25), larger sized rectangular solid weights (#SW50), vinyl covered with tab (#SW37) and sausage bead weight in 3/32" (#SW79) and 4/32" (#SW80) diameter.  

Attach tab-style lead free covered weights (#SW37) to seams by sewing, stapling or using a tacking gun.
Sausage bead weight is placed in the entire bottom hem of light weight materials to help control flare and provide a better drape and consistent appearance.  In addition to weighting hems in draperies, sausage bead weight makes a perfect micro-welt cord for lightweight or bias-cut valances and swags, creating a beautiful custom detail and a weighted edge all-in-one.

Sausage bead weight is a fabric tube filled with small weighted "beads".

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Before & After Pictures

We would like to thank everyone who attended our webinar Glam for the Fam: A Dining Room Makeover

It was a fun project to work on and the finished room looks fresh, comfortable and ready for the next family dinner, cocktail party or holiday celebration. 

If you missed the presentation, there is a recording online that you can view anytime that is convenient to you,  and at no charge.  The webinar includes information on many topics: design choices, workroom drapery and slipcover fabrication, upholstery techniques and drapery installation including many useful tips and audience questions.

A big thank you to Sarah Gleason, sfgDesigns in Richmond, VA for helping with this project.  Here are a few views of the room "before" and "after". 
Dining Room Before
Dining table after with banded table cloth and table runner, new slip covers and chair seats, new draperies and more.
Window treatment before.
New draperies using a bold, graphic print from Greenhouse Fabrics and installed on traversing track with decorative square pole rod from Finestra Decorative Hardware.
Bar and mirror before.
Bar and mirror after.
View from the kitchen before.
View from the kitchen after.

Please be sure to view the past blog entries to see behind the scenes steps of this project and visit the Rowley Company website to register for upcoming live webinars and to view recordings of past presentations.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Draperies installed and the table is set.

Our room makeover is complete!  Here are some behind-the-scenes photos of the drapery installation, using the painted, square pole rod and traversing track.  The finished drapery looks clean and contemporary but still fits-in with the traditional elements in the room.

The window is ready for draperies.  We love the new paint colors.
The routed pole rod is mounted to the wall using the #M393/W brackets. 
The assembled track (see previous blog post for details) is placed inside the route on the pole rod and the locking plate is turned, securing the track to the brackets.
Batons are snapped to each master carrier and the drapery is installed using heavy duty pins.
Finished drapery operates easily and smoothly on the track.
The draperies are installed, chair slipcovers and upholstery finished, table cloth, table runner and storage ottoman in place.  Join us for the final reveal to see how to make all of these projects in the live webinar presentation,  Glam for the Fam: Dining Room Makeover  on August 23rd at 11:00 am EST.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Creating a Pleated Drapery Heading

The draperies for our upcoming webinar are ready to be pleated.

They are going to look fabulous and make a bold statement with the graphic print fabric from Greenhouse Fabrics and modern black gloss square pole from Finestra Decorative Hardware.
(To see more details about the draperies and this project, see our previous blog entries).

 To sew in pleats, an industrial sewing machine is used.  This machine will easily sew through the multiple layers of fabric, buckram and blackout lining. The pleats are marked and stitched from the top to the bottom of the buckram heading (4").  There are two "right ways" to sew the pleats.  From the bottom-up or from the top-down.  We are showing both methods here.

Sewing from the bottom up: Start 4" down from the top edge, back-stitch and continue up towards the top, back-stitching at the end.  To prevent an uneven top edge, purposely start with the top slightly uneven, the fabric will push forward as you sew.  How much uneven?  This depends on the layers, fabric and sewing machine being used.  One practice pleat will give you the proper step-back for all the rest.
Sewing from the top down:  Start about 3/4" below the top with the needle seated in the down position.  Back up and continue sewing from the top to the bottom of the buckram, back-stitching at the bottom.  Starting below the top prevents the fabric from shifting out of position.
The pleats have been hand-tacked into the French Pleat style.
Heavy Duty pins (#DPHD)are added using the Pinsetter tool (#PS10/D) from Rowley Company.
The drapery pins are set 3/4" down from the top edge to fit onto the carriers of our traversing track.
Ready to install!

If you would like to see the final room design join us for Glam for the Fam: A Dining Room Makeover 
on Tuesday, August 23rd at 11:00 am Eastern Standard Time. 
Click here to register.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Creating a Unique Drapery Track AKA The "Easy" Traverse System

We hope you have enjoyed taking a peek behind-the-scenes as we continue to work on our Glam for the Fam: Dining Room Makeover.  The draperies have been completed.  Before they can be installed, the traversing track needs to be assembled.  This track will fit inside a square-routed pole rod from Finestra Decorative Hardware, which has been painted gloss black.

A baton draw, traversing track was chosen, carriers for drapery pins.  Assembly is unbelievably quick and easy.  The steps and stock numbers are listed below if you would like to try this system for one of your upcoming projects. 

Step One:  Cut the track (#4003) to the size needed and insert the left (#M-500-L) and right (#M-500-R) master carriers into the track, facing each other (so that the arms overlap).  This master carrier allows for the baton to be hidden behind the drapery. 
Step Two: Insert the carriers (#M-578) that you will need into the track.  Remember, the first two pins will go into the master carrier, and the last two pins will go into the end bracket and return to the wall (if your drapery has a return).  The carriers chosen for this project feature micro-ball bearings which will allow easy operation.

The traversing track fits perfectly in the routed pole.  
An allowance has been made for the finial.   
Routed Pole Rod Options

At the window, wall mount brackets will be used.  The bracket will mount under the pole rod and the track snaps into place and is secured by turning the plate on the bracket into the slot on the track.
This is how the rod will appear from the front.  
The carriers have three holes for pin-adjustment.

This system can also be used without the routed pole and also for ceiling mounted traversing draperies.  To see a short video showing how to assemble this traversing system, click here. 

Stay tuned for more updates and plan to attend the live webinar presentation to see the completed room including installation of the decorative drapery hardware.